Elektra Records / DTA Records
Release Date: February 25th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Photo Finish Records
Release Date: November 19th 2021 [Haunted House] / February 11th 2022 [do all my friends hate me?] / April 21st 2022 [you ruined nirvana]
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Awake Music, LLC
Release Date: July 9th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Big Noise Music Group
Release Date: January 8th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Let it Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer
Label: Gotee Records
It’s been quite some time since I started this blog series- February 2019 was the month that I decided to delve into the realms of music that at that time, was relatively unknown to me. Because apart from the CCM that I have enjoyed throughout my whole high school years and well into university, it wasn’t until 2019 where I realised that the mainstream music industry wasn’t as ‘evil’ as I once fleetingly thought it was. Dunno where I thought this thing that mainstream music = bad, CCM = good; but alas, I did think these things. And it wasn’t until 2019 where I realised that God being God can speak through anything- even mainstream music, and that mainstream music, can still impact and challenge, inspire and bring healing and hope, just as much as CCM. I delved into a myriad of different artists over the last year or so– from Backstreet Boys, Tina Arena, The Corrs, Rascal Flatts, Lady A and Shania Twain, to John Mayer, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanson, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Adele, Jewel, John Farnham and Sara Bareilles, to name a few. And it was in me listening to these artists that wouldn’t necessarily wear the label ‘Christian’, that I’ve found a few things out- that artists like these, as nuanced, heartfelt, emotive and poignant as these artists and songs can be, what I’ve understood is that they themselves can also discuss and talk about things and issues prevalent and relevant to the heart of God too, even if they themselves don’t know it yet. For if God can use Balaam’s donkey to speak to Balaam in the Old Testament (Numbers 22:21 – 39), then God can surely use mainstream music to bring people closer to each other and closer to Himself in the process. And it is a reminder of how complex music really is- there’s literally genres for everyone. Pop, CCM, worship, rock, rap, hip-hop, gospel, country, musical theatre, jazz, folk, classical, blues, R&B, Soul, EDM, punk, reggae, ambient music…you get the picture right? And all these genres are valid, and all are necessary to relate to people. And in some way, all these genres are used by the Lord, to allow people to see inside themselves and make the changes necessary for them to come to terms with their own mortality, and realise their own need for God and all things eternal. But enough of my own musings…you’ve come to read my next blog, right, not some ramblings of someone realising that mainstream music is just as much needed in society as Christian music. So without further ado, my next artist I’m about to discuss for the length of this blog will be…those guys who wrote the song ‘The Reason’ a long time ago. What’s their name again…yeah, it’s those guys who wrote ‘The Reason’. No, seriously, isn’t their name, ‘The Reason’-guys? So enough of my own tongue-in-cheek introduction to the band Hoobastank, but seriously, and all gaffes aside. Let me be real for a second.
It’s been 5 years since Newsboys reinvented themselves with Michael Tait at the helm and their comeback album Born Again. 10 years since Third Day’s Wherever You Are. 20 years since DC Talk’s Jesus Freak. 30 years since Carman’s ground-breaking album Comin’ on Strong. Makes you think that music, especially Christian music, has come a long way between then and now in 2015. In fact, dare I say that music that evokes nostalgia of the times that were can have just as much poignancy and meaning as something current and new? Why is it that sometimes we as a humanity are craving more for the new singles and songs when it is sometimes equally as necessary to immerse ourselves in the old and familiar? Can a song as timeless as “Jesus Freak” still carry a similar emotion and meaning to a current radio hit song like Hawk Nelson’s “Drops in the Ocean”? In light of the new member change in Audio Adrenaline (with Stellar Kart frontman Adam Agee deciding to take on lead vocal duties) and the stepping down of Matt Hammitt as lead singer of pop/rock band Sanctus Real, this Throwback Tuesdays post, albeit a short one, delves into popular songs by Stellar Kart and Sanctus Real, perhaps some of the most underrated and equally enjoyable artists of today’s generation.
Fair Trade Services pop/rock/CCM/ artist Hawk Nelson released their new album Diamonds on March 17th! Full of heartfelt, poignant, emotional and impacting pop/rock anthems, as well as ballads, this album is one of the most musically and lyrically impressive albums of 2015! I had the privilege of interviewing guitarist Daniel Biro (2nd from right) via email recently, about the new album. We discussed the album, which songs mean the most to the band, what Hawk Nelson hopes listeners will experience when hearing the new songs, as well as the band’s goals and dreams for the year ahead. Check out the interview below.