AFTERS THE * FIREFLIGHT

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2/15/08
1:00 PM
Page 1
FIND US ONLINE: CCMMAGAZINE.COM • CMCENTRAL.COM • CHRISTIANMUSICPLANET.COM
THE
AFTERS
R
G
O
T
K
C
A
B
G
IN
O
G
S
Y
A
W
AL
E AT
WHY WE NEE
D
L
A
E
R
S
U
T
C
N
A
S
FIREFLIGHT
GOES BIONIC
*
STELLAR KART
CHILDREN 18:3
EDISON GLASS
2/13/08
4:23 PM
Page 3
[03.08]
CONTENTS
24 COVER STORY
departments
38—In Review
The new album from The Afters serves as proof that
the success of “Beautiful Love” was no fluke. If
anything, it was only the beginning . . .
04—Editor’s Notes
05—yourCCM
Jon Foreman’s seasonal solo outings, plus, new music
from Fireflight, Jaci Velasquez, newcomer Laura Story
and more.
features
07—What Now!
46—Top Gear
32 Stellar Kart
Expect the impossible, and enter the colorful world of
Stellar Kart…
Children 18:3 enters the scene; Krystal Meyers is in the
studio; plus Hawk Nelson, Demon Hunter and much more.
16—Hit Lists
34 Fireflight
This month’s radio and retail charts
Rock outfit Fireflight had no idea its new album,
Unbreakable, would be so symbolic.
20—Trend Watch
The print version of CCM Magazine may be going away,
but its future online looks bright.
36 Edison Glass
The indie-rock of Edison Glass emerges once
again as the band continues on its
ever-innovative journey.
47—Tour Scrapbook
Winter Jam featuring MercyMe, Skillet,
BarlowGirl and more
48—Roots
Building 429’s Jason Roy and his wife are serious
about pouring into the lives of college students.
22—New Noise with Andrew Schwab
8
Jaymes Reunion, Advent, Number One Gun and more…
30—Sanctus Real
Energize your iPod… Plus, uploading video just got
easier.
On the heels of a new album, Sanctus Real’s
Matt Hammitt tells us why we need each other .
50—Final Word
The Fat is Gone
2/13/08
4:07 PM
Page 4
EDITOR’S NOTES
THE END OF AN ERA...
...THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER
As you may have already heard, CCM Magazine is gearing up for
some big changes in May—the likes of which I certainly never
expected to see, much less announce myself. You see, I’ve
been a loyal CCM reader since 1984 when I first subscribed.
(Any magazine cool enough to put Steve Taylor on the cover
was cool enough for me.) And I’ve witnessed a lot of changes
over the past 24 years, not just with the magazine, but the
entire music industry.
I remember the first time I examined a compact disc, a copy
of Taylor’s Meltdown. “Will these things really catch on?”
I wondered. “Do they really sound so good that fans will be
willing to forego ‘real’ album packaging?” (My questions were answered when I listened
to that recording of Meltdown.) Fifteen years later, I found myself asking the same sort
of questions. “Digital downloads will some day be more popular than CDs, and fans will
forego CD art and packaging altogether? You seriously believe that?” (And those questions
are being answered for me even as I write this.)
Call me “old school,” but I’m still a CD guy. And not just a CD guy, I’m a magazine
guy—as in printed magazines. Sure, I like to surf the Web just as much as the next music
fan, but I dig the magazine experience. It’s tangible…holding it, flipping through the
pages, taking it with me on the go. Like I said, maybe I’m old school.
The new school? You know the trend—especially among teens and 20-somethings.
Printed magazines have been getting harder and harder to promote to you guys. A
growing number of you have seen the power of the Web, and you want more
information and want it faster than can be delivered in a monthly printed magazine.
And the big news I would have never imagined? After 30 years as a print publication,
CCM Magazine is preparing to move online—as in, exclusively online. Sure, I know that’s
common with music/entertainment pubs these days, but we’re talking about the end of
an era here. I should know. This print publication has done more than serve as a potent
connection with my favorite artists and introduce me to new music, it was a key
influencer in the decisions that ultimately brought me to Nashville 16 years ago to
pursue a career in the music industry. (Sigh.)
The bottom line is, our ultimate goal with CCM is to honor God through good
stewardship—by serving you, the reader, well while being good stewards with our
parent company’s investment. To do so, we need to make this transition.
As a result, CCM Magazine will be discontinued in print form after the April issue. The
good news is CCM will continue its commitment to great writing and thorough coverage,
but all of that will come to you at warp speed via CCMMagazine.com. (Check out Page
21 to read a letter from our publisher, Jim Cumbee, and he will explain how your
subscription will be handled after the final issue is printed in April. I think you will be
pleased with your options.)
The CCM fan in me has had almost four weeks to process the news you’ve just started
to grasp. I know it’s a big deal, and I welcome your questions and feedback. Write me at
[email protected]
The adventure continues,
CCM MAGAZINE
Christ • Community • Music
volume 30 issue 8
Exploring redemptive music and the
culture it influences.
CCM Magazine is a publication of Salem Publishing,
a division of Salem Communications.
Publisher
Jim Cumbee
Associate Publisher
Rick Edwards
Editor
Jay Swartzendruber
Managing Editor
Lindsay Williams
Senior Art Director
Christi Riddell
Associate Art Directors
Martina Ahlbrandt, Jonathan Starr
Junior Designer Joshua Jamison
Contributing Editors
Andy Argyrakis, Christa A. Banister, Beau Black,
Louie Giglio, Caroline Lusk, Johnston Moore,
Andrew Schwab, Keith Troup, Chris Well
Contributors
Lizza Connor Bowen, Grace Cartwright, Ryan Clark,
Matt Conner, Paul Durham, Bart Elliott, Andree Farias,
Jonathan Isaac Harms, Rachel Harrold, David McCreary,
Brad Moist, Brian Quincy Newcomb, Melina Powell,
Dr. Tony Shore
Production & Operations Director
Ross E. Cluver
Fulfillment Manager
Jamie Kunzmann
Customer Service Representatives
Angela Banks, Natalie Delph, Amy Patton
Executive Director of Advertising
Jerry Charles 615/312-4244
Senior Director of Advertising
DeDe Donatelli-Tarrant 805/987-5072
Account Executive
Pat McAbee 770/237-5400
Account Executive
Gary Miller 970/203-0417
Advertising Traffic Manager
Carol Jones
Assistant Advertising Traffic Manager
Leah Totty
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Melissa Smart
Main Office
104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37205
615/386-3011 (ph)
615/386-3380 (business fax)
615/385-4112 (editorial fax)
615/386-3380 (advertising fax)
Customer Service
104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37205
800/527-5226 or
[email protected]
Cover photo: Esther Havens
Cover design: Christi Riddell
Jay Swartzendruber
[email protected]
NASDAQ SYMBOL: SALM
4 [ccmmagazine.com]
U
2/13/08
4:33 PM
Page 5
Christina Shoemaker, via email
FF5 FEEDBACK
I met the brothers from Family Force 5
a couple times. They are such great
guys, and I wanted to say “thank you”
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much
for putting them on the front cover of
CCM [January]. They truly deserve
anything like that they get! Back in
1995 when they were just “The
Brothers,” their song “Hide Me Away”
saved me from committing suicide.
They’re a very important part of my
life, and I’m grateful for them.
Christina Shoemaker, via email
I was shocked and disgusted to see
your last CCM cover on Family Force 5.
I grew up in the Christian rock era. My
favorite band then and still is
Resurrection Band. I was around when
Stryper came out with their make-up
and eye shadow. It was wrong then
and is now today… I am sorry if you
think I am old fashioned.
You probably have recieved
hundreds of emails of people in
disgust over this, and you probably
got many letters as well, and you are
not going to print them or read them.
You will only report what makes you
money and what your amoral fans
want to see.
John Maher, via CCMmagazine.com
Though I was pretty disappointed with
the results of the Readers’ Choice
Awards [January] (being as I am
not a fan of FF5), I was really excited
to see how many people voted
for tobyMac! He’s such an amazing
musician, and he is totally
talented. Other than Kutless (who, I
was very sad to see, didn’t get
many votes), tobyMac is surely my
favorite musician.
Beverly Beaudette, West Sand Lake, NY
As a recent fan and owner of Family
Force 5’s album, Business Up Front,
Party in the Back, I was very
disappointed in their feature article in
the January issue [“Diamond Days”].
The band stated that they were
being “persecuted” by the church
because “kooky people who still play
records backwards…looking for hidden
messages” were asking legitimate
questions about the message behind
their music.
First of all, the band blatantly ripped
the word “persecuted” out of context.
Persecution is when people are jailed,
beaten or even killed for their faith in
Christ. Clearly, FF5 has no concept of
the suffering of their fellow believers
around the world. Second, the church
not only has a right, but a duty, to call
all those on the carpet who claim to be
Christians but are in danger of
misrepresenting Christ to the world.
And third, it was very immature of the
band to refer to those well-meaning
and sincere people as “kooky.” It's
really too bad that they are as popular
and influential as they are since they
are clearly not role models I would want
to pattern my own life off of. Bottom
line, FF5 is really going to have to step
it up before I vote for them for any
award again!
Laura Storrs, Midland, MI
Why are groups being advertised in
your magazine that are not Christian
groups? For example, Family Force 5.
This is not a Christian band. None of
their lyrics have anything at all to do
[with] Christ. You can't just support
someone because they claim to be a
Christian… If that's the case, you need
to advertise Beyoncé in your magazine
as well. After all, she claims to be a
Christian, too. What makes her
different than Family Force 5?
Sandy Peters, via email
Upon receiving the latest issue of CCM,
I was initially frightened, next
disturbed, then finally saddened.
As a subscriber since the early ’80s,
I've seen my share of alternative
fashion covered in CCM over the years.
This ranged from the heavy metal
haberdashery of Stryper and the
cowlick coiffures of Steve Taylor, to
the custom “rock cowboy” boots of
Mylon Le Fevre and the space age
funky chic of Raze.
However, raising two Christian
teenagers in our household, it was
hard to picture myself explaining
what I was doing with your latest
issue [January], with a cover photo
featuring a scary-looking glam
individual who apparently goes by the
name “Nadaddy.”
My initial subscription to CCM in the
early ’80’s was to “replace” my
previous subscription to Rolling Stone,
which I had grown to dislike for two
reasons. First (and foremost), because
it didn’t coincide with my growing
cont. on Page 6
Family Force 5
[ccmmagazine.com] 5
yourCCM
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR
PUTTING [FAMILY FORCE 5] ON THE FRONT COVER OF CCM
[JANUARY]…THEY’RE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE, AND
I'M GRATEFUL FOR THEM.”
4:33 PM
Page 6
yourCCM
2/13/08
WHEN ARTISTS GET TO MEET YOU
[Stephanie Thomas, Huntington, WV &
STELLAR KART]
The Devil Wears Prada
cont. from Page 5
Christian faith, and second, because it
had turned into more of a fashion
magazine than a music magazine.
Whereas it may seem to a mid-40s
rocker for Christ that your coverage has
swung to more style over substance, I
sincerely hope that your coverage
continues to reach out to today’s youth
with the same relevance it did to me
back when I had a full head of hair.
(Perhaps it was Mr. Nadaddy’s ample
crop that I found so threatening!)
Thanks for being a torch for Christ
(and His music!) for nearly 30 years.
Bryon Holz, Brandon, FL
JUST 86 THE REVIEWS
I think you should just stop doing the
reviews because they're causing so
much uproar… I don't really like them
either. They never help me decide what
CD I want to buy or anything like that.
The only section of “In Review” that I
appreciate is the dates that the CDs
come out for that coming month. That
is very useful. But I encourage you to
throw out the reviews…or come to a
happy medium somewhere. ☺
Oh!Livia., via CCMmagazine.com
NOW THAT’S HARDCORE
I love how you featured The Devil
Wears Prada in your January issue
[“Fashion This”]. So many Christians
are turned off by The Devil Wears
Prada (and many other bands) because
hardcore music is “ungodly,” but you
pointed out that The Devil Wears Prada
is, in fact, God-centered. I hope to
continue to see more hardcore bands
(especially The Devil Wears Prada) in
future issues.
Chrissy Dumire, Perkasie, PA
6 [ccmmagazine.com]
I’d considered writing you with a
question similar to that of Nolan
Warren’s [“yourCCM,” January]. I know I'm
not the only one whose parents
disapprove of the music their kids listen
to. Though my favorite band is Kutless,
all my faves after that are in the vein of
Underoath, Inhale Exhale, August Burns
Red and the like.
My parents seem to think I listen to
hardcore chiefly because I would cut
myself and have quit only in the last few
months. They let me listen only because
“you’re 16 and old enough to make some
of your own decisions,” but they keep
hoping I’ll “mature and listen to real
music.” The irony of this is that it has
often been a screamo song that kept me
from hurting myself and even suicide a
few times.
The point is that the question of
whether we as Christians should write
and listen to hard music has been
troubling me greatly, only because I
love it so much.
And Nolan, if by some chance or
miracle they publish this and you're
reading it, thank you for writing CCM in
the first place and reminding me that
I’m not the only one with this problem.
Alia Huntington, Phoenix, AZ
Correction: The website for the EYE-FI
SD Card featured in last month’s “Top
Gear” is eye.fi.
WRITE US!
We welcome your comments.
Email: [email protected]
or address your letter to: Feedback,
CCM Magazine, 104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300,
Nashville, TN 37205; fax 615/385-4112, Attn:
Feedback. Always include your full name, address
and phone number. Letters may be edited for
length and clarity.
When I was asked to work the
merchandise table for the Stellar Kart
concert in Huntington, WV, I was ecstatic!
I had a blast selling a variety of Stellar
Kart items and talking with fellow fans.
Adam, Brian, Cody and Jordan gave an
awesome concert that evening; it was
great getting to worship God with them.
After the concert, I had the opportunity to
meet the guys when I helped pack their
merch away. It was cool getting to chat
with them…and capture a few pictures.
[Sarah Thompson and Meghan
Scholtens, Sialom Springs, AR &
JACKSON WATERS]
Well, the concert was awesome! The band
members were also very nice. Meghan’s
uncle was friends with the lead singer,
David. They went to college together
and played baseball together as well.
So, we got to talk to them a little bit
after the show. I will never forget it!
[Olivia Arnold, Sturgeon Bay, WI &
TOBYMAC]
[Eunice Chaidez, Oceanside, CA &
LEELAND]
This is a picture of Jennie, David and me
(Eunice) in the picture with the band
Leeland. We got to meet Leeland at a
concert in Oceanside, CA. They are totally
awesome and completely humble. They
are very down-to-earth, and it was
fun talking to them. The coolest part
was when my brother played a game
of Ping-Pong with lead singer Leeland
and actually won. Leeland rocks!
This picture is of tobyMac and I. He is
awesome! You will notice the outfit...
I love dressing up in Diverse City colors
for his shows. I've been to many, many
of his shows as well. (eight, I think
is the exact number), and he now
recognizes me from the outfit. It's
quite fun. He's super cool, too.
I mean, who didn't know that tobyMac
was cool?! Ha ha. He's very real, and that's
what I love and appreciate about him.
[Landon, Storm, Devin and Riley,
Yakima, WA & POCKET FULL OF ROCKS]
[Curtis and Erica Pelton, Grand Rapids,
MI & SUPERCHICK]
My wife Erica and I got to meet Superchick
after their show at Sunshine Community
Church in Grand Rapids, MI. They were
awesome to talk to, and when Tricia
noticed my Thousand Foot Krutch T-shirt
she informed us that she was dating
the guitarist in TFK. They were all
extremely friendly and easy to talk to.
Our teen worship band, FlashPoint, met
Michael and Alisa Farren from Pocket Full
of Rocks at the Christian Musician Summit
in Redmond, WA. Their worship set was
awesome. We appreciated Michael's class,
and we loved hanging out with them for a
while. What friendly, down-to-earth,
“happy to know ya” folks! We can't wait to
see them again soon!
Have you recently taken a picture with one of
your favorite artists at a concert, in-store
appearance, church event, or, hey, at the flea
market? If so, send us the photo and tell us who
you met, where you met ’em, and what it was
like. Email the photo and info to
[email protected] or use CCM’s
regular mailing address (Attn: Feedback).
2/13/08
4:28 PM
Page 7
8
HAWK NELSON GOES GREEN.
9
10
12
DEMON HUNTER’S STORY BEHIND
“CARRY ME DOWN”
KRYSTAL MEYERS IS IN THE STUDIO.
TYLER PERRY BEAMS UP
FOR STAR TREK.
WAY ABOVE THE NORM
Children 18:3 is leaving the farm far behind…
Nothing about Children 18:3 is average or boring—
except maybe the small farm town in Minnesota where
they live. No offense to their home town; I too hail from
a small Minnesota farm town, but I have never made
artistic, cutting-edge music or done things the way
Children 18:3 do.
These three Hostetter siblings are special.
They all 7
[ccmmagazine.com]
grew up playing music together—David (vocals/guitar),
Lee Marie (vocals/bass) and Seth (drums)—listening to
everything from Rancid and MxPx to Joy Electric and The
[ccmmagazine.com]
Beatles. When Jay Swartzendruber (editor
of this 7
2/13/08
4:29 PM
Page 8
WHAT NOW!
Ask Your
Favorite
Artist
<
illustrious publication) and I first
saw them perform, we both
looked at each other and smiled.
We knew we were seeing the
kind of natural artistic ability
and raw talent few bands
posses; this band is bursting
with energy and passion. I was
on the phone to my friend at
Tooth & Nail Records before the
sustain from the last chord of
the show faded, saying, “You’ve
got to hear this band!”
As you talk with them, you
realize their vision and integrity
are amazing, something very
rare in this genre. David, the
oldest of the three, is the main
songwriter. His knowledge of
the Bible and ability to quote
Scripture is the first thing that
stands out, and he manages to
intertwine that with his passion
for art and music. Yet, his lyrics
often have desperation as a
theme, which he explains
saying, “Happy, sappy lyrics just
don’t seem real to me. If people
really believed what they were
saying in songs, the world would
be a better place. I’m trying to
be real.”
After asking him what he
hopes fans will take away from
the shows and the music, he half
jokingly questions back with,
“That we’re cool?” I laugh, and
he clarifies what is most
important to them: “Trying to
figure out how to love thy Lord
your God with all your strength,
and then love your neighbor as
thyself; then you’ll probably
start to see the kingdom of God.
I think that needs to be a
relevant part of all that we do.”
Amen.
DR. TONY SHORE
8 [ccmmagazine.com]
4
[Jeremy Camp]
CCM reader Amanda Oliver
of Dripping Springs, Texas,
has three questions for
Jeremy Camp. Taking a
break from touring with
tobyMac and Matthew
West, Jeremy gladly took
time to answer Amanda’s
questions.
Amanda: What's your favorite book/story of the Bible?
Jeremy: That's very hard to choose, but I'd have to say my favorite book of the Bible is probably
Romans. Romans deals so comprehensively with the foundations of the Christian faith and lays
out what we, as believers, hold so dear to our hearts. It's in Romans that we learn from Paul who
we are; once we were sinners, now we are God's children (saints in the faith), in Christ. And truly
following Him leads us to real life.
Amanda : Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Jeremy: My biggest musical influence would be my dad. Growing up, I watched my dad play
so passionately, songs he would write to the Lord. These were awesome worship songs. For me
to see that passion in my dad gave me courage to live out my faith and my music.
Amanda : What do your tattoos mean to you?
Jeremy: My tattoos are very personal, and getting them is obviously not for everyone. For me
they represent a deep, written, artistic expression of my love for my Lord and Savior.
Different people express that in different ways, but these represent, in a small way, my
devotion to Jesus.
HAWK NELSON IS MY
“GREEN” FRIEND
We all know Hawk Nelson for their creative lyrics and
exciting presence on stage, but for their “Green T Tour”
this spring they’re bringing a different kind of hype to
their audience. The band will be promoting its new
album, Hawk Nelson Is My Friend (Tooth & Nail)—
releasing April 1—as well as the “going green” cause.
Each fan who purchases their ticket early will receive a
“Green T” T-shirt specially designed to encourage fans to
join this global effort. To learn more about the “Green T
Tour” head to hawknelson.com. MELINA POWELL
2/13/08
4:29 PM
Page 9
STORY BEHIND THE SONG:
“Carry Me Down” is about mortality. In the lyrics of this song,
I hypothetically fast forward to my own personal funeral. I
wrote the song with the intention of giving people a sense of
peace regarding mortality. In essence, it’s a letter to my
friends and loved ones, letting them know that my heart is
right with God, and they can take comfort in that. It’s also a
way to get some final thoughts on paper, something I feel
most people don’t get to do before they die. I’m not planning
on passing any time soon, but I thought it was an issue worth
covering now, regardless of my age.
Although it may seem depressing, it’s meant to give hope
and understanding. We received an email just the other day
from a fan who told us “Carry Me Down” really helped them
through the grieving process regarding a friend who had
recently passed. RYAN CLARK
[MY DAD] This is
my dad’s gravesite.
Man, do I miss him.
—Bart Millard
(lead vocals)
THINGS
T
with
MERCYME
WHAT EXACTLY
MAKES UP ALL THAT
IS WITHIN THEM?
[ROCKING CHAIRS] These
rocking chairs represent one of my
greatest memories in my marriage.
Before our kids, we used to spend
literally hours sitting on the front
porch in these chairs…that was
the life. —Mike Scheuchzer (guitars)
[TELESCOPE] Worship took on a different
meaning for me after purchasing a telescope.
The worship service usually starts around dusk,
continuing late into the wee hours of the night.
It’s the perfect hobby for the nocturnal musician.
God truly did make the heavens, and I get to
enjoy them every clear night.
—Barry Graul (guitars)
[PECAN TREE] This is the big pecan
tree in my front yard. It’s special
because we live in Texas, and there
aren’t many trees like this.
—Robby Shaffer (drums)
[RACE ROOM] If you
haven’t heard, I’m a
little bit of a race fan,
and this is my “race
room.” I’ve been
collecting race
memorabilia for 15
years and have been
given some amazing
things by drivers and
other awesome people
in the racing busines.
If I wasn’t in MercyMe,
my dream would be to
be in racing.
—Jim Bryson (keyboard)
[SWORD] Hands off,
kids. Ever since I was
a kid, I have loved
swords. Why, I am not
sure. It makes me feel
a bit silly to share
this with everyone,
but I value honesty. It
makes me think of
sacrifice, commitment
and responsibility.
—Nathan Cochran
(bass)
[BASEBALL HATS] I
love baseball! A couple
years ago, the band set
out to go to every major
league ballpark. The rule is
you can only buy a hat
once you have visited that
park. So far, I am about
halfway there.
—Bart Millard (lead vocals)
MercyMe’s latest project it called All That Is
Within Me (INO). Check out mercyme.org for
more photos, blogs, tour dates and more.
[ccmmagazine.com] 9
WHAT NOW!
DEMON HUNTER’S “CARRY ME DOWN”
Most people never get the chance to write a letter to
the ones they love before they die, revealing what
matters most. Demon Hunter’s lead singer, Ryan
Clark, on the other hand, penned his own epistle and
set it to music. The hard band’s hit single can be found
on its new record, Storm the Gates of Hell (Solid
State). Ryan recently gave us a glimpse into his
thoughts behind the song…
WHAT NOW!
2/13/08
4:30 PM
Page 10
4IN THE STUDIO
WITH KRYSTAL MEYERS
Going behind the scenes to get you ahead of the curve…
THE MUSIC:
“It’s like Shiny Toy Guns meets Rihanna, meets Kiley Minogue,
meets Gwen Stefani, meets The Sounds. The music on this
album is very pop. It’s a Studio 54, 1980s ‘throw back’ dance
record. There are dance songs, songs with a more urban feel,
moving ballads that groove and songs that are more rock.”
—Krystal Meyers
LYRICAL THEMES:
“Thematically, there’s honesty, love and depth, along with
some feel good dance songs. It’s a fun album!”—K.M.
THE COMPARISON:
“Dying for a Heart and this new record are very different. As
I’m getting older, my influences are continuing to change. I
don’t listen to as many hard bands as I used to. Granted, I still
love to rock out, but I want to make records that reflect who
I am at the time. This is a new season for me, but I’m still the
same Krystal. I hope everyone loves the new sound.”—K.M.
TBD
LABEL: Essential
RELEASE DATE: Late summer 2008
RECORDING STUDIOS: Dutchland in
Brentwood, Tenn.
PRODUCER: Double Dutch (Robert
Marvin and Josiah Bell)
NUMBER OF SONGS: 10
ALBUM TITLE:
ARTIST’S
CHOICE
(L to R): Mitchell Solarek (Maximum Artist Management), Robert Marvin
(producer, Double Dutch), Krystal Meyers, Josiah Bell (producer, Double Dutch)
and Jordyn Thomas, Director of A&R, Provident Label Group
NOISE MAKERS:
“My favorite song so far on this record is “Beautiful Tonight”
because the lyrics are very honest, the word imagery is very
intricate and the message is not often addressed through
music. There’s also a song I love called “Make Some Noise,”
which really helped set the pace of the album from a musical
standpoint. I’ve been able to perform “Make Some Noise” in
Hong Kong, and ABC used it during promotions for its hit
shows ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and
‘Extreme Home Makeover.’”—K.M.
This month independent pop sensation Christine Evans shares her favorite things about winter.
[FAVORITE THINGS
ABOUT WINTER]
3
5
2
4
1
1—Playing with my dog, Bear, in the snow
2—Drinking hot chocolate (marshmallows, please!) by the fire with a book
3—Watching blizzards (from inside, of course!)
4—Taking time off from school ☺
5—Hitting the slopes with my two brothers at Whistler, B.C. (except when they take me down the Double Black
Diamond Runs…)
10 [ccmmagazine.com]
2/13/08
4:30 PM
Page 11
Leigh Nash is reuniting with former bandmate Matt Slocum
and hitting the studio once again. After some recent
life-altering events in Nash’s life, Sixpence None the Richer
decided to rejuvenate the band’s music. They are currently
working on an EP that will be available soon and preparing
for a tour scheduled to begin in April. To read more, check
out myspace.com/leighnash. —M.P.
SKILLET
SIZZLES WITH NEW DRUMMER
Lori Peters, better known as “the coolest chick drummer” to Skillet fans, has
decided to leave the band to begin a “new chapter in her life.” Peters’ last
appearance with the band took place this past New Year’s Eve when the band met
for one last session. Another rockin’ chick, 19-year-old Jen Ledger, was recently
introduced as Peters’ replacement. To find out more about Skillet’s new drummer,
go to skillet.com. —M.P.
FAITH ON THE MOVE
TAKING THE MUSIC TO WHERE IT’S NEEDED MOST…
honor to play music for the children. We hope that
this becomes a trend, as we live in Music City, that
more artists will involve themselves in such a
sweet and life-giving opportunity.”
Founded in 1999, Musicians on Call (MOC) has
been opening doors for such opportunities for
musicians, volunteers and patients. The concept
is simple enough—provide music to patients.
But the methods are brilliant in their simplicity
and approachability.
First, MOC offers a bedside program. If a
patient is unable to leave their hospital bed, a
volunteer artist will literally perform a bedside
concert just for them. Imagine waking up to Jars of
Clay strumming away at your feet!
Next, they offer full CD pharmacies to
Jars of Clay performing; 4-year-old Robbie Novack, a patient at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,
hospitals. By providing libraries of albums and
enjoys the music of Jars of Clay at a recent event at the hospital. (Photos Courtesy of Zach Boehm)
stereos to play them on, Musicians on Call takes
What do John Mayer, Chris Young and Jars of Clay have in
one further step in bringing music to patients.
common? Well of course, they’re all musicians. But thanks
Finally, they provide an opportunity with software for a patient to record his
to a groundbreaking organization, they are officially
or her own music.
“Musicians on Call.” No, this doesn’t mean they’re ready
Perhaps the best part about MOC is that musicians don’t have to boast countless
to suit up for the next episode of “ER”…well…not quite.
accolades or awards to participate. In fact, local, unsigned artists are encouraged to
These are just a handful of musicians who have
contact MOC via their website and volunteer their time and talents.
donated their time, talents and compassion to bring the
When it all comes down to it, it’s hard to argue the healing power of music. And
healing power of music to the bedsides of patients around the country. And from
as John Mayer, a MOC volunteer himself, puts it, “It’s a great reminder of what
New York to Nashville, these musicians are seeing first-hand the power of song.
music was born to do.” CAROLINE LUSK
“Our time spent at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital [Nashville] was incredible,”
says Steve Mason of Jars of Clay. “Music has the power to heal, and it was our
Visit musiciansoncall.org for more information.
[ccmmagazine.com] 11
WHAT NOW!
SIXPENCE
NONE THE RICHER
MAKES A COMEBACK
2/13/08
4:31 PM
Page 12
SIGHTINGS
WHAT NOW!
[of Faith in Culture]
BY CHRIS WELL
WHERE NO MAN HAS
GONE BEFORE…AGAIN
Gospel playwright Tyler Perry (Madea's Family
Reunion) will appear in the new Star Trek film,
which revisits the early days of Kirk & Co. with
an all-new cast. Perry portrays the head of
Starfleet Academy. Directed by J.J. Abrams
(“Alias”), Star Trek beams down to theaters
Christmas Day 2008.
WHODUNIT?
If you’re tired of all the unnecessary
language/sex/violence in your mystery
fiction, Christian publisher Barbour has
launched Heartsong Mysteries! Book
Club just for you. The subscription
series features exclusive light-hearted
“whodunit” mysteries, with dashes of
faith, suspense and romance thrown
in. Subscribers receive four free
mysteries just for trying out the club.
Info at heartsongmysteries.com.
WHAT GOD CAN DO
New on DVD, The Secret Things of God explores the Judeo-Christian
counterpoint to the top-selling The Secret. Hosted by best-selling author,
psychologist and radio personality Dr. Henry Cloud, The Secret Things of
God discusses biblical passages that give direction for creating a successful
and fulfilling life, with supporting views from other spiritual leaders.
EVEN BETTER THAN
THE REAL THING
The eye-popping concert feature film U2 3D, shot during U2’s visit to
South America on the “Vertigo Tour,” has been playing in 3D
cinemas. The three-dimensional shoot took place over seven shows
in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina in February of last year.
In other news, U2’s Bono and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert
Gates met at the Pentagon in January to discuss Africa and the fight
against poverty. Among the topics discussed were plans to set up a
new U.S. military command for Africa.
DOUBLE-TAKE
WILLIE IN CHARGE
WILLIE AAMES AND WIFE MAYLO UPTON-AAMES HAVE WRITTEN A
HOLLYWOOD-INSIDER MEMOIR, GRACE IS ENOUGH (B&H). THE
BOOK RECALLS THEIR TROUBLED PASTS—A STORY FULL OF
HEARTACHE, PAIN AND REGRET—AND THE FAITH IN GOD AND
LOVE FOR EACH OTHER THAT BROUGHT THEM THROUGH.
12 [ccmmagazine.com]
Straight-to-DVD outfit The Asylum has made a name (of
sorts) with a series of knock-offs of high-profile
Hollywood movies, on shelves just a week prior to the
theatrical debut of the real deal. The company’s output
includes the likes of Snakes on a Train, The Da Vinci
Treasure and Transmorphers. In what some would
consider an odd twist, the company has also launched
a “faith film” division—where they now apparently
crank out knock-offs of Left Behind.
2/13/08
4:31 PM
Page 13
SIGHTINGS
[of Faith in Culture]
Thumbing through your Bible, it doesn’t take long to
find tales of true crime: murder, theft, blasphemy—all
sorts of stuff. As such, it’s no wonder that so many
artists of faith are…
Aw, who are we kidding? We saw a neat idea for a
list and went for it. Enjoy.
GOING TO THE CHAPEL
HITTING SHELVES IN MARCH IS CHRIST THE LORD: ROAD TO CANA (KNOPF), THE SECOND VOLUME IN ANNE
RICE'S SERIES ABOUT THE LIFE OF JESUS. THE NOVEL BEGINS DURING THE LAST WINTER BEFORE HIS
BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN AND CONCLUDES WITH THE MIRACLE AT THE WEDDING IN CANA. THE NOVEL IS A
RESULT OF STUDYING THE GOSPELS AND NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP. IN AUGUST, GOOD NEWS
1|LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (FLYLEAF)
Anyone who has seen the latest entry in the “Die Hard” series,
Live Free or Die Hard, got an earful of Flyleaf during the film's
opening action sequence. (Those are the rocking sounds of
the track “I’m So Sick,” from the band‘s self-titled debut.)
HOLDINGS SCRAPPED PLANS FOR A FILM BASED ON THE FIRST NOVEL, CHRIST THE LORD: OUT OF EGYPT.
KEEP ON WALKING
An all-new extended cut of Johnny Cash’s biopic Walk The Line
comes out on DVD March 25. The 2005 film, starring Joaquin
Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, won a bevy of awards,
including an Oscar for Witherspoon. The two-disc set includes 17
minutes of bonus footage, extended musical sequences,
director commentary, featurettes and more.
2|THE BOURNE IDENTITY (MOBY)
The action-packed Bourne Trilogy has taken spy movies
into the new millennium. All three films also close with
Moby’s hit “Extreme Ways” over the end-titles; the
energetic tempo, coupled with Moby's haunting voice,
makes a perfect theme.
3|“BIONIC WOMAN” (FIREFLIGHT)
Months before the record was even available, NBC snagged
the title track from Fireflight’s sophomore album,
Unbreakable (Flicker), to charge up their promos for “Bionic
Woman.” The band even shot a video for the song featuring
scenes from the show.
FREE FICTION ONLINE!
Details are still being hammered out, but my debut
redemptive crime thriller, Forgiving Solomon Long
(Harvest House), is going to be posted online soon so you
can read it—free! Named one of 2005’s 10 Best Christian
Novels by Booklist (American Library Association), this is
a chance for everyone to get in on the ground floor.
Watch for updates at studiowell.com.
4|“MONK” (ALICE COOPER)
When obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk is unable
to think clearly because of a garbage strike, he is temporarily
convinced that the murderer is none other than rocker Alice
Cooper. (Because, of course, Cooper is “the kind of hippie who
breaks into people’s offices, beats them up, and shoots them
in the head.”)
Chris Well is an award-winning writer, editor and
novelist. Keep up with the latest news of all things
Chris Well (well, some things) at studiowell.com
and shoutlife.com/chriswell.
[ccmmagazine.com] 13
WHAT NOW!
FIGHTING CRIME
2/13/08
4:32 PM
Page 14
MY CHRISTIAN MUSIC WEBSITES
WHAT NOW!
[CCMmagazine.com, CMCentral.com, ChristianMusicPlanet.com]
DIGITAL.
For ALL the news, features and info on all my favorite Christian artists
DON’T MISS A BEAT…JOIN US ONLINE!
Now, there are THREE places you can go to find out about the music you love:
CCMmagazine.com
Want the inside scoop on our cover story artist
this month? Head to CCMmagazine.com for
exclusive blogs from THE AFTERS.
Plus, enter for your chance to win a
copy of their new album, Never
Going Back to OK (INO/Columbia),
along with an autographed poster.
ChristianMusicPlanet.com
It’s that time of year again! GOSPEL MUSIC
ASSOCIATION WEEK will be here before you
know it, and CCMmagazine.com will be
there to give you an insider’s perspective
into the industry’s biggest week of the year!
Keep checking back for details on how you
can chat with some of your favorite artists
during GMA Week! Plus, log on to our new
blog for updates.
SPECIAL: Order before March
15 and receive the March and
April issues for only $4. Plus,
receive the CCM New Music
Collection, Vol. 1 FREE.
4
Check out the new blog at
CCMMAGAZINE.COM/BLOGS
to get up-to-the-minute
news and happenings.
CMCentral.com
We want to know what YOU
think! Post COMMENTS on
articles, reviews and blogs.
MUSIC MADNESS PHOTO CONTEST
The month of March is known for basketball’s March Madness. Since not
everyone is a basketball fan, we decided to change March to MUSIC
MADNESS instead. To celebrate, post pictures of your favorite
musician/band in the entertainment section of CCMmagazine.com.
ARTIST PROFILES and our
list of NEW RELEASES are
continually updated to keep
you in the loop on all your
favorite artists.
Visit our FORUMS at
CCMmagazine.com, and
tell us what you’d like to
see on our websites.
THEFINALWORD.TV INTERVIEWS
MITCH MCVICKER
Look for features and interviews
with RUSH OF FOOLS, LAURA STORY,
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN, ADDISON ROAD
and ESTERLYN throughout the
month of March. Plus, look for new
album reviews posted weekly.
SIGN UP!
Don’t miss a beat! To keep up with the latest news
and happenings online, sign up to receive our
FREE newsletters. Log on to CCMmagazine.com,
CMCentral.com and ChristianMusicPlanet.com.
Sign up for all three today.
14 [ccmmagazine.com]
You voted. We listened. The winners of the
CMP FAN AWARDS have been announced.
Head on over to ChristianMusicPlanet.com
to see how many of your favorites artists
landed on top.
ChristianMusicPlanet.com teams up with
TheFinalWord.TV for an exclusive video
interview with artist MITCH MCVICKER.
McVicker shares candidly about his friendship
with the late Rich Mullins, the accident that
took Rich’s life (and nearly claimed his own)
and McVicker’s challenging road to recovery.
FAQ
Have a question about your subscription to the print
version of CCM Magazine? Visit CCMmagazine.com/blogs
for more info, and remember to check back frequently as
CCMmagazine.com will be the new place to find all of the
things you love about the print magazine…and more!
COME BE OUR FRIEND
MySpace.com/CCMmagazine
MySpace.com/ChristianMusicPlanetmagazine
2/13/08
4:14 PM
Page 16
>
[CHARTING THE TOP ALBUMS AND SONGS]
>
HIT LISTS
TOP ROCK/ALTERNATIVE ALBUMS
THE TOP-SELLING CHRISTIAN ALBUMS
ACCORDING TO NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN
TW WO
ARTIST—Album (Label) )
1 120
FLYLEAF—Flyleaf - Special Limited
Edition (Octone/S-R-E)
2
TOP CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL ALBUMS OVERALL
TW LW WO
ARTIST—Album (Label) )
1 1 6
KIRK FRANKLIN—The Fight of My Life
(Fo Yo Soul/Gospo Centric/Zomba)
2
2 129
NATALIE GRANT—Awaken (Curb)
3
5
10
MERCYME—All That is Within Me (INO)
4
4
22
CASTING CROWNS—The Altar and The Door
5
3 120
FLYLEAF—Flyleaf - Special Limited Edition (Octone/S-R-E)
6
8
30
MARVIN SAPP—Thirsty (Verity)
7
6
17
VARIOUS—WOW Hits 2008 (Sparrow)
8
--
1
JON FOREMAN—Winter (Credential)
9
9
70
CHRIS TOMLIN—See The Morning (sixsteps)
10 7
17
SONGS 4 WORSHIP—Songs 4 Worship Country (Integrity)
11 10
2
MATTHEW WEST—Something to Say (Sparrow)
(Beach Street)
12 12 22
POINT OF GRACE—How You Live (Word)
13 33 14
GAITHER VOCAL BAND AND ERNIE HAASE—Together (Gaither Music Co)
14 11 69
SKILLET—Comatose (Ardent/S-R-E/Lava/Atlantic)
15 14 18
SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY—Jesus (Universal)
16 13 49
TOBYMAC—Portable Sounds - Deluxe Edition (ForeFront)
17 15 21
ISRAEL & NEW BREED—A Deeper Level (Integrity)
18 17 18
DAVID CROWDER BAND—Remedy (sixsteps)
19 22 14
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN—This Moment (Sparrow)
20 18 86
RED—End of Silence (Essential)
21 19 100
ALAN JACKSON—Precious Memories (RCA/Arista Nashville)
22 20 126
CASTING CROWNS—Lifesong (Beach Street)
23 —
BISHOP PAUL MORTON—Embracing the Next Generation (Light)
1
24 24 136
CASTING CROWNS—Casting Crowns (Beach Street)
25 23 19
IWORSHIP—iWorship 24:7 (Integrity)
26 28 27
BARLOWGIRL—How Can We Be Silent (Fervent)
27 30 69
VARIOUS—WOW Hits 2007 (Sparrow)
28 37 91
MERCYME—Coming Up To Breathe (INO)
29 42 136
MERCYME—Almost There (INO)
30 26 26
MANDISA—True Beauty (Sparrow)
TIE 27 93
MAT KEARNEY—Nothing Left to Lose (Aware/Columbia/Inpop)
TIE 34 136
CHRIS TOMLIN—Arriving (sixsteps)
33 16 15
JOSH GROBAN—Noel (Word)
34 38 136
VARIOUS—O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Lost Highway)
35 43 38
RUSH OF FOOLS—Rush of Fools (Midas)
36 48 42
THE CLARK SISTERS—Live One Last Time (EMI Gospel)
37 29 19
TRIN-I-TEE 5:7—T57 (Universal)
38 30 47
ELVIS PRESLEY—Elvis: Ultimate Gospel (BMG/Provident)
39 36 12
DEMON HUNTER—Storm The Gates of Hell (Solid State)
40 —
PASSION—Passion: God of This City (sixsteps)
1
Third Day is going
to rock into the
spring season along
with Sanctus Real
and DecembeRadio
on their 2008
spring tour.
Matthew West‘s
new companion
documentary,
Nothing To Say, is
available now
exclusively at
Family Christian
Stores.
1
JON FOREMAN—Winter (Credential)
3 69
SKILLET—Comatose (Ardent/S-R-E/Lava/Atlantic)
4 50
TOBYMAC—Portable Sounds - Deluxe Edition (ForeFront)
5
86
RED—End of Silence (Essential)
6
27
BARLOWGIRL—How Can We Be Silent (Fervent)
7
12
DEMON HUNTER—Storm The Gates of Hell (Solid State)
8
25
THIRD DAY—Chronology, Vol. 2 2001-2006 (Essential)
9
19
THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH—The Flame in All of Us (Tooth & Nail)
10 43
THE ALMOST—Southern Weather (Tooth & Nail/Virgin)
11 76
LEELAND—Sound of Melodies (Essential)
12 152
KUTLESS—Strong Tower - Deluxe Edition (BEC)
13 57
LIFEHOUSE—No Name Face (Dreamworks)
14 22
NEEDTOBREATHE—The Heat (Atlantic/Word)
15 96
FAMILY FORCE 5—Business Up Front, Party in the Back (Gotee)
16 48
RELIENT K—Five Score and Seven Years Ago (Capitol/Gotee)
17 255
CHEVELLE—Wonder What’s Next (Sony/Epic)
18 32
AUGUST BURNS RED—Messengers (Solid State)
19 39
BUILDING 429—Iris to Iris (Word)
20
JON FOREMAN—Fall and Winter (Credential)
2
TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS
TW WO
ARTIST—Album (Label) )
1 77
LECRAE—After the Music Stops
(Cross Movement)
Thy Kingdom Come
is the new album
by the profound
gospel singer
CeCe Winans,
releasing in April.
2 136
TOBYMAC—Welcome to Diverse City (ForeFront)
3
62
PATTI LABELLE—The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle (Bungalo)
4
31
DA’ T.R.U.T.H.—Open Book (Cross Movement)
5
13
BEBE WINANS—Cherch (KOCH)
6
6
J.R.—Life By Stereo (Cross Movement)
7
43
KJ-52—The Yearbook (BEC)
8
32
116 CLIQUE—13 Letters (Reach)
9 125
CECE WINANS—Purified (Pure Springs Gospel/INO)
10 19
T-BONE—Bone-Appetit (Flicker)
11 69
VARIOUS—Body + Soul Gospel (Time Life)
TIE 35
ONITSHA—Church Girl (Universal)
TIE 23
GRITS—Greatest Hits (Gotee)
14 13
PHANATIK—Crime & Consequences (Cross Movement)
15 23
VARIOUS—Hip Hope 2008 (Gotee)
16 46
SHIRLEY MURDOCK—Soulfood (Tyscot)
17 128
LECRAE—Real Talk (Cross Movement)
TIE 43
FLAME—Our World: Fallen (Cross Movement)
TIE 35
THE CROSS MOVEMENT—HIStory: Our Place in His Story (Cross Movement)
20 29
SUNNY HAWKINS—More of You (Universal)
Each chart reflects Christian and general market combined album sales for the week ending January 27, 2008.
All charts © 2008 by Nielsen SoundScan (a division of VNU Marketing Information) and Christian Music Trade
Association. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.
*
Hit Lists cont. on Page 18
16 [ccmmagazine.com]
2/15/08
1:04 PM
Page 18
Hit Lists cont. from Page 16
TOP ADULT CONTEMPORARY/POP ALBUMS
TOP PRAISE & WORSHIP ALBUMS
TW WO
TW WO
ARTIST—Album (Label) )
1 68
CHRIS TOMLIN—See the Morning (sixsteps)
>
ARTIST—Album (Label) )
NATALIE GRANT—Awaken (Curb)
HIT LISTS
1 149
2
10
MERCYME—All That is Within Me (INO)
3
23
CASTING CROWNS—The Altar and The Door
4
18
VARIOUS—WOW Hits 2008 (Sparrow)
5
2
MATTHEW WEST—Something to Say (Sparrow)
6
22
POINT OF GRACE—How You Live (Word)
7
14
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN—This Moment (Sparrow)
8 127
CASTING CROWNS—Lifesong (Beach Street)
(Beach Street)
After three No.1 hit
radio singles, Chris
Tomlin‘s See the
Morning was
certified gold,
giving the artist his
second consecutive
gold album.
2
17
SONGS 4 WORSHIP—Songs 4 Worship Country (Integrity)
3
19
DAVID CROWDER BAND—Remedy (sixsteps)
4
19
IWORSHIP—iWorship 24:7 (Integrity)
5 175
CHRIS TOMLIN—Arriving (sixsteps)
6
1
PASSION—Passion: God of This City (sixsteps)
7
21
HILLSONG—Saviour King (Integrity)
8
37
HILLSONG UNITED—All of the Above (Integrity)
9 226
CASTING CROWNS—Casting Crowns (Beach Street)
9 118
10 69
VARIOUS—WOW Hits 2007 (Sparrow)
10 333
MICHAEL W. SMITH—Worship (Reunion)
11 91
MERCYME—Coming Up to Breathe (INO)
11 95
VARIOUS—WOW Worship: Aqua (Provident)
12 153
MERCYME—Almost There (INO)
12 73
HILLSONG—Mighty to Save (Integrity)
13 27
MANDISA—True Beauty (Sparrow)
13 47
VARIOUS—Beautiful Worship (INO)
14 93
MAT KEARNEY—Nothing Left to Lose (Aware/Columbia/Inpop)
14 95
UNITED—United We Stand (Integrity)
15 15
JOSH GROBAN—Noel (Word)
15 48
VARIOUS—51 Must Have Modern Worship Hits (Integrity)
16 38
RUSH OF FOOLS—Rush of Fools (Midas)
16 99
VARIOUS—Best Worship Songs Ever! (Worship Together)
17 10
NEWSBOYS—Greatest Hits (Sparrow)
17 64
VARIOUS—iWorship Platinum (Integrity)
18 33
JON MCLAUGHLIN—Indiana (Island/EMI)
18 14
DEITRICK HADDON/ VOICES OF UNITY—Together in Worship (Tyscot)
19 17
AMY GRANT—Greatest Hits
19 47
VARIOUS—Glory Revealed (Reunion)
20 14
SARA GROVES—Tell Me What You Know (INO)
20 64
LINCOLN BREWSTER—Let the Praises Ring (Integrity)
(Sparrow)
VARIOUS—Open the Eyes of My Heart (INO)
Each chart reflects Christian and general market combined album sales for the week ending January 27, 2008. All charts © 2008 by Nielsen SoundScan (a division of VNU Marketing Information) and Christian Music Trade Association. All rights reserved.
*No
reproduction without permission.
THE TOP SONGS ON CHRISTIAN RADIO ACCORDING TO
TOP ADULT CONTEMPORARY/POP SONGS
TOP CONTEMPORARY HIT SONGS
TOP ROCK SONGS
ARTIST—Song—Album (Label) )
ARTIST—Song—Album (Label) )
MERCYME—God With Us—
1
1
All That is Within Me (INO)
2
CHRIS TOMLIN—Amazing Grace (My Chains are
Gone)—See the Morning (sixsteps/EMI)
3
MATTHEW WEST—You Are Everything—
4
5
Something to Say (Sparrow/EMI)
CASTING CROWNS—East to West—The Altar and the
Door (Beach Street/Reunion/PLG)
NEWSBOYS—In Wonder—Go (Inpop)
6
NATALIE GRANT—In Better Hands—Relentless (Curb)
7
RUSH OF FOOLS—When Our Hearts Sing—
8
JEREMY CAMP—Let It Fade—Beyond Measure (BEC)
9
FEE—All Because of Jesus—We Shine (INO)
10
AARON SHUST—Give Me Words to Speak—
Rush of Fools (Midas)
Whispered and Shouted (Brash)
2
3
4
SANCTUS REAL—We Need Each
Other—We Need Each Other (Sparrow/EMI)
THE AFTERS—Never Going Back to OK—
1
For the Love of the Game (Provident)
2
3
FIREFLIGHT—Unbreakable—Unbreakable (Flicker)
4
THE AFTERS—Never Going Back to OK—
5
THE ALMOST—Southern Weather—Southern
(OMG Records)
ROBBIE SEAY BAND—Song of Hope (Heaven Come
Down)—Give Yourself Away (Sparrow/EMI)
5
CASTING CROWNS—East to West—The Altar and the
6
MAINSTAY—Believe—Become Who You Are (BEC)
Door (Beach Street/Reunion/PLG)
DEMON HUNTER—Carry Me Down—
Storm the Gates of Hell (Tooth & Nail)
Never Going Back to OK (INO)
CHASEN—Crazy Beautiful—Shine Through The Stars
PILLAR—For the Love of the Game—
Never Going Back to OK (INO)
Weather (Tooth & Nail)
6
THE FOLD—Medicine—Secrets Keep You Sick (Tooth & Nail)
7
IVORYLINE—Be Still and Breathe—Then Came a Lion
8
SKILLET—Live Free or Let Me Die—Comatose
7
FALLING UP—Hotel Aquarium—Captiva (BEC)
8
DAVID CROWDER BAND—Everything Glorious—
9
STORYSIDE:B—Be Still—We Are Not Alone (Gotee)
9
MXPX—Angels—Secret Weapon (Tooth & Nail)
10
EVERYDAY SUNDAY—Let’s Go Back—
10
DIZMAS—Shake It Off—Tension
11
PROJECT 86—Illuminate—Rival Factions (Tooth & Nail)
12
EDISON GLASS—Let Go—Time is Fiction (Credential)
13
A DREAM TOO LATE—Intermission to the Moon—
Remedy (sixsteps/EMI)
Wake Up! Wake Up! (Inpop)
(Tooth & Nail)
(Ardent/INO)
(Credential)
11
MONK & NEAGLE—The Twenty-First Time—
The Twenty-First Time (Reunion/PLG)
11
RUTH—You Are—Secondhand Dreaming (Tooth & Nail)
12
BUILDING 429—You Carried Me—Iris to Iris (Word-Curb)
12
SWITCHFOOT—Head Over Heels (In This Life)—
13
POINT OF GRACE—How You Live (Turn Up The Music)
—How You Live (Word-Curb)
13
STEPHANIE SMITH—Not Afraid—Not Afraid (Gotee)
14
BRITT NICOLE—Set the World on Fire—Say It (Sparrow/EMI)
14
SKILLET—The Older I Get—Comatose (Ardent/INO)
14
HAWK NELSON—Friend Like That—Hawk Nelson is
15
TOBYMAC—I’m For You—Portable Sounds (ForeFront/EMI)
15
BARLOWGIRL—I Believe In Love—How Can We Be
15
CHASING VICTORY—Wolves—Fiends (Mono vs. Stereo)
16
DAVID CROWDER BAND—Everything Glorious—
16
A ROTTERDAM NOVEMBER—City Without a Heart—
16
JEREMY CAMP—No Matter What It Takes—
17
CHILDREN 18:3—You Know We’re All So Fond of
Dying—Children 18:3 (Tooth & Nail)
18
EMERY—World Away—I’m Only A Man (Tooth &
19
FAMILY FORCE 5—Never Let Me Go—Business Up Front,
20
SECRET AND WHISPER—Vanishings—Great White
17
18
19
20
Remedy (sixsteps/EMI)
WAVORLY—Praise and Adore—Conquering the Fear of
Flight (Flicker)
BRANDON HEATH—Don’t Get Comfortable—
Don’t Get Comfortable (Reunion/PLG)
ROBBIE SEAY BAND—Song of Hope (Heaven Come
Down)—Give Yourself Away (Sparrow/EMI)
CAEDMON’S CALL—There is a Reason—Overdressed (INO)
Oh! Gravity. (Sparrow/EMI)
Silent (Fervent/Word-Curb)
Beyond Measure (BEC)
17
HAWK NELSON—Friend Like That—Hawk Nelson is
18
SEVENGLORY—Let It Be Love—Atmosphere (7Spin)
19
20
My Friend (Tooth & Nail)
THE ALMOST—Say This Sooner—Southern
Weather (Tooth & Nail)
ADDISON ROAD—All That Matters—All That Matters (INO)
Each chart reflects Christian radio airplay for the week ending January 28, 2008 as tabulated by Christian Radio & Retail Weekly. © 2008 CRW. All rights reserved. christianradioweekly.com
*
18 [ccmmagazine.com]
Intermission to the Moon (Tooth & Nail)
My Friend (Tooth & Nail)
A Rotterdam November (independent)
Nail)
Party in the Back (Gotee)
Whale (Tooth & Nail)
2/13/08
4:26 PM
Page 20
}
TREND WATCH
[TUNING INTO THE FUTURE] By Beau Black
WHERE DID MY CCM MAGAZINE GO?
The print version of CCM Magazine may be going away, but its future online looks bright.
Since you’re holding in your hands the second to last physical issue of CCM, this
go-round, we’re exploring the timely subject of magazines going online. We’ll
join a growing list of publications—other music mags, Christian mags and
just about everything else—that are moving off the page and onto your
computer screen.
First, a confession: I love magazines. I subscribe to, well, too many of them to
keep up with—travel, music and entertainment, news, Wired and, of course, CCM.
The portability, readability, accessibility and visual
appeal of a print publication have made that the
medium of choice for many. But publishing online has
its own considerable list of advantages: it can be
easily, instantly updated or corrected, offers freedom
from length restrictions, and incorporates other
mediums (links, files, video, etc.) in ways that a
page can’t match.
For this CSI: CCM project, we turn to Jackie
Marushka, publicity queen (actual title: VP Public
Relations) for Provident Music Group. She’s been
getting press for Third Day, Smitty, Jars, et al, for the
last eight years.
She says the biggest motivator behind this
transition is timeliness: “I see the consumer wanting
real-time info—whether it’s coverage of news or
entertainment or what their favorite celebrity is doing
at the moment. Life moves quickly, and print
publications are not able to keep up. I log on every
morning and get my news and weather, which is
updated over something that was written last night,”
as the morning paper was.
There’s also, Marushka says, the “early adopter” appeal of being first on the
scene with new info—or a new song.
“Younger readers want to access information first. If you’re first to hear about
something, there’s a little bit of a cool factor in coming across new music or a
film or a news story that’s just breaking.”
Money is another big factor: it costs a lot to layout, print and distribute
publications. “Advertising dollars aren’t as attainable as they have been,” she
says. “Businesses are being more selective, looking online and elsewhere they
can match where their consumers are.”
For her artists and others, the move online opens up new opportunities to
connect with fans, a development we’ve covered here before. Beyond just the
traditional Q&A, interview-based feature or review, the web “allows the artist to
get creative with video, audio, blogs, etc.” One of her acts, progressive rock band
Leeland, will grab a video camera and take fans on a virtual walk backstage.
Another, Third Day, has a huge online community where
fans can connect with others, plan to gather at the
band’s shows and relate over the message boards. In
sum, the options available online can help move a
consumer or buyer into a fan, Marushka says.
Though many publications (notably this one and
Paste) help the reader discover new music by including
sampler CDs, the discovery process is much easier on
the Web—and easily married with an online feature.
“Music sells music,” says Marushka. “I rarely will buy an
album without hearing it or having it recommended to
me by a friend I trust.” There’s that community thing
again. And it’s a whole lot easier to be a tastemaker in a
paper and plastic-free medium.
“Business is changing across the board; the economy
is not in the greatest shape,” she says. “We’re all having
to be thoughtful about where we spend our money. The
shift from print to online is what’s going to happen in
the future in a lot of areas because of the cost savings.”
—Jackie Marushka My money says print publications will be around for a
long time, but certainly technology and economics have
irrevocably changed magazine publishing, just as they
have the music business.
“CCM, in print, has such a history and a legacy that’s going to be missed,”
concludes Marushka. “But it has an opportunity to meet new readers online and
introduce more artists to a bigger group of people.”
Amen to that. And here’s to many more years of your favorite Christian music
magazine in cyberspace.
CCM, IN PRINT, HAS
SUCH A HISTORY AND A
LEGACY THAT’S GOING TO
BE MISSED, BUT IT HAS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO MEET
NEW READERS ONLINE
AND INTRODUCE MORE
ARTISTS TO A BIGGER
GROUP OF PEOPLE.”
Beau Black teaches English for Weatherford College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University near his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He has written about the Christian music
industry for more than a decade.
20 [ccmmagazine.com]
2/12/08
4:27 PM
Page 21
Dear CCM Magazine Subscriber:
For almost 30 years, CCM Magazine has
been the preeminent voice of the Christia
n music scene.
Our readers have been remarkably loya
l through many changes in contemporar
y Christian music,
from the birth of the genre in the mid
-’70s to segmentation in the late ’90s to
include everything
from heavy metal to glorious praise. In
recent years, contemporary Christian mus
ic has taken on
an even broader definition by going into
mainstream venues and, in some cases,
even performed
by mainstream artists. But whatever the
form, whoever performs it, or wherever
it is performed, the
purpose of CCM Magazine has been, and
will continue to be, to highlight contemp
orary Christian
music and the artists who create it.
As you read in Jay’s Editor’s letter (pag
e 4) the printed version of CCM Magazin
e will end after
the April issue. You have several choices
to redeem the value of any issues remainin
g on your paid
subscription. Just log onto www.CCMM
agazine.com/offer and enter your nam
e, address and
subscriber number, which is on the mail
ing label on the front cover of this mag
azine. When you
do that, your options will be immedia
tely available, including a choice of othe
r magazines, free
music downloads from our digital mus
ic store or a prorated cash refund.
While the magazine comes to an end in
printed form, through www.CCMMagaz
ine.com you can
stay connected with fresh information
on new music, artist schedules, concert
and album reviews,
and features on the comings and goings
of your favorite artists. Our best days are
ahead, and our
prayer is that all we do brings honor to
Him whose music we enjoy every day.
In His name and to His glory,
Jim Cumbee
Publisher
2/13/08
4:18 PM
Page 22
5
[HUNTING FOR THE SPIRITUALLY SOUND AND GOOD]
FLASHLIGHT
JAYMES REUNION
5
NEW NOISE WITH ANDREW SCHWAB
[A CLOSER LOOK]
The revolving collaborative that is the Jaymes Reunion is fronted by Cameron
Jaymes, a prolific songwriter from Southern California. Rather than approach this
project as a solo endeavor (even though he is the songwriter, front man and
lyricist), he functions as more of a big band leader, enlisting the services of a rather
large pool of revolving musicians. At first listen, the sound is somewhere between
Ben Folds and The Killers, though in actuality, the influence is far more broad.
Cameron Jaymes reflects about his goals and vision: “When it comes to music,
my goal is to write about things that people really feel, things that people from all
walks of life can relate to. There are so many things that can be said through music,
and it is an incredible opportunity to be able to connect with people through one
of their favorite avenues—music. I am just trying to keep the music positive and
keep my integrity on both a personal and musical level.”
Admittedly, Jaymes has taken a more subtle approach to presenting his beliefs
and will use his creative and unique approach to breach the general market. Expect
great things, for even with this small taste of what is to come, this promises to be
huge. The debut LP is coming late spring via BEC. Find out more at
myspace.com/jaymesreunion.
22 [ccmmagazine.com]
MIKE KELLY
Best-kept secret Mike Kelly
possesses the classic elements
of a future great singer/
songwriter—insightful lyrics,
memorable songwriting and a
bellowing voice that conjures
up imagery. Hailing from Tulsa,
Okla., his songs speak of failure
and redemption in everyday life as a midwestern man. While he is still without
label backing, you can get a taste of his magic before the masses get ahold of
him (which they are most likely to do). Check out his music and find the latest
news and dates at myspace.com/mikekelly.
2/13/08
4:19 PM
Page 23
NUMBER
ONE GUN
Jeff Schneweiss, front man and
mastermind behind Number
One Gun, has reinvented his
band after a considerable
hiatus, during which time he
has been producing other
projects. This power-pop outfit,
which has a respectable history for delivering catchy tunes and tight song
structures, is back with its brand-new record, The North Pole Project (Tooth &
Nail). Not to take anything away from older material, but Schneweiss seems to
have found himself during The Gun’s hibernation, as nothing released
previously has this much vocal dynamic. Sometimes taking a break can clear
your head, and in this case, that is a law rather than a theory. Preview these
new tracks online via the band’s MySpace, and purchase the new album as
well: myspace.com/numberonegun.
HERE I COME
FALLING
A screamo outfit with death
metal screams? Yes, and
unabashed about their faith,
as well. The band’s MySpace
says (in bold) “Jesus Loves
You,” and just as I read this,
some kind of primordial, less-than-human growl escapes my computer
speakers. This is about as extreme as it gets, the caricature of the screamo
genre, which many say is the only place left for it to go. Monstrous power-pop
melodies—which could easily fit in My Chemical Romance songs—break in
unexpectedly, but as soon as they appear they disappear into the
aforementioned death-metal growls. This is nothing if not pure
entertainment, with more twists and turns than a Tom Clancy novel. The
band’s new album, Oh Death, Where is Thy Victory, is out now on Rise Records.
myspace.com/hicf
BRIGHTEN
With nearly 3 million plays on
its MySpace page and over
50,000 friends, Brighten has
the base that most free
agents only dream of. They
have toured with Hawthorne
Heights, Eisley and Cute is
What We Aim For. A series of
unique legal scenarios has put the band in a great position with a huge fan
base, and now the band is searching for a new label home. Its brand of indie
rock is classic in nature, with more emo influence than the current
incarnation of power-pop. Some songs are acoustic, while others are more
ambient pop with song structures and melodies worthy of a major label
release. Though Chico, Calif., is not necessarily known for its music scene,
Brighten surely does put the town on the musical map. Expect them to get
out from under the radar any moment with a new label home. You can find
out how to purchase the new LP, King vs. Queen, as well as the band’s EP,
Ready When You Are, at myspace.com/wearebrighten.
ADVENT
Many in heavy music
still lament the dissolution
of underground champions
Beloved, a post-hardcore
outfit form North Carolina
which graced us up to their
untimely departure in 2005.
One reason for the band’s
breakup was a new project by some of the members called Advent.
This band is a bare-knuckled brawl of an outfit, and what they lack
in subtle approach they make up for in all-out tenacity. This is hardcore tough
as a saber-toothed tiger, in the vein of bands like Hatbreed and Throwdown,
though a bit less “caveman” in approach. The debut album, Remove the Earth,
is now available through Solid State Records. myspace.com/adventnc
Andrew Schwab is the lead vocalist and lyricist for the band Project 86. He is also the author of
three books, as well as an independent journalist. Visit him online at andrewschwab.com and
project86.com.
[ccmmagazine.com] 23
2/14/08
3:15 PM
Page 24
2/14/08
3:16 PM
Page 25
FAR FROM OK
By Lindsay Williams
The new album from The Afters serves as proof that the success of
“Beautiful Love” was no fluke. If anything, it was only the beginning…
The Afters are funny…really funny.
Just ask them what they’ve learned since the release of their successful debut, I Wish
We All Could Win (INO/Columbia).
“Long division,” vocalist/guitarist Brad Wigg replies.
To which lead singer Josh Havens asks with a straight face, “Have you really?”
“Well, I’ve been working on the Rubix Cube,” adds vocalist/guitarist Matt
Fuqua. “I’m starting to comprehend it. How the colored sides are fixed, you
can’t change them…”
In all seriousness, Josh rebounds, “I think we have learned a lot about our
chemistry… We have really learned how to be gracious to each other. We’re
like a family now. We love each other like brothers… I think that we’ve also
learned that we are not a band that writes music on the road very well… We
wrote our album during times that we had blocked off to be off the road… I
think we [refined] our sound, too.”
“We have honed our skills on Call of Duty [WWII video game],”
Matt interjects.
Okay, enough of that serious stuff…
Drummer Marc Dodd adds, “Every tour that we’re a part of, we at least
recruit one member from each band to get hooked on it.”
“It’s nice to unwind shooting each other,” says Brad.
This kind of unconventional humor mixed with the prolific is exactly what
you get with The Afters—the perfect blend of candor and genuineness. You
can’t go five minutes with them without laughter…or coffee.
2/14/08
3:16 PM
Page 26
And speaking of
coffee, the origin of
this band takes us back
to a Starbucks in
Mesquite, Texas, where
Josh and Matt started
singing drink orders for
extra tips. “People
started asking, ‘You
guys really sound great
together. Where can
we [go to] a show?’ We
really hadn’t thought
about it,” says Josh.
Hmmm… They would
go on to score the
theme song for “8th &
Ocean” (MTV’s popular
reality series), and
they hadn’t even
thought about it.
Go figure.
Brad was actually a
missionary at the
time. When he started
working at the same
Starbucks, he was
recruited. Marc just
happened to work
there, too. “It’s a
requirement for this
band,” quips Brad.
And while a common
love
for
coffee,
immense talent and creativity were not a problem, the band name took a bit more
time to evolve. The original name? Screaming Mimes. Josh provides a disclaimer:
“The whole concept was living out your faith… We were young, and Screaming
Mimes sounded really cool to us at the time.”
The band later changed its name to Blisse and began developing its local
following in Dallas. After discovering numerous other bands that held some form
of this name, another search ensued, finally leading them to The Afters—an
English term. “It stands for something that takes place after a formal get together
or extravagant banquet,” Josh explains. “If you can’t afford to get all dressed up
to go to the formal event, then they have the afters. Everyone’s invited; it’s not
exclusive. Just come as you are. We liked the idea of that.”
The title is fitting considering how they perceive their platform. “From the very
beginning, we just wanted to play for anyone who would listen and because of
that, we had a very diverse following,” says Josh. “We hope to continue that as we
move into the next record and be able to have music that hopefully builds up and
edifies believers but then also is successful with people outside the church.”
One listen to their brand-new album, Never Going Back to OK (INO/Columbia),
and this vision becomes clear. The songs are tailor-made for mainstream, yet
possess unabashedly bold statements of faith.
“We want people to see the beauty of God and His love for us, and the
challenge for us is to package it in a way that people aren’t going to just walk right
by,” says Matt. “We don’t want them to be able to put us in a box… We want them
to listen… That’s how you keep the dialogue open.”
“We hope that people judge our music on musical merit, not on the faith beliefs
we have… A good example of that is iTunes,” offers Josh. The digital retail giant
originally had the band categorized under Christian/Gospel but soon switched
them over to Alternative. “That’s when it hit me,” Josh continues, “There’s a lot of
people who won’t give it a chance because it has that label on it… I don’t want
people to pass up our music or other great music done by a Christian artist just
because it’s in a section that’s labeled by faith…”
26 [ccmmagazine.com]
The band may have an obvious desire to reach outside the Christian subculture,
but even so, the label “Christian music” continues to intrigue them: “There are
other artists of faith—just not our faith—[and] they get thrown into this whole
mixture of mainstream music. Whereas, if it says anything positive about Jesus,
then it’s thrown into the back corner of a store with all the other stuff that says
something about Jesus,” says Brad.
Confusing labels as well as people’s misconceptions of Christians are barriers
the band has scaled as various doors to the mainstream have opened for them
over the last three years. However, they are quick to admit that being a Christian
does make a difference, recalling numerous times while filming for a music video
or visiting secular radio stations, conversations that have taken place because
people saw a notable difference between The Afters and other bands.
The difference spread like wildfire. MTV just couldn’t get enough of the band.
“Beautiful Love,” was certified gold after 100,000 digital tracks were sold, and The
Afters’ music was featured in Just My Luck (starring Lindsay Lohan) and ABC
Family’s “Beautiful People.” Music from the band’s debut was also selected for
promotions in conjunction with American Airlines and American Eagle stores and
has garnered attention from not only MTV, but also VH1, “E! News,” BOP, Popstar
and RollingStone.com, among others. The band even walked away with the “New
Artist of the Year” Dove in 2006.
While Never Going Back to OK positions the band for additional general market
success, The Afters are up for the challenge, and they’re having fun while they’re
at it. Still, they take what they do very seriously.
Right underneath all the joking and quipping, it’s easy to unearth the hearts of
these four men. Just ask them about their musical heroes.
Brad: “The 77’s. Just the way he [Mike Roe] captured all the different ways it
feels to be human…so many facets of human emotion [he] put into words…”
Matt: “Rich Mullins, and just his commitment to charity and humility… Just listening
to his music; it was so passionate, you could just tell that he really loved Jesus.”
Marc: “Geoff Moore [now the band’s manager]… He has shown me ways to,
while on the road and having a family at home, how to make those things balance
and to just take care of those things.”
Josh: “Michael W. Smith… I was a huge Smitty fan as a child… I just have a lot
of respect for the way he has conducted his career and family and balanced that
over the years. Even as a kid, I love how he had a desire to not only edify believers
from the church, but he reached outside that and…made music that was relevant
to the culture at the time.” The Afters’ own
mission looks ironically similar.
One of the common qualities among these
influences includes that precarious balance
between life on the road and family back home—
something all four guys deal with daily. All are
married and quick to gush about their kids.
“The Afters are [my 4-year-old son’s] heroes,”
Josh says. “He always talks about Marc, Brad,
Matt and Daddy… He came up to me after
practice and said, ‘Daddy, can you take a
picture of me with The Afters?’”
Marc adds, “[My daughters] don’t care that
I’m in a band, nor do their friends. They just
know that I know the Jonas Brothers. That’s all
they care about.”
“WE HOPE THAT
PEOPLE JUDGE
OUR MUSIC ON
MUSICAL MERIT,
NOT ON THE FAITH
BELIEFS WE HAVE...
I DON’T WANT
PEOPLE TO PASS
UP OUR MUSIC OR
OTHER GREAT
MUSIC DONE BY A
CHRISTIAN ARTIST
JUST BECAUSE
IT’S IN A SECTION
THAT’S LABELED
BY FAITH...”
BEAUTIFUL WORDS
Don’t be fooled by all the good humor. These
guys have worked hard, and it hasn’t been easy.
Need evidence? Look no further than the
band’s new disc.
“I think one of the big goals that we had for
this record, we already accomplished,” says
Josh. “We set out to make what we thought was
a stronger record than our first one, and I think
we all agree that this album is a big step
—JOSH HAVENS
cont. on Page 28
2/14/08
3:16 PM
Page 28
forward for us.” The band gives major props to producer Dan Muckala (Backstreet
Boys, Nick Lachey, Brandon Heath) for helping with that leap. “Dan pushed us to
search deep and write about things that are really important to us,” says Josh.
Muckala says OK reflects who The Afters truly are: “What makes me so excited
about this record is that The Afters pushed themselves to go to the next level
while still delivering songs that embody exactly who they are as a band.”
They say the running theme that emerged proved to be one of transformation.
But if one tried to choose a word to describe the jump between their debut and
the brand-new release, transformation would be an understatement. They’ve been
honing more than just their video game skills.
Additional songs were born out of personal life stories experienced by the other
band members. The title track evokes thoughts from Josh about the transformation of
his brother, who recently overcame a 15-year drug addiction. “I really look to him as
evidence that there is no one who is ever really out of God’s grasp, because he rejected
God for the longest time,” says Josh. “My mom used to always tell me, ‘Don’t give up on
your brother. God loves him, and He is going to bring him back…’ [My brother] is
definitely evidence that we should never give up on anyone we love. And that’s the
thing, God’s love can turn anyone around.”
And that’s the very definition of “Never Going Back to OK” for him: “Today’s a
new day. You can put everything behind you. It’s all in the past—all the mistakes
that you have made, all the struggles that we have, all of our regrets—
and [we can] move forward, thanks to what God has done for us.”
Another pivotal song on the record, “Ocean Wide,” was birthed
through a series of wrecked relationships that Josh witnessed. “In the
world today, a lot of marriages don’t succeed, and we make a lot of
mistakes… God is forgiving of all those things, but it’s awesome that
My first GMA Week, one of my most memorable interviews came from a little
God’s love is not like that. He’s never going to tell us, ‘I don’t love you
band of four guys from Dallas, Texas. It wasn’t necessarily unforgettable
anymore.’ He’s never going to tell us, ‘I’m fed up with you; you’re
because they said something profound that went on to change the course of
getting annoying.’ But His love for us is forever, and it’s because that
my life. But rather, it was the fact that they didn’t take themselves too
love is an ocean wide. It’s forgiveness and grace and mercy—all those
seriously. In fact, they spent more time talking about coffee than they did
things that make love last forever.”
Dove Awards, record deals or mainstream success. In short, my 30 minutes
In revealing their own stories, each of the guys seem to possess
with them was a nice little break in a long week filled with back-to-back
wisdom normally found only with more seasoned artists. Hardly the
interviews with artists answering the same Q&As. They joked about how they
transparency one might expect from a band that’s famous for their
could nab the cover of CCM, and I (in good humor, of course) told them if
face-time on MTV.
they won “New Artist of the Year” at the Doves later that week, we would put
Brad continues to elaborate, painting a beautiful picture of the music
them on the cover. As fate would have it, they walked away winners. And
they strive to create: “There’s an un-noble part of life where we are only
later, that summer of 2006, The Afters became my heroes. They saved my
seeing a small section of the things that are going on with us, and we
life…literally. Why don’t I let them tell you what happened:
think about the way God sets out our time. The image that we have is
“That show we played at Exit/In,” says Josh, “she almost was not going to
God moving pieces around to teach us something or set something up so
come, but then, at the last minute she decided, ‘Well The Afters are in town,
we will learn something later, and sometimes the things that we go
and they’re my favorite band…’”
through are amazingly difficult. But you come through that and you see
“Of all time…” adds Matt.
that, okay, that fell into place here and that fell into place there and sort
“‘And I could get hit by a car tomorrow and die never having seen them
of worked out so I will be where I am now…”
live.’ So, she comes to the concert,” Josh continues. “Well, her neighbor was
But don’t fool yourself into thinking that the new record is all dark
cleaning his shot gun, and it went off and put a hole in her wall, and she
and thoughtful and multifaceted. Leave it to The Afters to do what they
would have been sitting in her chair that she always sits in watching TV, and
do best—lighten the mood.
she would have been hit by the bullet…”
Enter “MySpace Girl,” a song about their former bass player who met
Each time the story gets told, my impending death looms closer, the gun
a girl at In-N-Out Burger, looked her up on MySpace and ended up
gets a little bit bigger and the bullet hole grows by a couple feet. But these
marrying her about six months later. The couple has been happily
guys believe it. And just hearing them tell this story again makes me smile.
married for a year now and actually assists with the handclaps on the
—L.W.
song. Forget MTV, with this song, the guys have dibs on VH1: “Maybe
when they have ‘Remember the 2000s,’ when they flashback to the
music, they’ll remember the MySpace era, and then they’ll remember
“We didn’t set out with a theme in mind,” Brad explains, “[but] we have grown the MySpace song,” Josh jokes.
as people, and [since the last record] we had become something other than what
From the serious to the comical, the band clearly stretches itself—both
we were. And I think…our songs reflect that.”
musically and lyrically—on the new record, and fellow artists are already taking
“There is not a single song on the album that we put on there to just fill up note. Among them, Skillet’s Ben Kasica: “[OK is my] favorite record since
space,” says Josh. “I feel like every song…has a reason to be on the album.”
Switchfoot’s Beautiful Letdown. The songs have the hooks and heart that will grab
And every song has a story behind it. OK is not just another creative batch of people immediately.”
ear candy. As the title would lead one to believe, The Afters refuse to settle for
Hooks and heart. That’s what The Afters are all about…and they want to make
mediocrity. Instead, they’ve chosen to come into their own as a band, and the sure no one is excluded from the message.
result is a beautifully crafted work of art, inspiring listeners to become all they can
“We want people to know that our faith is the most important thing in the
be and make their lives count for something meaningful.
world to us,” says Josh. “We’re Christians, but we make music for everybody. We’re
The lyrical depth of the new songs mirror the light of hope shining through personal never ashamed of our faith. God has opened the door for us to be able to talk
struggle and hardship. Take artistic gem, “Summer Again,” for example. “[There are] about that in all kinds of places, even MTV…”
seasons that you go through in life…” Brad says, “something that was really beautiful,
“Beautiful Love” may have been where it all began, but The Afters are
then you see a temporary decay and a lifelessness and then a rebirth again, and it’s a
interested in more than just another smash single—they’re out to bring a
cycle we tend to go through from time to time.” He says the song is open to
message of transformation to the world. Let’s face it, they’re leaving OK in
interpretation, but it personally reminds him of his 8-year-old autistic son. “When I hear the dust.
that song, I end up thinking about my little boy… I remember the time before he was
diagnosed, and…he was such a happy, vibrant kid. And now he’s so much different Graduating with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communication from Samford University,
than he was. It’s so hard to relate in so many different ways. We hope that there’s a Lindsay Williams is the managing editor for CCM Magazine and currently resides in Nashville.
recovery there that we can get our little boy back.”
KEEPING ME ALIVE
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“I can honestly say…”
As the mouthpiece of modern rock quintet Sanctus Real, Matt Hammitt simply
can’t mince words. In keeping with his band’s namesake, he has to keep it, well,
real. After all, he’s the front man, the poster boy, the one who stands front and
center at all times, whether it’s a routine photo shoot or a can’t-sit-still live
performance.
As with other leaders, audiences look to him for answers, and their expectations
are high. The role of his bandmates is mostly to keep to their instruments and rock
as hard as they can, but not Hammitt. He’s the leading man, the spokesperson, the
point guard, the actual face of his group. He’s the voice.
“In all honesty…”
New bands come and go, but Sanctus Real’s tireless work ethic has kept them
in business longer than your average, up-and-coming faith-fueled rock band. With
only four albums under its belt, the band has managed an enviable portfolio of No.
1 singles, awards, sales success and high-profile slots alongside some of music’s
biggest acts, and the group’s momentum just keeps mounting.
In fact, members of Third Day caught the five-piece in concert last summer and
were so impressed by their performance and their hearts, they simply had to invite
them to tour with them this spring. Third Day bassist Tai Anderson puts it
succinctly: “I was blown away.”
“To be honest with you…”
But those are just facts and figures anyone can rehash from a press release. The
band’s true pride and joy in recent memory was The Face of Love (Sparrow), its
most mature effort at the time. From the onset of Sanctus Real’s career, the
group’s light-hearted spirit, colossal hooks and power-pop tendencies made it a
favorite of the youth group crowd. In a way, it was as if the band was conflict-free.
But The Face of Love was different. Forged in the fires of trial, loss and grief, the
songs were naturally more emotional and intense—melancholy, even.
Today, the band has turned a page. “All these questions we had about what was
happening in the band, all the heartache from losing loved ones, we’re on the
other side of that,” Hammitt says. “We feel more hopeful than we did at that time.
It’s a new season.”
Hammitt really means that. No, he really means it. He’s not mincing words.
“I’m being really honest here…”
The more CCM probes into the breeding ground of Sanctus’ new album, We
Need Each Other (Sparrow), the word “honesty” keeps coming up one way or
another. It has a way of prefacing each of Hammitt’s responses, as if serving as a
caution to whoever reads them.
“I had been selfish to want to take time or energy to communicate that I was
hurt by other people, and I was holding it against them,” Hammitt confesses.
“That’s when I realized, ‘I don’t want to be alone at the end of all this.’”
Mind you, this is the same man who sang “I’m not alright/I’m broken inside” on
The Face of Love’s achingly honest first single. But the dissimilarities between that
album and We Need Each Other are like night and day. The disc finds the group
performing soaring, larger-than-life pop/rock of the highest order, coupled with a
message of unity, interdependence and understanding among believers.
The message is nothing new in faith-based music, but for Hammitt it became a
new revelation, especially in the months leading up to the recording of the album.
The short of it: he had a serious beef with someone in his inner circle, and he
couldn’t muster the courage to confront the person. Once he finally did and things
got resolved, he wrote the album’s title track.
Even so, words fail as he tries to relate the experience. “There are a couple of
people in particular that I work with…” Hammitt’s voice trails off. “When you’re on
the road…” Once again, he leaves the thought unfinished. “It’s hard for me to say,
because I don’t even know if the person knows that I wrote the song while thinking
of them.”
In fact, when asked about the particulars of his conflict, Hammitt measures his
words carefully. He’s reluctant to delve into specifics or to name names—
apparently the flurry of emotions tied to the whole situation is too painful to
recount.
Regardless, he proceeds the best way he can. “There were certain things that
hurt my feelings, certain things that made me upset, that were said or done that
were never talked about,” Hammitt says, now with more resolve in his tone. “It
really got to the point where it made me sick to my stomach when I was around
certain people. I didn’t want to deal with them. I didn’t want to accept the fact that
I had bitterness in my heart.”
Hammitt was not all right. Broken inside, he nurtured those feelings “for
months, maybe about a year.” It got to the point where Hammitt felt so powerless,
he broke down: “I remember just weeping, feeling like a failure, just laying there,
not knowing what to do because I had harbored [those feelings] for so long. I
remember at that point realizing, ‘My gosh, you’re way too far.’”
The demon of discord haunted him for so long, Hammitt says it’s only God’s
unmerited favor that helped him maintain his composure as he toured, met fans
and ministered day after day. “I don’t know how I kept my sanity. You just have to
pray for grace. God has a way of using people who are broken. This is crazy,
but sometimes I think God [has] used me in very unique ways when
I have been broken.”
Just as Hammitt was about to explode, he took the high road and decided, on a
hot summer day after a show, to have the oft-put-off one-on-one. “We sat down in
a room and I said, ‘Look, I’m literally at a point where I’m having a hard time being
in a room with you,’” Hammitt says. “It was a matter of me having to say, ‘Hey, bro,
I love you enough to be honest with you and to tell you that here’s the thing I see
in your life making you completely unhappy and that is causing me to have to
deal with it.’”
Hammitt says he was “honestly” (that word again) expecting a fight. But the
opposite happened: “It wasn’t at all. I was received in complete humility and
graciousness. It had God’s hand all over it. It was a really open, clear, honest talk.
It was really great.”
The conversation’s epilogue, as told to this writer, was the best part. “At the end
of the day, I want the most important thing in my life to be my friends and my
family,” Hammitt says. “I want to invest more in terms of relationships. Business
doesn’t matter. The band doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, when it’s all over,
all we have is each other. I don’t want you or me to leave this alone, to leave this
not as friends. I want you to be part of my family, and I want to be a part of your
family. Years from now, when all of this is over, we’re going to call each other, and
I want to sit around and talk about the good old days. And I still want to have you.”
If that’s not the face of love—or at least a glimpse of what that face looks like—
then I don’t know what is.
When he's not cooking or reading The New York Times for fun, Andree Farias writes. Simultaneously, he's
profusely in love with Stephanie, his stunning, Proverbs 31 fiancée.
[ccmmagazine.com] 31
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EXPECT THE IMPOSSIBLE, AND ENTER THE
COLORFUL WORLD OF STELLAR KART…
BY LIZZA CONNOR BOWEN
Real men wear Spandex. “And mullets and short
shorts!” claims Stellar Kart’s guitarist Cody Pellerin.
Pellerin proves he can rock the look in the band’s music
video for “Innocent,” a raucous track from Stellar Kart’s
third release, Expect the Impossible, on Word Records.
But viewers heed the risk: “You will laugh,” Pellerin
warns, noting that his own mother, a woman “not easily
embarrassed,” told him he crossed the line into “goofy”
territory in his on-screen getup.
But if there’s a band that can pull off such
silliness, all the while spreading the weighty
message of Christian redemption, it is the punk-pop
cut-ups of Stellar Kart. Today, Stellar Kart front man
Adam Agee and Pellerin are crammed around a 17inch stump of a table in the children’s corner, the
only available interview space in the bustling Barnes
& Noble bookstore outside Nashville. Onlookers
pass with quizzical glances at the scene that recalls
Alice in Wonderland. These grown men with lip rings
and scull caps look like giants squeezed into tiny
chairs. Heroes of their childhood bedtime stories,
the Berenstain Bears, stare down from the shelves
as if on security duty.
The farcical scene isn’t far from Stellar Kart’s reality.
Whether rocking 200-plus shows a year or cutting up in
the studio with producer Ian Eskelin (All Star United),
Agee says the band has mastered the art of whimsy.
Mundane is not a part of its vocabulary.
“Fun” seems to be the buzzword for this band,
referenced no less than five times by Agee and Pellerin
in a span of 30 seconds. (And later echoed by Eskelin.)
“We were a lot less stressed this time,” says Agee. The
band’s last album, We Can’t Stand Sitting Down, was
recorded in record time—eight days.
Eskelin deconstructs the recording process with
Stellar Kart: “So many times, things get overanalyzed
and torn apart to the point where the original idea
gets lost. With these guys, the trick is to capture all
the energy as it pours out. If it’s fun, it usually turns
out right,” he told CCM via email. One listen to Expect
the Impossible proves his point.
The band executes a varied musical approach,
infusing its signature fist-pumping fare of past
albums with ’80s-style synth throwbacks, hair-band
guitar licks and a few ear-splitting screams from Agee
that would make punk purists proud.
“There are songs that sound like anything from
Simple Plan to Depeche Mode or Linkin Park. We
wanted to give something for everybody, and we
didn’t want anyone to get bored,” says Agee, who got
his musical start with guitar lessons from drummer
Jordan Messer’s father.
While there was no shortage of good times in the
studio, the challenge for this seven-year-old, four-piece
outfit was to maintain a signature sound while evolving
into new musical territory. Pellerin calls the record “a
big stretch” but promises diehard fans won’t be
disappointed with the departure.
“I grew up with the ’80s pop/rock stuff like Van
Halen. Adam is a pop guy, and Jordan is a punk guy.
When we come together musically, it’s a
collaboration of the four of us [with bassist Brian
Calcara]. Because of Adam’s melodies, it still sounds
like Stellar Kart,” he says.
Agee adds, “We got together in a room, mashed
earplugs in our ears and jammed out. This is where
the creativity of the band comes in and makes the
lyrics and melody into a song.”
While the band laid down 10 tunes for Expect the
Impossible, some tracks inevitably ended up on the
cutting room floor. “They were repetitive, and we
didn’t want to go down a road we’d already been on,”
Pellerin adds.
While the band mines new sonic landscapes on
Expect the Impossible, the lyrics also take an
unexpected turn. “The [lyrics] hold more of an outside
influence, as opposed to what I’m going through
personally,” Agee says. “Simple” and “direct” are still
the first-choice adjectives to describe Agee’s
compositional style, a talent that won him accolades
for co-writing the band’s rock radio smash and Dove
award winning “Me and Jesus.”
“‘Me and Jesus’ was a ladder between albums two
and three, and without that song, I don’t think this
record would be what it is,” Pellerin says. Besides
legitimizing the band in the eyes of its peers and
industry execs, Pellerin says that, more importantly,
they saw lives changed. “At every show, people tell us
how that song helped them through [bad
circumstances]. ‘Me and Jesus’ inspired us to get to the
point, because we saw what it could do.”
Life on the road, most recently accompanying
newsboys on the “GO Tour” for 50 dates, afforded
Stellar Kart the opportunity not only to whip thousands
of listeners into a frenzy with its arena anthems, but
placed the band in direct contact with their fans. Postconcert, the guys heard story after story at the
merchandise table.
Agee notes the impact of these heart-to-hearts:
“There is so much more available to kids—good and
bad things. A lot of it has to do with relationships kids
are in. Everyone’s looking for love and acceptance.”
Agee, a relatively new father, has a one-year-old little
girl at home. What Stellar Kart has to offer is “hope,
love and companionship,” he says.
This is where these jokesters get serious. Songs like
the aforementioned “Innocence” address purity from
an oft-overlooked male perspective: “Everyone just
tolerates what’s wrong/I’m not some empty space for
rent/I want to be innocent.”
“We want to provide the positive way while still
keeping it fun and uplifting. We want to say, ‘Here are
mistakes we made back in the day. Don’t make those
same mistakes,’” says Agee. “And ‘Here’s a way out:
Jesus loves you.’”
Lizza Connor Bowen is a singer/songwriter and freelance journalist who,
like Stellar Kart, loves God, great music and a good laugh (every day if
possible). lizzaconnor.com
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ROCK OUTFIT FIREFLIGHT HAD NO IDEA ITS NEW ALBUM,
UNBREAKABLE, WOULD BE SO SYMBOLIC.
BY MATT CONNER
“Do you think you could write a song that makes it clear
that everything is going to be all right? That not only are
you going through a hard time, but that things can be
awesome again?” The question, posed via a fan’s
MySpace message to Fireflight, struck a chord; it was
something the band members were also wrestling with.
Luckily, Fireflight more than fulfilled the fan’s request.
Unbreakable. That’s the hit song, the album’s title
and the new, pervasive theme found on the Floridabased hard rock band’s sophomore effort. More
importantly, it’s the proper response to the quintet’s
debut, The Healing of Harms (Flicker).
“Really, the theme of the record is triumph,” says
vocalist Dawn Richardson. “Our first record was really
full of emotion and was about trying to fight your way
34 [ccmmagazine.com]
through circumstances. Now, the focus is not only
facing your difficult circumstances, but being
victorious over them. It’s about living your life in
victory over the things that used to control you. So the
sound has not only matured, but also the theme. The
last album was about struggle and finding hope in
God. Now, it’s about finding power in your life.”
Of course, the band doesn’t just pretend to know
what it’s talking about. Instead, the members come by
this new perspective honestly—weathering pressures
of the dreaded “sophomore slump,” their front woman
losing her voice and the absolutely exhausting
schedule of a new band trying to establish its identity.
“On this second record, we were…afraid of the
‘sophomore slump,’” laughs Richardson. “We had five
years to write the first record and six months to write
this one. We were very, very nervous.”
“It was probably the most stressful year of our
lives,” agrees guitarist Justin Cox. “And within that, we
played 100 to 150 shows. We also had traveling
days in between. Plus, it’s hard to write music on
guitars when you’re in a 15-passenger van with pretty
bad suspension.”
Not only was the band exhausted from an
unrelenting tour schedule—alongside acts like
Disciple and Pillar—and pressed to immediately write
the next album, but the physical effects took a toll on
Richardson. She mentioned that “something didn’t
feel right,” which led her to a vocal coach. She began
to learn new vocal techniques, but was still
recommended to a doctor right before entering the
studio for Unbreakable (Flicker).
“I was supposed to start on Monday, and I went in
on a Friday,” recalls Richardson. “He stuck a special
camera down my throat and told me that I had
blisters on my vocal cords. Basically, singers get
2/13/08
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Page 35
things called nodules on their vocal cords that
become calluses. These are the first steps to getting
those. And once you have a nodule, you can’t get rid
of it without surgery. So this was very alarming. They
told me I was not allowed to talk at all.”
Over the next few months, Richardson could only sing
her parts in the studio or perform onstage. In between
she was literally not allowed to speak.
“The whole situation has been one of the most
challenging times of my life. It’s hard to not be able to
talk at all and be away from home at the same time.
We had tornadoes just down the street from my
house, and I couldn’t call my family. I had to have
[bassist] Wendy [Drennen] call my family for me. It
was a very difficult time.”
Still, the band pulled through admirably despite all
the obstacles, relying on the one thing they all agree
has gotten them to where they are: the power of God.
“It actually worked to our advantage to have zero time
to record; that really forced us to rely completely on
God,” explains Richardson. “We give God complete credit
for this album being worth anything, because we had no
time to put our two cents in. We’re very glad for that.”
“It really forced us to let go of our own desires to
control the situation and wholly rely on God,” adds Cox.
“Honestly, I don’t think anyone here believes this is any
of our doing. We could not physically and mentally
have done it without God.”
Fireflight has found the hope to persevere both in the
recording studio and also in the strength of one another.
“I just think it’s awesome what Dawn has been going
through with this record and with her voice,” says
drummer Phee Shorb. “It’s just taken an extraordinary
amount of guts for her to sing in this new range…and
to know right before she does that, she has serious
problems with her voice. It’s almost been allegoric. It’s
about overcoming and finding you can win against
adversity with the power of God.”
It’s with this new level of confidence in God’s plan
that Fireflight is now emerging on a national level. NBC
ordered the title track from Unbreakable for heavy
promotion for its “Bionic Woman” series before the first
single was even released to radio, lending Fireflight a
visibility the band’s never experienced.
“For me, it was something really cool just to give me
confirmation that we were on the right track,” notes
Wendy Drennen. “It was humbling, because we knew we
were not worthy to be so exposed, but we felt so
honored at the same time.”
For all the buzz and happenings, the band members
still seem well-grounded. “Honestly, I’ve never seen the
[“Bionic Woman”] spot since we don’t have a TV in our
house,” explains guitarist Glenn Drennen, husband to
Wendy. “We also don’t have a rock radio station where
we live. And with no TV, I’ve never personally seen or
heard anything we’ve done on my own. It’s great to
hear about it from other people, though.”
Perhaps more than anything else, it’s the humility
found within all five members of Fireflight that makes
them unbreakable.
Matt Conner is a freelance writer living in the Indianapolis area
in all areas of pop culture and spirituality.
[ccmmagazine.com] 35
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THE INDIE-ROCK OF EDISON GLASS EMERGES ONCE AGAIN, AS THE BAND CONTINUES ON ITS EVER-INNOVATIVE JOURNEY—FREE OF
´
CLICHES—WITH
TIME IS FICTION. BY BRIAN QUINCY NEWCOMB
When listening to the new disc from Edison Glass, music fans might be excused if they
think of Counting Crows when they get to the line in “Let Go” about performing
“Einstein on the Beach.” After all, Adam Duritz & Co. do have a song by that name.
But that would be incorrect.
“I think they stole it from Philip Glass,” says Edison Glass guitarist James Usher. Of
course, Philip—one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century—is also
the source of the ‘glass’ in the last part of this band’s nom de rock. Which, Usher admits
may sound like a stretch to some. “If you sat down and listened to Philip Glass and our
music, you might be hard pressed to see the connection. We’ve been inspired by how
he was a visionary in his field and broke some boundaries. I’m a big fan of GlassWorks
and Einstein on the Beach.”
Time Is Fiction is the follow-up to the band’s 2006 debut on Credential Recordings,
A Burn or a Shiver. In the record-when-you-can world of indie-rock, it’s not a great
surprise that half the new one was recorded before the debut was even released.
The results turned out to be so strong that the band waited to complete a second
full-length effort around the earlier sessions.
The result is that Time Is Fiction is “a better record,” Usher says. “It’s a more focused
effort, and overall it has better songwriting.”
“I feel we’ve taken down some of the boundaries,” agrees lead singer Josh Silverberg.
“We’ve enabled ourselves to be a little more creative. In the past, we would need to write
an up-beat rock song or a real moody song. Now we’re more inclined to write music
that’s what we’re feeling and not be so worried about genre. Instead of trying toward a
certain style, we’re writing whatever happens and letting that be the style.”
36 [ccmmagazine.com]
“I think it’s becoming a more natural process,” adds Usher. “It’s more about getting
the music inside of you out, and not so focused on trying to write what we think folks
want to listen to.”
That goes for the lyrics, too. Edison Glass attempts to write songs that speak of
life’s raw and significant feelings, yet avoid the clichés that often dominate our
polarized culture.
“We definitely do everything we can to create imagery that avoids popular catch
phrases and whatnot,” states Silverberg. “For us, it’s about digging deep to find ways
to say what you are feeling without sounding like it’s already been said a thousand
times before.”
“To keep it personal,” says Usher, “where we’re expressing what we’re feeling, it’s
important we not succumb to language that may not mean the same thing we’re trying
to say to everyone who might hear it.”
But you can speak of spiritual concepts like love, forgiveness and grace. “I think it’s
really genuine in telling the story of Jean Val Jean,” concludes Silverberg, “where I ask
myself, What would I be feeling if I were facing that same charge?” [Read Les Miserables.]
“When people go through experiences in life, it’s just so much more genuine to get in
there and feel it, instead of us telling the audience, ‘This is what you are feeling,’ and
then tack on a ‘Jesus loves you.’”
Which, we agree, clichés to the contrary. Of course, Jesus does.
Brian Quincy Newcomb is the Rev. Dr. Brian Q. Newcomb, pastor of Christ Church UCC of Maplewood, Mo., just left of St.
Louis…and just left of about everybody, for that matter.
1:07 PM
Page 38
(
QQQQQ
QQQQ
QQQ
QQ
Q
INSTANT CLASSIC
EXCELLENT
GOOD
FAIR
ENOUGH SAID
39
42
43
FIREFLIGHT FIGHTS BACK WITH
UNBREAKABLE.
JACI VELASQUEZ URGES US TO
LOVE OUT LOUD.
“INDESCRIBABLE” WRITER LAURA
STORY WOWS WITH DEBUT.
<
SWITCHING SEASONS
Honest acoustics reveal Foreman’s best side.
JON FOREMAN
Fall & Winter
(Credential)
File Under: Acoustic
QQQQ
It takes about three full spins to rinse the Switchfoot
expectations from your mind. After all, Jon Foreman
isn’t a solo artist, but the well-known figure of a
prominent band—so no excuses are necessary if you
take the requisite moments I did. But after the
mental shift, you’ll be glad you stuck around;
Foreman’s solo turns are absolutely brilliant.
>
2/15/08
2/13/08
4:16 PM
Page 39
The first two of four planned
seasonally-titled EPs, Fall and
Winter, spin largely acoustic yarns
of bedroom solitude. Yet,
seasonal
depression
never
sounded this good. Foreman now
has permission to dive deep into
the dark places that a radio rock
band (and a Christian one at
that!) won’t allow, and he takes
full advantage, exploring the
melancholy side of his own life
(“Lord, Save Me From Myself,”
“Learning How To Die”) or those
he sees (“Somebody’s Baby”).
Musically, Foreman stretches
his unplugged wings as wide as
he can, from the guzheng—a
Chinese zither of sorts—on “In
Love” to the slow gospel march
on “I Am Still Running.” The
straight-from-Scripture approach
of “White As Snow” melds
harmonics with popular Psalms.
The haunting “My Love Goes
Free” seems to utilize a piano
that hasn’t been kept properly.
All in all, Foreman keeps a
potentially sleepy EP from being
just that.
But the primary beauty of
these seasons is in the lyrical
confessions found in a vulnerable
front man allowing you into
his heart. Foreman’s delicate
falsetto, especially on “My Love
Goes Free,” expresses pain in
ways most artists don’t even
attempt to strive toward.
Foreman is indeed the humble
genius we believed he was, with
Fall and Winter serving as some of
the strongest evidence to date.
MATT CONNER
FLAME
FIREFLIGHT
Unbreakable (Flicker)
File Under: Alt-Rock
Our World: Redeemed
QQQQ
(Cross Movement)
File Under: Hip-Hop
COHESIVE ALBUM
RINGS OF
PROMISE
“Unbreakable” is
not only the title
track—aptly chosen
by the producers of “Bionic Woman” to
air on NBC—it is the ideal word to
describe the latest effort from Fireflight.
The album delivers a seamless mix of
hard-hitting, rock rhythms, riffs and
hooks, balanced with the pure vocals of
front woman Dawn Richardson. The
result is a driving collection of songs that
unquestionably rings true to Fireflight’s
alt-rock style, but doesn’t sacrifice
powerful lyrics, strong messages and
memorable delivery.
Picking up where the title track ends,
“You Gave Me a Promise” immediately
hooks listeners’ attention with a catchy
percussion scheme, which leads directly
into lyrics that will most likely resonate
with any audience. Moving on, the album
is full of musical surprises—check out
the string intro on track three—and
poignant lyrics.
The one thing this album lacks is
enough variation to make each track
stand out on its own. The same heavy
production and intense orchestration
song after song tends to meld the tracks
together into an almost indistinguishable
whole. While this is great for a cohesive
album, it might cause the listener to
either lose interest or zone out along the
way. This band is clearly blessed with
incredible vocals, strong musicianship and
intense production. It might do well to
rely a little less on the latter to make the
former shine.
CAROLINE LUSK
QQQ
SEQUEL PROVES
HOPEFUL
Less than a year
after shedding light
on the world’s fall
from grace with the
apocalyptic Our World: Fallen, St. Louis
rapper FLAME continues to spew fire
with Our World: Redeemed, his fourth
album on the Cross Movement label. But
don’t expect the two discs to be cut from
the same mold.
As if doing a 180-degree turn, FLAME’s
Our World: Redeemed is almost the polar
opposite to its predecessor, favoring
slicker, more in-your-face sound beds
over the generally brooding atmosphere
of the prequel.
This change is needed. FLAME is no
longer rapping about humanity’s lost
cause, but inspiring it to rise above its
abject condition, to choose life in Christ
above death in its own trespasses. For
the emcee, bereavement is a cause for
rejoicing (“Funeral to Birthday”), pain a
precursor to abundance (“Hold On”),
bloodshed the preamble to eternity (“On
That Cross”).
On occasion, FLAME tends to place
style in front of substance (“Go Buck”),
and the beats aren’t always conducive to
the hope-filled nature of the album’s
thesis. This gives the proceedings an air of
self-seriousness that could curtail the
celebratory character of the disc. In all,
though, Our World: Redeemed ascribes all
honor and glory to Jesus, so that, by
album’s end, there’s no confusion as to
whose name is the only one by which men
and women can be saved. ANDREE FARIAS
JADON LAVIK
Roots Run Deep
(A Collection of Hymns) (BEC)
File Under: Acoustic/Pop/Worship
QQQQ
“UNPLUGGED”
WORSHIP
Jadon Lavik
After releasing two
critically-acclaimed
albums—Moving on
Faith and Life on the Inside—and touring
alongside Rebecca St. James and
BarlowGirl, Jadon Lavik decided to dig
into some of his favorite hymns on Roots
Run Deep. His love and appreciation for
the standards of the faith shine through
on the self-produced album.
Roots Run Deep features familiar
classics such as “Come Thou Fount,”
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” “I Need
Thee Every Hour” and “Take My Life,” all
supported by his sturdy yet seemingly
effortless vocals.
What sets this album apart from the
pack of recent hymns albums are the
original arrangements and melodies,
as he creates his own interpretation
of each hymn using simple instrumentation for an intimate sound.
Lavik is joined by industry veteran
Fernando Ortega on “Tis So Sweet to
Trust in Jesus,” a highlight. “What a
Wondrous Love is This” is a fresh take of
this hymn which showcases Lavik’s
guitar style, while “Amazing Grace”
takes on an acoustic, jazzy feel. The
album’s melodic sounds draw listeners
into a quiet place, especially on “My
Father’s World” and “I Surrender All.”
With an acoustic vibe comparable to
Brandon Heath and Warren Barfield,
Roots Run Deep is an organic
“unplugged” worship experience.
RACHEL HARROLD
JOHN MARK MCMILLAN
The Song Inside The Sounds of
Breaking Down (independent)
File Under: American Rock & Roll
QQQQQ
THE SOUND OF
BREAKING DOWN
Sometimes, when
we
are
going
through a difficult
and painful season, we can’t put to
words how we feel, but we are able to
find a song, poem or Psalm that
conveys it exactly. Charlotte-native
John Mark McMillan has created the
most honest and emotionally bonding
album since Gasoline Heart’s debut, You
Know Who You Are. It was written and
recorded just months after his first
independent album was released,
following the tragic death of one of his
close friends in a car accident. As John
states, “This album deals with what
happens when you fall apart.”
[ccmmagazine.com] 39
IN REVIEW music
<
2/15/08
1:08 PM
Page 40
IN REVIEW music
track. It is one of the most emotionally
moving parts ever heard on a song or
album. To sum up, this is what music,
poetry and being a Christian should
sound like. Yes, the Christian life brings
joy, but there is also pain, and this is the
sound of breaking down.
BRAD MOIST
INHABITED
Love (7 Spin)
File Under: Modern/Alternative Rock
QQQ
MOVING TOWARD
THE MORE
ORIGINAL
Inhabited
The pain heard in his Pete Yornsounding vocals in songs like “Breaking
Down” and “Kiss Your Feet” are clearly
modern psalms for the youth of America
who are broken, searching and in need.
The last song on the album, “How He
Loves,” was written the day after his
friend died. It was not written to be a
worship song, but churches around the
nation have started to include this song
in their worship sets. His performance at
The Call in Nashville this summer (check
it out on YouTube), where a stadium of
people were singing it in unison,
solidified that a profound spiritual
revival happens when this song is
played. (This is the kind of passionate
impact that record labels, managers and
booking agents attempt to create in
marketing plans.)
Near the end of the song, you hear
John crying as he recorded the vocal
On
Inhabited’s
2005 debut, The
R e v o l u t i o n
(Fervent), the group provided a
pleasant, though in many cases,
noticeably derivative amalgam of
Evanescence, BarlowGirl and Plumb.
Though splashes of those similarities
resurface to a certain extent (plus
bits of Paramore), Love showcases
the group expanding its sonic
palette, while also providing eternityminded messages.
The title cut is a stirring acoustic ballad
where front woman Sara Acker speaks
about love’s many angles, particularly the
intertwining of the Lord’s unconditional
acceptance with His grace-drenched
opportunities for redemption. The
sweetly sung “Song To the Fatherless”
expands on that issue, reminding
listeners of Christ’s ultimate protection,
despite the fractured parental relationships found in this world.
“We Will Live” and “Are You With Me”
return to edgier contexts via chunky
guitars and thumping drums, showcasing
growth in the vocal and instrumentation
departments, wrapped around glistening
production from Monroe Jones (Third
Day, Jackson Browne). Yet, the band still
leans a little too heavily on outside
influences during the Gwen Stefani
“Hollaback Girl”-cloned “Hush” and the
Superchick-styled pep rally cheer “Are
You With Me.” Thankfully, it’s not to the
same degree of regularity as the first
time out, suggesting that if Inhabited
continues in this otherwise more original
direction, its third disc could be a
ANDY ARGYRAKIS
complete charm.
IN REVIEW music
2/13/08
4:16 PM
Page 42
SHAWN MCDONALD
Roots (Sparrow)
File Under: Pop
QQQ
ROOTS FINDS
MCDONALD
BRANCHING OUT
You’ll feel misled,
trust me. I understand that, lyrically
speaking, Roots is a reference to the
spiritual theme dominant on Shawn
McDonald’s latest—an exploration of
the soul’s grounding in God. Still, you
purchase a CD for the music, and Roots is
hardly an apt description.
Instead, McDonald branches out with
an expansive musical vision and
brilliance unlike anything he’s
previously released. “Clarity” bursts
forth with Jason Mraz-like enthusiasm,
albeit slightly overproduced. Still, the
track expands McDonald’s repertoire
slightly into electric territory.
“Captivated” follows with an orchestral
opening as McDonald waxes on the
surrounding world that inspires and
moves him before settling into familiar
acoustic ground.
“You are what I long to find to melt this
cold heart of mine/ ‘Cause when you are
around, I’m found,” McDonald admits, on
the seasonally sparse “Winter.” It’s a
poetic musical turn that McDonald has
proven himself so good at, time and
again. “Waltz in 3” moves in a whimsical,
fairy-tale sort of musical motion and
showcases McDonald at the height of his
sonic stretches.
Of course, such exploration leads to
mistakes as well. The largely
forgettable “Slow Down” makes one
wonder what exactly McDonald is going
for. However, Roots reaches new
heights for an already impressive
MATT CONNER
singer/songwriter.
NEWWORLDSON
Salvation Station (Inpop)
File Under: Gospel/Funk/Blues
QQQQQ
WORTHY OF A
STANDING
OVATION
Hailing from Niagara
Falls, Newworldson
bring a fresh taste of gospel/funk/blues to
listeners’ speakers. Put on your dancin’
shoes and shake a leg while these
42 [ccmmagazine.com]
Canadians bebop and scat your socks off.
The album pairs catchy melodies with a
potent combination of straightforward
rhythmic changes and fun but relevant
lyrics. Unlike many albums, Salvation
Station seeps talent from all angles,
creating a truly unique and honest work.
Currently on tour with the newsboys, NWS
is honing its live performance, which the
band is already known for. (Word has
it they received a standing ovation
during the GMA Week showcases last
year, thoroughly impressing the hardest
to impress.)
It truly is difficult to pick one standout
track, or even two for that matter. Five
cuts in though, “Sweet Holy Spirit” sings
“If Pride is my Prison/Then Grace be my
King/Sweet Holy Spirit, come rescue me,”
displaying the deep lyrical content NWS
inhabits. Moreover, the use of an upright
bass creates a colossal subtle difference
that must simply be heard to know.
Salvation Station is indeed a musthave for 2008. You will find yourself
hitting “repeat” again and again.
JONATHAN ISAAC HARMS
JACI VELASQUEZ
Love Out Loud (A’postrophe)
File Under: Pop
Addison Road
is a bit too daring, with a chorus that
says, “I think it’s time to tango/Oh,
oh/Sometimes you need to tango.” Even
with its fiery Latin sound and Jaci’s sultry
vocal, the song is oddly out of place on
an otherwise strong disc.
Still, fans will most likely be delighted
with the fresh songs from Love Out Loud.
QQQ
GRACE CARTWRIGHT
OUR LOVE IS LOUD
Her first studio
album since 2005,
Love Out Loud has
been hailed as Jaci
Velasquez’s “comeback album.” Indeed,
the beloved Latin singer side-stepped
the spotlight in 2005, leaving many fans
wondering when she would sing again.
With Love Out Loud, Jaci makes a
strong return to the music circuit,
offering several promising singles.
“Nothing But Sky” resounds with her
signature vocal and an utterly singable
chorus. Other notable tracks are “Jesus
(The Way),” where delicate vocals carry
the worship ballad, and “A Likely Story,”
a sweet narrative of Velasquez’s
courtship with husband Nic Gonzales
from Salvador.
Jaci’s husband also joins her on “Por
Escrito,” which offers listeners a
breathtaking Spanish duet between the
two. As the strongest and most daring
cut, it showcases their strong vocals,
backed solely by a simple Latin-inspired
guitar. Unfortunately, the zesty “Tango”
ADDISON ROAD
Addison Road (INO)
File Under: Rock
QQQ
ON THE RIGHT
ROAD
With two indie
albums and an EP to
its credit, Addison
Road entered the studio with Chris
Stevens (tobyMac, Sanctus Real,
Mandisa) for its latest offering.
The female-fronted band conjures a
defining, driving sound from the very
first downbeat. Most of the 10 tracks are
upbeat anthems of exhortation and
encouragement. Lyrics are simple and
direct, which is fine for concert sing-alongs, but those looking to dig into more
heady territory might be bored.
Too often Addison Road falls back on
well-traveled metaphors and overused
Christianese like “You are my shelter from
the storm” and “Your love has set me free,”
which fumble otherwise likable tracks.
The infectious “Sticking With You”
features a whimsical background chorus
of “Ohs” that gives the raw rock tune a
West Coast, Beach Boys/Shins gloss. The
raucous “It Just Takes One” is a call to
action, one of many on this disc, which
urges listeners to live out their faith to
impact the world.
It’s not until a little further down the
track list that the listener gets a break
from the aggressive, staccato rhythms
the band is so fond of. Sonically
speaking, the electric guitar and drums
often sound as if they are battling
for the spotlight, rather than
harmoniously sharing the stage. The
result resembles a shouting match
of instruments.
But songs like “Hope Now,” “Start
Over Again” and “Run” redeem Addison
Road. These tunes begin languidly and
build into sweet, sweeping finishes.
Here, the production is deftly wrapped
around lead singer Jenny Simmons’
voice, allowing her beautiful, plaintive
falsetto to shimmer and her low end to
resonate. If the other tracks had
followed suit, Addison Road may have
hit its stride.
LIZZA CONNOR BOWEN
IAN MCINTOSH
Awakened (independent)
File Under: Worship
QQQQQ
OUT OF THE BOX
“You’ve never experienced worship
like this,” states
Ian McIntosh. Some
2/13/08
4:17 PM
Page 43
BRAD MOIST
RE:ZOUND
Abandoned To You (Vertical Shift)
File Under: Rock
QQQQ
DEBUT RESOUNDS
WITH POTENTIAL
In 2001, RE:ZOUND
was awarded the
prestigious title
of MTV’s “No. 1
Undiscovered Band.” Since then, the
Arizona-based band has been
garnering a fan base among both U.S.
and international locales due to its
unprecedented schedule of touring,
writing and recording. During that
same time, they also obtained three
R&R Top 20 singles. With its first
Vertical Shift Records release
(distributed through EMI CMG), the
band is ready to take the next step
toward becoming a household name.
If Abandoned To You is any indication,
it will not be difficult for the band
to accomplish.
This is a well-crafted album, both
musically and lyrically. Although
reminiscent of bands like Collective
Soul and Creed, RE:ZOUND proves it
also has a distinct sound, with songs
that range from guitar-driven rock to
modern worship.
As the title of the record indicates,
complete abandonment to God is the
underlying theme. Along with excellent
instrumentation, the band offers some
of the most poignant and thoughtprovoking worship songs recorded
within the last few years. With songs
like “Beautiful” and “35 Weeks,” this
band is destined to make an impact on
listeners everywhere.
PAUL DURHAM
LAURA STORY
Great God Who Saves (INO)
File Under: Pop/Worship
QQQQ
A REMARKABLE
STORY INDEED
Atlanta-based
singer/songwriter
and worship leader
Laura Story’s compelling label debut
deserves an extended hearing by
traditional and modern worship music
listeners alike. Expounding the
intricacies of faith with poise and
charm, the artist draws significant
inspiration from a recent personal
crisis. Only one year after marrying her
childhood sweetheart, Story’s husband
was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Somehow, Story manages to trust God
through the deep waters, and through
the pain she reveals a decidedly
intimate musical offering.
From the country-inflected title track
to the redemptive piano-driven ballad
“Grace,” the whole project resonates
with organic warmth evocative of a
young Nichole Nordeman. At times,
Story’s arrangements are strikingly
minimalist, as evidenced on delicate
song “Perfect Peace.” Elsewhere, though,
buoyant cuts like “Bless the Lord” and
current radio single “Mighty to Save”
radiate with reverential timbre.
Story also unveils a goose-bumpinducing version of mega anthem
“Indescribable,” a hymn she penned that
initially gained popularity when Chris
Tomlin released it in 2004. Of course,
DREAMERS WANTED.
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[ccmmagazine.com] 43
IN REVIEW music
worship is meant for the crowds. And
some worship is meant for just
ourselves. But it all glorifies God. Ian’s
songs may not be the type of songs you
will hear thousands singing in unison,
but these are the songs that make you
want to grab your headphones, lay in
bed and just listen. These are the songs
that help isolate us from the worries of
today and help us focus on the heart of
what matters most.
There is intensity in emotion, but
also a calming spirit throughout the
album, heard in tracks like “Made to
Love.” Multiple programming-based
interludes set a supernatural mood for
when you need to be still.
Despite strong similarities to
Coldplay and Sigur Rós, Ian still creates
a worship album that symbolizes the
heart of where youth are today. There is
an anointing on this album, and it in no
way falls in line with what you may
think a typical worship album sounds
like. Awakened is for those who want
their worship to sound outside the
Nashville box.
2/13/08
4:17 PM
Page 44
IN REVIEW music
NEW
RELEASES
MARCH 2008
MARCH 4
Jared Anderson .............................. Where Faith Comes From (Integrity)
Bethany Live .................................. Deluge (Integrity)
Fireflight ............................................ Unbreakable (Flicker)
FLAME ................................................ Our World: Redeemed (Cross Movement)
John Tesh .......................................... Alive (Word)
Various................................................ The Invitation Series (Word)
Daniel Doss Band
today the song is a modern worship
fixture in churches around the world.
As soothing as a cup of herbal tea
after a hectic day, Story’s debut should
serve as a cathartic achievement for the
artist and a rewarding gift to listeners.
JARED ANDERSON
Bethany Dillon ................................ In Christ Alone: Modern Hymns of Faith and
and Matt Hammitt
Redemption (Sparrow)
Ever Stays Red ................................ On The Brink of It All (Vertical Shift)
Where Faith Comes From (Integrity)
LaRue Howard .................................. How Great Is our God
File Under: Modern Worship
Greater Than Us All (Sparrow)
File Under: Worship/Pop
QQQQ
GREATER WITH
EVERY SPIN
New artist Daniel
Doss and his band
burst onto the
scene with Greater
Than Us All. Vocally, think a mixture
between Bart Millard (MercyMe) and
Chris Tomlin sung in the style of Steven
Curtis Chapman. The similarities are
especially evident on the third track,
“Hold On,” which describes the freedom
with which God generously gives His
love. Doss sings, “Hold on/Lay your weary
head upon my shoulder.” Front and
center is the pure and honest worship
conveyed through music and song.
Greater Than Us All finds a
comfortable combination of fast,
medium and slow tunes pairing
pertinent music with insightful and
worshipful lyrics. The disc has the
ability to continue to get better and
better with every play. Each listen
reveals a new snippet of music that
perhaps the listener didn’t catch
previously. Doss’ music does indeed
have the ability to cross over into
different parts of your day lending
itself to be the soundtrack of your
Christian walk.
JONATHAN ISAAC HARMS
44 [ccmmagazine.com]
(EMI Gospel)
QQQ
CLICHÉD AND
UNDERWHELMING
DAVID McCREARY
DANIEL DOSS BAND
MARCH 11
If Jared Anderson
wanted his audience
to figure out where
his faith comes from by listening to his
project of that very title, he might have
fallen short. While the album is filled
with solid, positive songs of worship, it
suffers from a lack of depth, creativity
and originality. Cliché lyrics are rife
throughout each track. And where the
lyrics do become somewhat less
familiar, they become somewhat
stranger: “I’ve slayed the dragons like
immortal Frodo Baggins…”
That’s not to say there are no strong
points to the album. It delivers several
statements of faith, obedience and a
desire to be in God’s presence. But the
lack of contrast—from the real, tangible
struggles of life to the more intangible
desires of the heart—makes it
somewhat unconvincing.
Musically, the album doesn’t break
any new ground. The chord patterns are
predictable and the production solid, yet
underwhelming. On more than one track,
listeners find themselves trying to place
where they’ve heard that particular lick,
rhythm or melody before.
The faithful heart of Jared Anderson
comes through on this album, but the
musical quality indelibly suffers from a
lack of serious soul-searching and risktaking. Anderson may know where his
faith comes from but fails to relate it
CAROLINE LUSK
clearly on this project.
Rebecca St. James .......................... Ultimate Collection
(ForeFront)
Shawn McDonald ............................ Roots (Sparrow)
MxPx .................................................... Ultimate Collection
(Tooth & Nail)
The O.C. Supertones ...................... Ultimate Collection (BEC)
Re:Zound............................................ Abandoned To You
(Vertical Shift)
This collection
features two discs’
worth of Rebecca St.
James hits, including
“God,” “Wait for Me,”
“Alive” and more.
Various .............................................. Everlasting God: 25 Modern
Worship Favorites (Sparrow)
Various................................................ Tooth & Nail Records: Ultimate Collection
(Tooth & Nail)
MARCH 18
Addison Road .................................. Addison Road (INO)
Andy Hunter .................................... Colour (Nettwerk)
Sandi Patty ...................................... Songs For the Journey (Warner Bros.)
Laura Story ...................................... Great God Who Saves (INO)
Justin Unger .................................... Disengage (Heights Music/KOCH)
MARCH 25
Eric Bibb ............................................ Get on Board (Telarc/Universal)
Destroy the Runner ........................ I, Lucifer (Solid State)
Cynthia Jones.................................... Soulology (Kingdom/Universal)
P.O.D. .................................................. When Angels and Serpents
Dance (INO)
Search The City ................................ A Fire So Big The Heavens Can
See It (Tooth & Nail)
Starfield.............................................. I Will Go (Sparrow)
Various................................................Immerse (Integrity)
Various ..............................................Worship Together (EMI Gospel)
Includes songs
from Christy
Nockels, Sara
Groves, Brooke
Fraser and Laura
Story, among
others.
2/13/08
4:17 PM
Page 45
FRANCIS CHAN WITH DANAE
YANKOSKI
[CCM READERS SOUND OFF ON THEIR FAVORITE NEW ALBUMS.]
JON FOREMAN
Fall & Winter
(Credential)
These 12 songs (six on each EP) have
wonderfully poignant lyrics with
great messages. Many are taken
directly from Scripture, whereas
others make you look at your own
heart and how God is using it, or
more likely, how you are hindering
God from using it. Also, in songs such
as “Somebody’s Baby,” we see a
small glimpse into the struggles and
hardships of the people whom we
commonly ignore—the homeless, the
heartbroken and the lost.
Abigail Carr, Apex, NC
JENNIFER SHAW
Finding Beauty
(independent)
I love it! The lyrics draw me in to
thinking about the Lord—how He is
good and constant—and draw me to
thanking Him for His love and grace.
Combined with Jennifer’s strong
vocals and beautiful music, this CD
just simply makes my heart smile!
Chris Jorgenson, Leeds, ND
THRICE
The Alchemy Index,
Vol. 1 & 2 (Vagrant)
I've been listening to Thrice's new
album, The Alchemy Index, Vol. 1 & 2.
This rock band is a true example of
faith in the mainstream. Their faith
shines through in almost every song.
Their blend of hard rock mixed with
soft synth melodies is amazing.
Gabe, Cedar Rapids, IA
“To read the Bible,
attend church and
avoid the ‘big sins’—
is this passionate,
wholehearted love for
God?” This is just one
of many provocative
questions of faith
posed in the inspiring pages of Crazy
Love. Exploring a stalwart faith worth
aspiring to, Chan and Yankoski offer
encouraging, practical insight that
addresses the struggles of living an
authentic faith.
TRISH RYAN
KIRK FRANKLIN
The Fight of My Life
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A
Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope
and Happily Ever After (Faith Words)
(Fo Yo Soul/Gospo
Centric/Zomba)
The Fight of My Life is an amazing
new album from Kirk Franklin with
passionate songs that encourage
you when you listen to them. This
has to be the best Kirk Franklin I
have heard. My favorite songs would
be “I Am God” with tobyMac and
“I Like Me” with Da’ T.R.U.T.H. But I
love all of the songs, as it is a very
good album. Check it out if you love
Kirk Franklin and his music.
Josh DeJong, Calvary, Alberta, Canada
DAVID CROWDER
BAND
Remedy (sixsteps)
David Crowder Band’s Remedy is a
good, to-the-point album from
Crowder and his band. Ted Nugent
plays a killer solo on the record, and
Crowder and band always bring a
fresh sound to songs of worship.
Phillip Wall, Greenville, NC
Kirk Franklin
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By a
Relentless God (Chan)
With a candid, earthy
approach reminiscent
of Anne Lamont
and Eat, Pray, Love’s
Elizabeth
Gilbert,
Trish Ryan vividly
explores the trials of
love and heartache in He Loves Me, He
Loves Me Not. Much like a lead in a
romantic comedy, Ryan’s been through it
all with guys. Some of her accounts of
love gone wrong are humorous; others
hit a little too close to home. That
refreshing honesty makes He Loves Me,
He Loves Me Not a journey worth taking
whether or not you’ve already found
Mr. or Ms. Right.
BRENT & DEANNA HIGGINS
I Would Die For You (Revell)
B.J. Higgins was your
typical 15-year-old
with an unbridled
passion for his faith in
Christ. Like many
teens,
Higgins
embarked
on
a
summer mission trip, hoping to serve
God in a meaningful way. Little did
Higgins know, however, that his trip to
Peru would have a life-changing effect
on his life. Back in the States, Higgins
entered the hospital with what seemed
to be a routine case of pneumonia.
Later, his family learned Higgins had
actually contracted a rare, infectious
disease in Peru. Eventually losing his
battle with what was thought to be the
bubonic plague, Higgins’ life story
continues on in I Would Die For You.
Warning: You might want a box of
Kleenex nearby. This one’s a tearjerker.
MEL LAWRENZ
I Want to Believe: Finding Your
Way in an Age of Many Faiths
(Regal)
In
a
desire
to
be relevant in our
ever-changing world,
there’s often an “I’m
okay, you’re okay”
mentality
adopted
when it comes to personal faith and
beliefs. After all, it’s much easier to agree
than offend. While that’s all well and
good, sometimes an opportunity to
share a little more about Christianity can
get passed up because believers don’t
feel comfortable discussing certain
aspects of the faith. Now with I Want to
Believe, a primer on the practical realities
of Christianity, there’s a user-friendly
guide that provides answers to tricky
questions like “Can there be only one
way to God?” in a way that’s Scriptually
sound and easy to understand.
MICHELLE BUCKMAN
My Beautiful Disaster (Th1nk)
C’mon, admit it: You
wanted to be popular,
too. In the well-written
adventure in teendom
My Beautiful Disaster,
Dixie also longs to hang
with the “in” crowd. And ever since she’s
palled around with Heather and Tammy,
life’s been full of shopping, late-night
gabbing and pizza parties. But when the
three sneak out to see a hot new band,
Dixie’s life takes a turn for the worse
when she becomes obsessed with the
cute lead singer. So is popularity all it’s
cracked up to be? Well, you already know
the answer, but this cautionary tale is
entertaining nonetheless.
Christa A. Banister is a
freelance writer, author
and blogger in St. Paul,
Minn. Her first novel,
Around the World in 80
Dates: Confessions of a
Christian Serial Dater
(NavPress), is in stores now.
[ccmmagazine.com] 45
IN REVIEW books
EDITOR’S PICK
4:24 PM
6
2/13/08
Page 46
TOP GEAR
[PLUGGING IN TO INSTRUMENTS, ACCESSORIES & GADGETS]
By Keith Troup
The Hook-Up
Energize your iPod... Plus, uploading video just got easier.
BE A ROCKSTAR WITH
YOUR FRIENDS
If you’ve always wanted to be a rockstar,
now’s your chance. Belkin has a way to
share and mix your favorite music with
your friends, family or fans. The Rockstar
is a hub that connects a combination of
MP3 players and headphones. Attach your
headphones, and listen to your friend’s
playlist, or add another iPod or MP3 player
to mix and listen together. belkin.com
VIDEO TRANSFER MADE EASY
Wish you could take the hot new video you just recorded of
your band’s next hit, youth group outing or latest excursion
and transfer it easily to another digital device? Now you can:
Pinnacle’s VIDEO TRANSFER ($129.99) can take an analog
video input and record to any USB 2.0 storage device (even an
iPod), and it doesn’t require a PC to use it. It’s a pocket-size
device you can carry anywhere. Supported devices include
various iPod models as well as the PSP, USB Flash drives and
USB hard drives. It even has a feature to charge your iPod
built right in. pinnaclesys.com/PVT
[AS MUSICIANS BLOG ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE GEAR, WE’RE
PLEASED TO SPREAD THE CHEER…]
Although I’m a freelance
drummer, percussionist and
educator with a home studio,
my passion is in the
performance aspects of making
music, not engineering. All that to
say, I’d much rather invest in another drum or percussion
instrument as opposed to a piece of electronic gear. (And
all the drummers/percussionists say “AMEN!”). When I
do purchase gear for the studio, I need it to be as
versatile as possible, like the pair of AKG C414 B-ULS
microphones that I use on a regular basis.
I’ve come to depend on the 414 condenser mics,
along with an old TL Audio dual valve preamp/compressor, almost every time I push the
record button. The sounds I get are warm, natural
and open. I’m also using a Pro Tools LE system on an
HP laptop, plus a Command8 control surface and
multiple Glyph GT series FireWire hard drives. Playing
and engineering at the same time couldn’t be easier,
allowing me to focus on what I’m really interested in.
Bart Elliott
AIN’T IT GRAND
With rich tradition and experience, Yamaha unveils the latest
CP300 digital piano, providing live musicians and studio
players all the sound and expressiveness of a grand piano with
the portability of a modern digital instrument. Tone and touch
mean it sounds and feels the way a piano is suppose to. The
CP300 offers Graded Hammer Effect action, stereo sampled
grand piano voices with string resonance, and stereo sustain
for real felt dampers and string acoustics. The on-board 30watt stereo speakers provide built-in monitors. They create
vibrations you can feel in the cabinet, emulating piano strings
buzzing under your fingers. XLR outputs provide clear noisefree signal onstage or in the studio. yamaha.com
LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR
WITH A VIDEO GAME
From the creators of Piano Wizard
comes Guitar Wizard, both a PC
and Mac-based software gaming
package that can teach aspiring
“rock stars” or average joe’s how to
play real music on a real guitar. The
software allows you to use virtually
any guitar to convert the sounds
digitally for live, interactive video game play for kids and adults of all ages.
Where Guitar Hero is just a game for pure entertainment, this software
package is an educational teaching tool that is both fun and practical. Expect
this amazing product to hit store shelves in the fall of 2008.
Visit musicwizard.com to learn more about their full suite of music
wizard products.
5
Keith Troup has been a technology consultant, music
producer, songwriter, arranger, musician and gadget
geek of digital proportions for over 20 years. He is the
CEO of IDM STUDIOS, a digital media consulting business
located in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit
idmstudios.com.
46 [ccmmagazine.com]
2/13/08
4:25 PM
Page 47
By Andy Argyrakis
[TAKING YOU CLOSER TO CONCERTS THAN EVER BEFORE]
TOUR SCRAPBOOK
:
SKILLET
GOES DELUXE:
After performing a scorching set taken from its latest
A MOMENT WITH
MERCYME:
Aside from rounding out the evening with rock-oriented
reflections from All That Is Within Me (INO) and softerspoken hits like “Word of God Speak” and “I Can Only
Imagine,” group member Jim Bryson (keyboards) took
time to share with CCM his take on the tour as a whole:
“It’s a lot like a festival with a really good mix of
bands—from Skillet and BarlowGirl for the younger
generation, to groups like Newsong, who have been
around for awhile,” he relates. “It literally brings an
audience between 7-70, and at only $10 a ticket, it’s
practically cheaper than going to a movie!”
MERCYME &
“Winter Jam 2008SKILLET
TOUR
CD, Comatose (Ardent/S-R-E/Lava/Atlantic), front man
John Cooper sat down with CCM to talk about that very
disc’s brand-new deluxe edition. “We didn’t just want to
re-release the record with one song and rip off our fans.
So, we turned in four acoustic songs and a brand-new
rock song, which is like half a
CD right there! There’s also
bonus DVD content, with
behind-the-scenes footage
in the studio and videos.
Plus, you can only buy it in
Christian stores.” After
Winter Jam wraps, the band
embarks on a mainstream
club tour with Thousand
Foot Krutch.
REDBIRD ARENA—
”
NORMAL, IL Thu
rsday, January 24
, 2008
FANFARE
Ariel Blackwell
Morris, IL (14)
“I came here with my
youth group and
loved it all so much. I
just love Skillet and had them sign my
jeans since I didn’t have anything else
with me!”
MANDISA PREFERS STAGE
OVER
SCREEN:
Whether you’re a fan of “American Idol” or not, no one can
deny Mandisa’s towering vocal ability, especially on her
explosive version of Mary Mary’s “Shackles (Praise You).”
Though “AI” was her first major launching pad for fame,
she told CCM she’d rather take to the live concert stage
any day. “Being on the show was much more difficult
because you can’t feed off anyone except the three
judges,” the singer shared. “I’ll always prefer the live
stage, because you can see people’s faces instead of just
imagining them watching through the TV set.”
Joe Kunsch
Ashkum, IL (17)
“The show has
excellent diversity to
appeal to kids who
are Christians and those who aren’t. It’s
wonderful that you can see so many
examples of artists living out what they
believe onstage.”
Nathan Holt
Hopedale, IL (19)
“I’m a youth
minister who
brought my kids
here for a good time, and they’re all
loving it! Skillet and MercyMe were
awesome, but all the bands were
amazing.”
Rod Simpson
East Peoria, IL
(55)
“I’ve been to Winter
Jam before, but this is
the most excellent one yet—especially
because of Newsong, MercyMe and
Skillet. I lived through the ’70s and ’80s,
and now the new millennium, so I’ve
adapted to all the styles!”
47 [ccmmagazine.com]
OTHER
TOUR TIDBITS:
BarlowGirl turned in a spirited set of tracks from its
current album, How Can We Be Silent (Fervent),
encouraging attendees to make a radical stand for
Christ in their schools, workplaces and day-to-day
environments. Newsong offered several periods of
soulful praise, while showcasing its newest lead singer,
Nate Sallie (also known for his piano pop solo career
on Curb). Connersvine was a last-minute addition to
the bill (after front man Hunter Smith’s football
season ended), performing the acoustic rocker “Hero”
just prior to MercyMe. The marathon lineup also
included speaker Tony Nolan, plus a pre-show party
featuring soulful/hip-hop troupe Group 1 Crew and
high-octane poppers pureNRG.
All photos by Andy Argyrakis
Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based writer/photographer.
He regularly contributes to the Chicago Tribune, runs a celebrity
column in the Daily Journal and writes daily for Concert Livewire,
amongst many other outlets.
[ccmmagazine.com] 47
2/13/08
4:22 PM
!
Page 48
ROOTS
[ARTISTS IN COMMUNITY]
By Johnston Moore
WISE ENCOUNTERS
Building 429’s Jason Roy and his wife are serious about pouring into the lives of college students.
” “
Jason. “We want to make sure these kids
have somebody a little bit older who’s
been there, done that, not too long
ago—and hopefully relate to them and
understand their needs, and to lead
them to Christ.”
“I lead a small group of girls in [our]
home,” says Cortni. “We’re doing a
Bible study together. Some of the girls
come over every week or so just to
check in and talk about what’s going on
in their lives.”
Jason has been able to use his
connections in nearby Nashville to bring
—RON EDMONDSON bands to Clarksville. “[We] rent out a
GRACE CO-PASTOR local bar or club and bring in bands and
have them play for free [for] the college
students. It’s just been a great time. It doesn’t make any sense for us not to use
the connections I have and bring those bands in and have them minister to our
college students.”
In addition, Cortni says, “Once a month, we have a large gathering we call
‘Encounter’ where we have worship and speakers.” Grace’s senior pastors
support the college ministry by speaking at ‘Encounter.’
“Jason and Cortni’s heart for students was obvious from the beginning,” says
Grace co-pastor Ron Edmondson. “They willingly opened their lives to the
students of our church. We are in a college town (Austin Peay State University),
but because of our commitments starting the church, we had neglected the
college ministry. Their involvement made it possible for us to launch our
college ministry far sooner than we might have been able to otherwise.”
While the Roys pour into the lives of students, they also recognize the need for
accountability and discipleship from others in their own lives. “Ron Edmondson is
a huge influence on me. We go have coffee every once in a while, just to catch up,”
says Jason. In addition, he has others who play important roles in shaping who he
is and in holding him accountable when he’s on the road. Cortni leans on her
family (who is part of Grace Community), as well as other moms (she and Jason
are parents of a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter) in the church for
support and accountability.
Though the church is protective of
Jason as a musician, he does ask to help
lead worship on occasion. “These guys
are unbelievable musicians and
worship leaders,” says Jason. “When I
play, it’s more because I want to than
because they need somebody to play.”
JASON AND
CORTNI’S INVOLVEMENT
MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR
US TO LAUNCH OUR
COLLEGE MINISTRY FAR
SOONER THAN WE
MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE
TO OTHERWISE.”
As Christians, we know that to get wisdom, we must ask God for it, for He is the
source of wisdom. True Godly wisdom gives us the ability to live life well and as
God designed it. It helps guard us against the temptations of our culture. In
addition, it helps us to align our priorities with God’s, paying close attention to
those things important to Him, and to live our lives accordingly.
Jason Roy, the front man for Building 429, and his wife Cortni, have been
blessed with wisdom beyond their years. The wisdom God has given them has
enabled them to see life through new lenses and to act on what they see.
They recognize and understand the importance of living in community with
other believers, passing on their blessings and wisdom to those who follow in
their footsteps.
To that end, Jason and Cortni have immersed themselves in the life of Grace
Community Church (Clarksville, Tenn.)—of which they have been a part for two
years—and in particular with the next generation there. “We’re worshippers in
the church. We’re always there as much as we can be,” says Jason. “We’re part of
the group that started the college ministry there about a year ago. Cortni is still
part of the group heading it up. When I’m in town, I help out however I can.”
Jason and Cortni had very different experiences in their own college careers,
yet both recognize how difficult college and being away from home can be for
young people. “We just want to make sure they know they are loved, and there’s
a place where they can come and hang out when they’re having a hard time,” says
Cortni Roy, Pastor Ron Edmondson, Jason Roy
Johnston Moore is a screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. He and wife Terri are
the parents of several adopted children.
48 [ccmmagazine.com]
2/15/08
1:12 PM
Page 49
CLASSIFIEDS
CONTEST
CHRISTIAN SONGWRITING CONTEST: Win
studio time, performance opportunities, cash
and more in the God-song contest. Each entry
receives a written evaluation. Upload your entry,
or download rules and forms at god-song.com
or 850-276-6503. Deadline 3/31/08
SERVICES
HeirChex DIGITAL SERVICING: Artists need
airplay! DJs need music service! WE CAN MAKE
IT HAPPEN! [email protected]
www.HeirChex.com
HAVE YOUR MUSIC HONESTLY EVALUATED:
by an extremely successful 40-year rock and
Christian radio pro at
thechristianmusicevaluator.com
VINYL, CDs
NEW CDs $7, used CDs $4. Buy, sell, trade.
100% guaranteed. RD’s CDs: www.rds-cds.com,
toll-free: 1-866-794-0378
Looking for news about your favorite Adult
Contemporary, Pop or Classic Christian artists?
Check out ChristianMusicPlanet.com!
Occasionally, CCM Magazine allows other Christian organizations to
mail offers of their products or services to people on our
subscriber list. If you do not want to receive mail from these
organizations, please contact our customer service department at
800/527-5226.
;
CCM [ISSN 1524–7848] is published monthly by Salem Publishing.
Copyright: CCM © 2008 by Salem Publishing, 104 Woodmont Blvd.,
Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37205. Contents may not be reproduced in
any manner, either whole or in part, without prior written
permission of the publisher. Editorial: The editor cannot assume
responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and will return only
those accompanied by a stamped, self–addressed envelope.
Writers’ guidelines available upon request. Advertising: Neither
the advertisers nor the contents of advertisements appearing in
this publication are necessarily endorsed by Salem Publishing. We
cannot accept liability for any products, services, etc., offered in
advertisements; but please contact us if you experience any
difficulties with advertisers. Periodicals postage paid at Nashville,
TN, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
CCM Magazine, 104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300, Nashville, TN
37205.
DOWNLOAD
AN ORDER FORM AT
WWW.CCMMAGAZINE.COM/
BACK ISSUE S
[ccmmagazine.com] 49
2/15/08
1:13 PM
Page 50
THE FINAL WORD [with Louie Giglio]
THE FAT IS GONE
I'm not sure if you've heard, but the print magazine
you're holding in your hands is going away. From
what I've been told (I'm just the guy who writes the
last page) only one more issue remains, leaving me
to assume the dreaded downturn in the music
industry has taken another bite out of something
we've come to enjoy and appreciate.
Sooner or later you'd think we would become
alarmed, but the evaporation in music sales over
the past four years (a freefall most thought would
have hit bottom by now) has evoked little more
than a collective yawn from those not directly
associated with the making and distributing
of music.
There's certainly been no love lost on the
industry (as a disclaimer, I am happily leading a
small label family), a tribe most consumers
consider fat and greedy. And most don't really see
a downside for the fans, with the possible
exception of those of you who will miss
these pages.
But the bigger story is really not about the
labels, artists or fans. It's about Christ's Church. In
the end, the story will not be Too Bad For The
Industry, or even Too Bad For The Fans. The real
story, as it relates to the erosion of Christian music,
is Too Bad for The Church.
While I'm certain many music lovers wouldn't
even think of taking a shortcut to obtaining the
songs they value, day after day music is being
“permanently borrowed” by a growing majority
with increasing ease. Yet, it's more than the music
that's being stolen. It's the moment. Once again,
the Church is squandering an opportunity to
shimmer in the midst of a dimming world. You have
to admit, it would have been a pretty cool story,
and a really easy platform on which to showcase
the Savior, if Christian music sales had defied the
global trend, which, while influenced by multiple
factors, has been mostly fueled by technologically
aided theft.
Labels have tried various campaigns to raise the
banner of “truth in listening,” but for the most part,
their pleas have failed, appearing to some as
nothing more than shrouded self-preservation.
Moreover, the “powers that be” have tried to scare
us righteous, hauling unsuspecting end users into
court on charges of music piracy. But even such
threats haven't deterred an emboldened
generation. And artists? They, by in large, have
50 [ccmmagazine.com]
been reluctant to speak, concerned they might
come off looking no better than the labels, risking
a backlash from their fans. And few Christian
leaders have stepped into the fray; and even if they
did many would only see them as holier than thou
crusaders out of touch with what is commonly
accepted among this generation.
Rationalizations from music listeners abound,
mostly about how everyone is getting rich enough
off Christian music, so why not grab a little for free?
After all, if the labels trimmed down to size there
wouldn't be a problem anyway.
Well, defending the size of the industry is not
my calling, but if corporate obesity is your
stumbling block, trust me, the fat is gone. We're
now down to losing eyes, ears and limbs, and the
whole ship is listing badly.
I'm sure some will say, “Hurray,” while others will
implore with glee, “I stole it, who cares, let them all
go under.” Yet, something greater is at stake here
than individual choice. We, my friends, are a
collective (think Body), and could easily have
seized the moment to shine a beacon on the One
we love.
If such spiritual talk makes you queasy, it's
important for you to know I'm writing this sitting
down, not on a pedestal that makes me higher
than anyone else. I should be writing it on my
knees, because what I'm saying convicts me of so
many ways I am not unlike the cultural norm. That's
sad, given I have something miraculous flowing
through my veins. And as a Believer, you do, too.
Surely, the world will not end if the music
industry grinds to a halt (though I will be sad
because many within it are my friends and have
such honorable intentions), but an opportunity will
be lost. Ideally, the Christian music industry would
have trimmed the fat long ago, reflecting that we
(and the music we believe so strongly in) are part
of a transcendent Kingdom that compels us to
think differently about everything we do. And,
ideally, music lovers would have done a more
honorable thing. Then, the headline would have
read: OVERALL MUSIC SALES SINK WHILE ONE
SEGMENT SHINES.
And, as a result of simply doing what is right and
good, many perplexed questioners would have
been introduced to Jesus, which, as I understand it,
is the point of Christian music in the first place.
A passionate communicator and author, Louie Giglio is the
founder of Passion Conferences, a collegiate movement
calling people around the world to lives that spread God’s
fame. Giglio also heads sixsteps records, a label partner with
EMI CMG, and home to artist-worshipers Chris Tomlin, David
Crowder*Band, Matt Redman and Charlie Hall.
268generation.com

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