Tuesday, August 26, 2008

STRIVE: FIRE


Strive's new album Fire is out today! Click the link to listen to samples and purchase!

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Posted by Katie Hart - Freelance Writer @ 1:25 PM :: (0) comments

Friday, October 06, 2006

Flyleaf

Originally published at Keepin' On:

“What’s your take on Flyleaf?” an online acquaintance asked. I’d never heard of them – not surprising in an area where the Christian radio station plays music from artists like Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman – but his query prompted me to look deeper.

This young band’s self-titled debut album pulses with edgy rock and vocals that range from breathy to ethereal to all-out screaming. Yet unlike some of their tour partners (bands like STAIND, Breaking Benjamin, and 3 Doors Down), Flyleaf’s lyrics portray positive messages that clearly demonstrate their faith. Though there’s pain in life, as lead singer Lacey Mosley’s dramatic story of finding Christ on the brink of suicide shows, there is One who can and will help you overcome it.

From the hard beat of “I’m So Sick” to the softly romantic “So I Thought,” Flyleaf is just under 34 minutes of angst, pondering, sorrow, and triumph. Two songs particularly showing this triumph are the second single “Fully Alive” and “Cassie.” “Fully Alive” tells of one woman living life to the fullest despite pain, and “Cassie” is a tribute to the Columbine martyr: “Do you believe in God/Written on a bullet/Say yes to pull the trigger . . . and Cassie pulled the trigger”.

“All Around Me” and “Red Sam” celebrate God’s presence. “I can feel you all around me/Thickening the air I’m breathing/Holding onto what I’m feeling/Savoring this heart that’s healing.” “There you stood/Holding me/Waiting for me to notice you/But who are you/You are the truth/Outscreaming these lies/You are the truth/Saving my life.”

Blending the styles of P.O.D. and Evanescence with their own unique twist, Flyleaf’s not for everyone, but those who enjoy hard rock with powerful themes will not want to miss out.

Reviewed by Katie Hart

Posted by Katie Hart - Freelance Writer @ 12:20 PM :: (0) comments

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hearts of the Innocent - Kutless

Reprinted from my column at Keepin' On:

Hearts of the Innocent, the 4th release from Christian rock band Kutless, returns their signature hard beats and powerful messages while notching the quality up another level. Taking their name from the fact that we as Christians are “cut-less” since Christ took our wounds on the cross, Kutless has tunes ranging from alternative rock to worship songs you might find in a typical church service.

Their latest album starts off with the electric guitar and drums of the title track, “Hearts of the Innocent.” The song laments the damage we are inflicting upon our young people and calls for a change.

The album’s first single, “Shut Me Out,” begins with an edgy beat to which you can’t help tapping your feet. Based on the Apostle Paul’s determination to not keep quiet about the life he found in Christ, the lyrics declare an unwavering purpose to witness in the face of ridicule or persecution.

“Beyond the Surface” is a raw blend of electric guitar with a driving beat. Dismissing the world’s fakeness and picture-perfect images, Kutless urges listeners not to resort to cutting to ease their pain. The surface isn’t what matters.

“Smile” brings a softer tone to the album, with strangers realizing a shared faith. The added percussion of clapping adds a nice touch near the end.

The lush piano and strings of “Promise of a Lifetime” add to its haunting, simple melody. The song dwells on God’s pledge to us - to never leave or forsake us.

The guitar-driven “Winds of Change” is a plea from God, asking us to share our desires and dreams with Him. He will give us the wings to persevere and soar above the changes that threaten to crush us.

“Somewhere in the Sky” continues the rising tempo with guitar riffs and a bit of grunge. The message of enjoying the life God has given us meshes perfectly with the metaphor of learning how to fly.

With guitars backed by a beautiful string arrangement, the next song mourns the “Mistakes” of the past while hoping others can learn to avoid the same heartache.

“Push Me Away” is one friend’s plea, asking to be let in to share the other’s pain. Electric guitars mix with lyrics revealing that no one’s perfect and that pride shouldn’t stop listeners from reaching out for help.

Perhaps my favorite song on the album, “Changing World” combines piano, guitars, strings, and drums in a rich melody for the emotions we feel when events spiral out of control. Despite the fact that something’s gone from our lives, God will still work good.

“Million Dollar Man” once again changes the pace with a return to heavy electric guitars, perfect for this song about a man who gave up everything for wealth.

The final song mixes a strong beat with electric guitars as it tells listeners they can change a painful “Legacy” into a positive one.

A blend of encouragement, hope, and purpose, Hearts of the Innocent is a must-listen for any rock fan.

Reviewed by Katie Hart

Posted by Katie Hart - Freelance Writer @ 7:17 PM :: (3) comments

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why the New Blog?

My primary blog focuses on Christian novels. Yet occasionally I'd like to blog about music, especially Christian music and music produced by Christians (for those who make that distinction), which is about 95% of what I listen to. I'm creating this blog to express my love of music, give recommendations, and occasionally review a CD or artist. I'll also point readers to other great reviews of music and good deals on purchasing it.

Posted by Katie Hart - Freelance Writer @ 8:28 AM :: (1) comments