New Releases For March 22nd, 2011

Brenton Brown-Our God Is Near
Our God Is Near
Brenton Brown

Kingsway Music
Contemporary
Buy NOW:
Amazon

Caedmon’s Call-Raising Up The Dead
Raising Up The Dead
Caedmon’s Call

INO Records
Folk/Rock
Buy NOW:
Amazon

echoing angels
Echoing Angels
Echoing Angels

eOne Music
Pop
Buy NOW:
Amazon

eleventyseven quota ep
Quota EP
eleventyseven

Independent
Pop Rock

green river ordinance the morning passengers ep
The Morning Passengers EP
Green River Ordinance

For Mona
Folk
Buy NOW:
Amazon

the gun show discontentment
Discontentment
The Gun Show

Indenpendent
Mosh Metal
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3

jennifer hudson i remember me
I Remember Me
Jennifer Hudson

Arista Records
R&B/Soul
Buy NOW:
Amazon

Kirk-Franklin-Hello-Fear-
Hello Fear
Kirk Franklin

Gospo Centric
Gospel/R&B
Buy NOW:
Amazon

Michael Card-An Invitation To Awe
An Invitation To Awe
Michael Card

Sparrow Records
Folk/Worship
Buy NOW:
Amazon

preasha hillard live out loud
Live Out Loud
Preasha Hillard

World Wide Gospel
R&B/Gospel
Buy NOW:
Amazon

Ryan Stevenson-Yesterday, Today, Forever
Yesterday, Today, Forever EP
Ryan Stevenson

BEC Recordings
Dance Rock
Buy NOW:
Amazon

shawn mcdonald closer2
Closer
Shawn McDonald

Sparrow Records
Contemporary
Buy NOW:
Amazon

solomon burke and de dijk hold on tight
Hold On Tight
Solomon Burke & De Dijk

Verve Records
Soul
Buy NOW:
Amazon

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.3

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2

josh garrels over oceans
Over Oceans
Josh Garrels

2006
Buy this album: Amazon MP3, iTunes
You are drawn in by the quiet acoustic music but you quickly wrap yourself in a musical and lyrical storm. This is a tour de force of folk, world, rap, electronic, spoken word theology by a brilliant musician who refuses to leverage his talent for fame or money. Over Oceans is Josh Garrels‘ first full length recording starts quietly with a beautiful ode to the beauty of God’s creation, “Fire By Night”. Later on the CD a rolling tumbling worship chant “Break Bread” should be a Sunday worship staple. The centerpiece is “SISU”, a six minute acoustically driven rap that lays out the beauty of core Christian theology more clearly than any sermon ever delivered.
Highlights: Break Bread, SISU, YHWH

Billy Joe Shaver- Victory
Victory
Shaver

1998
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Shaver is Billy Joe Shaver and his son Eddy Shaver, presenting the songs of Billy Joe Shaver in a stripped-down, acoustic context. Shaver‘s peers as a songwriter and singer include Guy Clark, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. His voice has a lot of Hank Williams Sr. and some of Woody Guthrie, and his tunes hark back to the origins of country music, with traces of rural blues. Spiritually based, Victory gives the listener a glimpse into the soul of Shaver through the songs he has written about his relationship with his Lord. A man of strong spiritual conviction, Shaver has lived a life that often put him in conflict with his religious beliefs. Victory includes Shaver classics, essayed with a stirring combination of weariness and wisdom (“Old Five and Dimers,” “When Fallen Angels Fly”), as well as classics-to-be. The newer songs (“Son of Calvary,” “You Can’t Beat Jesus Christ”) are filled with Christian imagery, but he doesn’t preach–these are songs of a man struggling to reconcile his faith with the wild life he’s led. Victory is a fine listen, both comforting and harrowing.
Highlights: Live Forever, If I Give My Soul, My Mother’s Name is Victory

Son Lux- At War With Walls And Mazes
At War With Walls And Mazes
Son Lux

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
To say that Son Lux makes electronic music is like saying Daniel Day Lewis just acts; it just isn’t the full truth. Son Lux’s songs are complex, painful, and beautiful all at the same time. He takes sounds and then deconstructs them until they seem to explode out of the speaker and then evaporate just as fast. Pulling from genres across the electronic landscape such as trance, ambient, industrial, and breakbeat, At War With Walls And Mazes introduces the listener to strange and ever changing musical world, were words and music seem to be haunted by the ghosts of their own sounds. Singing parts warp and distort as they are being sung, beats abruptly stop only to return later in a song, but slightly altered. Every song is full of surprises, and you hear something different every time you listen. Son Lux has created and amazing and haunting masterpiece in At War With Walls And Mazes, one that seemingly has no equal.
Highlights: Wither, Betray, Stand, War

Monarch The Grandeur That Was Rome
The Grandeur That Was Rome
Monarch

2003
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Almost from the first note on Monarch’s debut album, The Grandeur That Was Rome, you are completely transported into the music. Monarch is able to wield atmospheric, ambient rock in a way that eludes most of their contemporaries. Every song builds in a distinct and focused way, allowing you to linger on every note before they all crash into each other to create the beauty that is Monarch’s sound. Then, at last, you reach vocalist Brennon Shaw’s delicate and haunting voice, driving the choruses and melodies to a place of pure serenity. The combination of these rock, electronic, and vocal elements is what makes The Grandeur That Was Rome…well, grand. Music seemingly written to be a soundtrack to everyday life, Monarch set themselves apart from their peers with an album of creative and gorgeous songwriting that many could only aspire to, but never are able to grasp.
Highlights: Talk Is Cheap/The Undefeated, Tracing Paper (An Argument), Now You See It/Now You Don’t

tobyMac- Momentum
Momentum
tobyMac

2001
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Who knew? Wasn’t a DCTalk fan so I didn’t know, but did anyone know that all the grit and drive of “Jesus Freak” was tobyMac? Bursting from the speakers with driving guitars, wild samples and layers of pounding drums tobyMac smacks us in the mouth with his first lyrics as a solo artist when spews his rap “Everybody, everybody in the place to be, Open up your mind and let your soul be free, I can feel the most High shining on me so… Let’s Get This Party Started”! Any questions about who was the muse of “Jesus Freak”?
Momentum is 14 songs of hard driving street Christianity metal hip hop, which samples both Buffalo Springfield and Wycleff Jean. And we do get the gospel stomp “JTrain” featuring Kirk Franklin. Momentum should be played loud enough to blow your speakers and bring the cops, but do it alone because you will want to silly dance. tobyMac’s first offering rivals anything Outkast has done.
Highlights: Get This Party Started , Love Is In The House, Somebody’s Watching

Christian Artists To Know: Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin
Genre: Gospel
Sub-genres: Urban, Choral, Hip/Hop
Location: Dallas, Texas
Label: Fo Yo Soul/Gospo Centric/Zomba
My Space Page: http://www.kirkfranklin.com/
Christian label: yes
Category: The Spiritual whats this?

For anyone who follows Gospel or Hip/Hop, this article may seem ridiculous.  Introducing you to Kirk Franklin is like introducing you to Barrack Obama.  This article is not for you.  This article is for all of you indie hipsters, rockers and two-steppers who think Gospel is music for your grandmother. As Kirk proclaimed in the opening of his breakthrough cross over song “Stomp”:

For all of you who think Gospel music has gone too far;

You think we’ve gotten too radical with our message;

Well, I have news for you;

You ain’t heard nothing yet. And

If you don’t know, now you know,

Glory, Glory!

With “Stomp”, Kirk Franklin and God’s Property burst through to the mainstream charts. The song, featuring Cheryl “Salt” James (of Salt-N-Pepa), went heavy rotation on MTV, charted at number 1 on the R&B Singles Airplay chart for two weeks, and even made it into the Billboard’s Top 40. God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation was number 1 on the R&B Albums chart for 5 weeks, number 3 on the Pop charts, and would go on to be certified triple platinum.  With 2Pac, Toni Braxton and Dru Hill topping the charts that year it is amazing that this song achieved such mainstream success.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC8DmUDB_HM

Combing heavy backbeats with the generous use of samples and prominent choral arrangements, Kirk Franklin brought Gospel back to the streets.  Before his arrival in 1993, contemporary gospel music leaned toward ‘positive’ messages alluding to Jesus and a righteous walk of faith set to lightly groovin’ tracks. Franklin brought choirs to the hip/hop sound, sampled familiar musical themes from all genre’s and placed Godly messages in the same heavy rotation as other urban pop music.

But “Stomp” was not a starting point for Kirk Franklin; it was just a step in one of the most successful careers we have seen in Gospel music.  This musical prodigy, who started playing piano at the age of four and was leading the Mt. Rose Baptist Church adult choir at the age of eleven, released the biggest selling debut Gospel cd of all time, Kirk Franklin & The Family, in 1993.  He has released ten other cd’s over the years and has recorded with Mary J. Blige, Bono, Crystal Lewis, Boys II Men, TobyMac, Mary Mary and many, many others.   Franklin even hosts his own Gospel, “American Idol-like” talent show, “Sunday’s Best” on BET.

As Kirk Franklin has matured in his life and his marriage, he has began exploring deeper and deeper subject matter, including his own failings.  Here in a performance of “Let It Go” he expresses the struggles men, from all walks of life, face trying to be a real man of God while holding onto hurt and pride:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSmkyLfgnOg

Kirk Franklin is the biggest selling gospel artist in Soundscan history with over 12 million albums sold and over 20 #1 singles on Gospel radio.  He is also a highly respected music artist with five Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, 34 Stellar Awards (gospel), 12 Dove Awards, 4 NAACP Awards,  two BET Music Awards, and a Soul Train Award to his credit.  Reading about Kirk Franklin’s humility and love for God, he would take no credit and give all the awards to God; and meant it.

Kirk Franklin brought God to the mainstream music charts in a very direct and open way.  He led a revolution in Gospel music. If you consider yourself well versed in Christian music, you must know Kirk Franklin.

Kirk Franklin’s music can be found digitally on Kirk Franklin

You can also buy his CDs on Amazon: Kirk Franklin and the Family (1993), Whatcha Lookin’ 4 (1996), The Nu Nation Project (1998), The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin (2002), Hero (2005), Songs for the Storm, Vol. 1 (2006), The Fight of My Life(2007)