Over the past 6 months, you may have noticed a new series on our site- for those of you who are avid followers and are paying attention. You see, my brother Jon has been embarking on an ambitious project for our site. He’s writing about 100 influential artists (and then 20 more on top of that who are in a class of their own!) and delving deep into their discography, analysing why these artists are influential and have shaped (or are shaping) music as a vast sonic landscape over time and across their own genre. It’s a big mouthful to even comprehend- and Jon’s writing about 1 artist per week; so while I might leave you to peruse Jon’s new blog series here (with the intro post and ‘contents’ page here!), let me just say that as I have embarked on this expansive music journey with my brother (via osmosis!), listening to music that he has, and being inspired and challenged by music that I’d probably never listen to in a million years; I’ve kind of noticed a trend. And that trend is just my opinion, and what I have observed and concluded to be the case- but it’s in no way indicative of what you may perceive or believe. So are you waiting to hear my deep, profound revelation, that many of you might know already? Here goes! It’s that… I believe that music from the 90’s and early 2000’s (but especially 90’s!) had so much heart, soul and passion in them, seemingly more-so than music today!
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 46 (90’s albums!)- Are newer albums actually better than classic releases from yesteryear?
Over the past year, I reckon I haven’t blogged at the same intensity as when I did last year. Last year, I started this series in about January, intended it to be 52 weeks only, and was so passionate about Flashback Fridays that I in fact blogged every week, and I did speak about a wide range of topics. True to my own original word, I only spoke about one album per blog. But if you look back on this year, you could probably tell that my writing style has changed, and there are more gaps within the weeks. Sometimes I’d write blogs two weeks in a row, but in the year of 2019, I have found that inspiration strikes not week to week, but in blocks of time that are random. Which is why you may have found the last blog to be about a month ago, then two weeks before that, then at other various intervals during the year which are in fact random…and so on and so forth. Most of the time I’d write about a theme that encapsulates multiple albums (without going too much into depth on each album!) as opposed to one album per week like early last year. Which brings me to what I’ve been thinking about lately.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 44 (Comeback albums!)- Jesus Is The Ultimate King Of The Comebacks!
Recently of late I’ve been thinking about what the perfect gap in years between an album actually is. In a world where people consume more and more music, it’s probably accurate that we all have attention spans of around minutes and seconds rather than hours. Also, as we are living in a world where people are easily distracted and want the newer stuff ‘now’; I reckon it’s no surprise that artists are trying to release music in bite size pieces, and more of it. EP’s of around 5-6 songs every 7-8 months seems to be the ‘in’ thing these days. But I truly and wholeheartedly believe that the more music that is being recorded and made, and then sent out into the public; the more that there is a risk that other songs already released on albums previous, won’t be truly appreciated for the gems and treasures that they are, for a long time. For listeners are already latching onto the ‘newest’ song- which isn’t necessarily the most impactful, nor the most inspiring, the most influential and the most, dare I say, needed in one’s life at that very moment.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 43 (Tenth Avenue North’s ‘Followers’ and For KING & COUNTRY’s ‘Burn The Ships’)- Why do we need to let go of our control, and surrender our entire being to Jesus?
Yesterday and the day before was one of those days. Just one of those days where everything didn’t come together like I wanted to, and a day where so many things happened that made me feel a bit…you know funny, weird, uneasy inside. You know those days, right? Actually, I reckon there’s been about a few instances over the past few weeks that have tested my patience- and I’m sure my brother Jon can confirm this- and it’s led me to this conclusion. When we as humans and people on planet Earth are faced with uncomfortable situations and things beyond our control, most of us try to fix the situation on our own, or we just run away and put our head in the sand! So let me dive in and tell you what’s been happening of late since I last posted, and I’ll give you more insight into where I’m at in my life.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 42 (Offerings & Offerings II by Third Day)- When the world is falling around us, why don’t we just simply worship?
Why do we have labels? I mean sure we label things to identify them and make sense of them, but does hanging onto them once they’re defined by us, do us any good? If they’re inanimate objects, sure labels are fine, because the outcomes and consequences of us still having them, isn’t that great or profound. But if we’re dealing with living, breathing people, then labelling people can lead to all kinds of outcomes, of which none are encouraging nor edifying. Or if we’re dealing with music or food or movies, and then the labels place limits on what we can or can’t watch/listen/eat etc; then our views on the world and on society could become skewed and warped. Who’s the culprit then? The parents of the child who is deemed to have an unconventional view, or is it the rest of us, who are obsessed with labels, ultimately being the ‘thought police’ or ‘action police’ with regards to what we do, say, think, and whom we interact with?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 41 (Albums with labels? Without labels?)- Is it heretical or blasphemous to be encouraged and inspired by ‘non-Christian’ music?
Last Friday I was trying to review several albums on my day off from work. I succeeded in part- I reviewed 2 albums (which you can view here and here!), but I was distracted for the most part. While I was reviewing these two albums, I was listening to another album. See Danny Gokey’s album Haven’t Seen It Yet released last week, and I was listening to the 13 songs. I think I listened to that album straight through about 5 or 6 times that day. I wasn’t planning on reviewing the album- and I’m still not; I’ll leave that for Jon to review!- but there was something about these songs that made me keep coming back to them time and time again. I had set aside a block of time to review many more albums that day, but what actually happened was that I ended up listening to Danny’s new album over and over instead! Why is that the case, you say? Was there some divine lesson that God was teaching me through Danny’s music, that He wanted me to see that couldn’t be found through any other music at that time? Did He want me to learn something profound to impart to you guys, or was there one particular song on that album that was relevant to perhaps at least one of your readers? Did He want me to review this album (and hence ‘steal’ it from Jon, who had claimed he was reviewing it as soon as he knew about Haven’t Seen It Yet)?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 40 (Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey)- So that particular album is in your head! Now what?
All throughout this week I’ve been agonising over a ‘relevant’ topic to write about this week- a topic not too close to the event that it seems insensitive when I do delve into my opinion (so that immediately strikes out the events in Christchurch a few weeks ago!), nor a topic too controversial (cause I’ve already blogged about George Pell!). I was at a bit of a loss, particularly as I missed last week’s post due to life getting in the way; and I didn’t want to make the gap between blogs too long. I thought about and seriously toyed with the idea of writing about why recently mainstream artists release Christian albums/songs and their own thought processes behind it- because I was fascinated and reminded of this gem when I was helping Jon and looking at previous Dove Award nominations in preparation for his Dove Award nominations predictions 2019 post; and found out that Snoop Dogg’s gospel album being nominated for a Dove Award last year. Then it hit me that an analysis of ‘Christian’ albums and songs by mainstream artists would take multiple weeks (which will in fact be coming soon!) and today had to be a post that was short. So that was it, I was frustrated, and it was back to the drawing board. Soon I was resigned to the fact that maybe Flashback Fridays would fade to oblivion, if I didn’t gain my passion back for the series which I so heavily posted in the front half of last year.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 39 (Joyous and Cheerful Albums)- We’re saved by God, so let’s celebrate!
The other day I was on the train. I was coming home from spending heaps of money at Kooring- a Christian bookstore that was about 30 minutes via public transport from my home. It was my day off, and I figured that a trip to buy CD’s, books and DVD’s was in order- after all, it was 1 ½ years since my last trip (Jon went to Kooring plenty of times last year!), and I splurged. I bought heaps of stuff just for Jon and myself, and tons more for presents- for various people for different types of occasions at different points in the year. Safe to say, I think I’ve done all my shopping for a while. So there I was, on the train, when all of a sudden a man comes up to the front of our train carriage. He was dressed kinda scruffy, but also kinda okay-ish. His hair was like he just got out of bed, and I don’t think he knew etiquette- like the clothes he was wearing were inside clothes, not outside clothes like you’re supposed to when you’re going out. So I had no idea what he wanted to say. Perhaps he was a salesman, asking money for a charity or something. Mind you this thought process of mine was just for a millisecond. But when he opened his mouth and said that he was homeless and needed some money and a place to stay, I took notice. Not really looked at him (cause the situation was super awkward!) but my ears did pique up.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 38 (What If We by Brandon Heath)- When faced with someone uncomfortable, do we love them, or do we run away?
Over the past few weeks, there has been a major shake-up in the world today that has affected the world we live in, everything we hold dear, everything we believe, and just basically everything we’ve come to know as true, from birth until now. Maybe you may know what I’m alluding to, but maybe you do not. But when I tell you about George Pell (is he still the archbishop, or cardinal?), and mention that the major event concerns him, perhaps the penny will drop. Of course this one event has the power to reshape everything we all know- especially everything we as Christians know and believe. But in the end, does it, and should it?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 37 (Forgiveness by Matthew West)- Can we really, truly forgive the ‘unforgiveable’?