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Matt Maher
The Advent of Christmas
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The Elements
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Featured New Reviews + News


Matt Maher
The Advent of Christmas
Release Date: October 19, 2018
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Star Rating
Matt Maher is steadily becoming a force to be reckoned with in the worship community. Each new album presents a new hit to stir the radio and filter its way into churches. Although Maher has released Christmas singles in the past, The Advent of Christmas is his first full-length holiday effort, featuring a healthy mix of re-imagined classic carols and new originals. The album tries to encapsulate the spirit of the Advent season by bringing songs about hope, peace, love, and joy while the tone slides around to accommodate different moods. A track or two may be dramatic in their scope; the two that follow are then light-hearted. Though the tone changes throughout, it feels consistent in its context.

The majority of the songs are originals and make this album special, as most of the new tunes work well in Maher's style. "He Shall Reign," "Love Came Down" and "Glory (Let There Be Peace)" are strong tracks in their own right but fit well as songs churches could sing over the coming season. The real standout, however, is "Hope for Everyone," with its upbeat gospel music and message that carries the listener away in the feeling of...

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GOSPEL AND CHRISTIAN MUSIC'S BIGGEST NIGHT SHINES THE LIGHT WITH GROUNDBREAKING PERFORMANCES AND AN ARRAY OF WINNERS LIVE FROM ALLEN ARENA ON THE LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

TAUREN WELLS GARNERS 4 FIRST-TIME DOVES INCLUDING CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR, NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR, POP/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR AND RAP/HIP HOP RECORDED SONG OF THE YEAR

October 17, 2018 THE 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards were handed out tonight in the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. The awards will be televised on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) on Sunday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET. The big winner was first-time nominee, newcomer Tauren Wells, who took home four awards, including Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year and New Artist of The Year. Superstar Zach Williams took home Artist of the Year. The night was fiiled with many remarkable performances, including first time collaborations including Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly, Jason Crabb and Rascal Flatts, as well as Natalie Grant and Koryn Hawthorne. See the full list of winners here...

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TobyMac
The Elements
Release Date: October 12, 2018
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Star Rating
TobyMac is a prime example of an artist that can stay relevant through a long career in music--he's grown as a vocalist, he changes up his sound for every album (but not too much), and he consistently puts out quality music roughly every three years. His latest studio offering, The Elements, is a collection of 11 no-filler tracks that are focused on Jesus and jam-packed with infectious melodies. Thematically, the elements are a metaphor for the "bad weather" in one's life--pain, suffering, difficult circumstances, etc. Toby recognizes that these difficulties are inevitable in life ("Scars") but calls us to completely rely on God ("I Just Need You," "It's You") and to fight through them together ("The Elements," "See The Light"). The relatively serious theme of the record, the artwork, and the decrease in the amount of bubbly songs, like "Me Without You" or "Backseat Driver," makes The Elements feel like a more mature album for Toby.

While all the usual ingredients for Toby's musical gumbo are in place (hip-hop, pop, soul,horns, and a mix of singing / casual rapping), there is also a healthy dose of variation. This is evident from the first verse of the of the title-track with the style drawing comparisons to NF from Toby's emotionally-charged flow to the minimalist haunting piano notes. Another example is "Horizon (A New Day)," which takes cues from Twenty One Pilots...

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Music Out This Week

This Friday, October 19
Gawvi Panorama [Reach]
Hollyn Everything and More / Isaac - Single [Gotee]
Iron Bell Music Glory to Glory [Essential]
Matt Maher The Advent of Christmas [Essential]
Planetshakers Heaven on Earth Part III EP [Integrity]
Planetshakers Heaven on Earth CD/DVD [Integrity]
Switchfoot Native Tongue - Single [Lowercase People]
Tenth Avenue North The Things We've Been Afraid To Say EP [Reunion]
CeCe Winans Something's Happening: It's Christmas with CeCe Winans [Thirty Tigers]

NEXT Friday, October 26
Francesca Battistelli Own It [Word]
Lauren Daigle Behold: Deluxe Edition [Centricity]
Ben & Noelle Kilgore A Resting Place EP [Integrity/The Creak Music]
Lovelite Apocalypse Hymnal (independent)
Marc Martel My Way, Vol. II: The Queen EP (independent)
Matthew Parker Daydreamer [DREAM]
Fight The Fury Still Breathing EP [Atlantic]
Chris Tomlin Holy Roar [Sparrow]


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