David Crowder is easily one of the most notable artists in today's Christian music and worship scene. Crowder has stood out as being innovative and creative, with each album seeming to have its own musical theme. I Know a Ghost is his newest effort and seems to build off of his last album, American Prodigal, more than anything else. I Know a Ghost has some of that same swamp rock sound ("Wildfire"), but the overwhelming musical theme here is hip-hop. Sure, Social Club Misfits join in for a rather odd number, but the hip-hop correlation has more to do with the beats that are underlying in almost every song.
The album actually has a really strong start with the title track, already released "Wildfire," and an album favorite in "Golgotha Hill (King of Love)." While "Golgotha Hill" has a little of that hip-hop feel, there's no doubting the trap-like beat in "Crushing Snakes." "Red Letters," also previously released, follows and sounds like that typical Crowder radio song -- the "My Victory" of I Know a Ghost so to speak. While the song is not a cover of dc Talk's 1998 hit, the concept is the same as they both focus on the words of Christ from the Bible. Mandissa is featured on the gospel inspired "Let it Rain (Is...
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With their most recent record, You Were Never Alone, Emery released a concept album inspired by biblical stories without most fans noticing, only to divulge that not-so-small detail five months later in Matt Carter's Break It Down podcast. It was a mind-blowing revelation, further elevating what many already considered at least on par with their best works. Emery continually prove themselves as masters of their craft and ones to never make the same album twice, and while there doesn't seem to be any big secret here, their latest effort is still fairly surprising.
Eve is Emery's most mellow album to date. Not only is there little screaming, but the clean production, limited number of breakdowns, and the decrease in darker lyrics also aid in the softer feeling of Eve. It does make the album more accessible, but on a lyrical and emotional level, Eve is as weighty and thought-provoking as ever and possibly their most personal album to date. The magic is all still here with Toby Morrell and Devin Shelton's unparalleled vocal pairing, the genius songwriting of Toby, and plenty of post-hardcore and rock goodness...
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Many fans of Christian alternative will know Marc Martel as the lead vocalist for Downhere, but as a solo artist, he's shown that he can hold his own in the classic rock world too. A good portion of Martel's post-Downhere days have been spent working with the official Queen tribute band, Queen Extravaganza, with Martel's incredible vocals fitting right in (Martel even leant his vocal talents for some of the singing in the film about Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody). For Thunderbolt and Lightning, Martel steps into Freddie Mercury's shoes once again for eight Queen covers that are modern while being faithful to the originals.
The album starts with "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a decent cover, and Martel's vocals are top-notch, but purists among us may be bothered that the iconic guitar solo is replaced by a string section. Elsewhere in the song, strings give some nice dramatic flair, but the solo feels wimpy without the guitar. Also, during the "Mama…if I'm not back again this time tomorrow" section, there are some weird harmonies...
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