AlphaOmegaNews

Austin and Lindsey Adamec

Austin & Lindsey Adamec cover

Austin and Lindsey Adamec
Radiate Music

I have always had a leaning towards husband and wife duo’s over the years. Mostly because of the range of vocal possibilities; either in harmonies or switching leads. It is no different with Austin and Lindsey, as they trade off leads and compliment each other with beautiful harmonies.

Add to that the depth of the lyrical content and you have an amazing worship album. The duo tackles some fairly big theological themes; Christ’s death and resurrection, miracles, and grace.

The lyrical content takes on much more meaning too when you learn of their personal testimonies regards to their individual musical careers and how they’ve come together on this new adventure. The song “Walks on Waves,” is a direct outpouring of the circumstances behind their current situation and reading about it gives me a much better sense of who they are. It’s a great backstory that gives them credibility.

For more on Austin and Lindsey check out their official web page at http://www.austinandlindseyadamec.com.

– Ken W.

You can also read a recent press release here.

Decyfer Down – The Other Side of Darkness

Decyfer Down-The Other Side of Darkness cover

Decyfer Down
The Other Side of Darkness
Fuel Music

Having had a successful run on a major label with Grammy and Dove nominations, there is no doubt there is some deep talent in this band. Not dismayed by changing economies which put pressure on both labels and bands, Decyfer Down held together with an incredible work ethic and desire to keep themselves on the scene.

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of seeing Decyfer Down live and they mentioned then that they were working on a kickstarter project to fund their next release. The new music they played that night was energetic and promising. And so far, the new album, “The Other Side of Darkness” does not fail to live up to the level of anticipation that was born that night.

There is a mass of heavy-duty guitar driven parts from track to track and a few tender moments as well like “Believe in Me” or the acoustic ballad “Burn Back the Sun”. By far though, my favorites are the ax-grinding tracks like “Anchor Me” and “Dead Skin.” The intensity and passion is amazing.

If you’re not convinced about their commitment, check out their tour schedule in April where they play nearly every day for the whole month! It may not be coliseum shows, but the small venues are much more personal for the fans and that matters more than any national accolades or awards.

Check out http://www.decyferdown.com/ for more on Decyfer Down and “The Other Side of Darkness.”

– Ken W.

Steven Curtis Chapman – Worship and Believe

SCC_worship

Steven Curtis Chapman
Worship and Believe
Essential Worship
15 tracks @ 75:30
Grade = A

It seems odd to say but after 29-years, Steven Curtis Chapman is releasing his first worship album. On his website, Steven Curtis writes that “Worship and Believe” his first “corporate worship experience.”

When one reads the linear notes to the new record, Steven Curtis explains how he made the intentional decision to sing worship songs as he struggled through the pain and loss of one of his adopted daughters back in 2008. It’s a very moving and powerful testimony to believing in the truth.

“Amen”is the first single. I really enjoy “Sing For You.” “We Believe”is another excellent track.

Steven Curtis is one of my faves and this is another outstanding record.

– Rob S.

http://stevencurtischapman.com/

JJ Weeks Band – As Long As We Can Breathe

jj-weeks

JJ Weeks Band
As Long As We Can Breathe
Centricity Music
10 tracks @ 34:00
Grade + A

This is the seventh release from this Georgia-based band. Lead singer JJ Weeks says, “Making a difference in people’s lives; that’s really why we do this, we want to be a vessel.”

A pleasing effort, “Alive in Me” and Ahead of Me” are among the stand out tracks.

– Rob S.

http://www.jjweeksband.com/

Alache` – The Chronicles of the Mrs.

alache

Alache`
The Chronicles of the Mrs.
MADE, INC

“The Chronicles of the Mrs.” is the first album from Alache` after a 5-year hiatus. The time lapse has provided her a plethora of life experiences to draw from and to sing about. You can definitely sense some major life changes in her lyrics.

I like the R&B and soulful vocals, but It is the lyrics that have really stood out the most for me on this album. The praise that she offers in “Another Day” is not a contrite statement. It seems to come from a heart that’s been broken and restored “deep inside” as the lyrics say.

There seems to be a lot of pain behind the lyrics through out the album. “Find Me” is a very personal plea for God’s grace and guidance and “Heaven’s Angel” is another such track speaking of life and death. “Same Tears Different Pain” clearly follows the same line of thought.

“The Chronicles of the Mrs.” seems to be a very personal album and even though it is full of sadness and pain, I find it to be edifying. I just have to go back to that lead track; “I have hope, I’m alive, I have peace…” and I know that there is hope.

For more on Alache` check out her official website at http://www.alache.com/.

– Ken W.

Mike R Schuster – Singalongs & Pseudohymns

schuster

Mike R Schuster
Singalongs & Pseudohymns

Mike R Schuster is an independent worship artist and songwriter from Calgary, Alberta. Mike is affiliated with Compassion as a representative artist and “Singalongs & Pseudohymns” is his third studio album.

Mike is very eclectic when it comes to style, from the folk rock sounds of “Able,” to the honkey-tonk vibe on “Nobody Loves Me Like You,” and the bluegrass themed “Praise the Lord.” It makes for a real interesting listen. I have truly enjoyed this CD just because of its creative simplicity and affective lyrics. It is an uplifting combination.

Some of the more contemporary tracks featuring light accents of guitar and piano. And almost all are songs that you can sing along with as the title suggests. They also have a very gospel-centric focus that is clearly articulated throughout the songs; which is maybe in part related to the second half of the title.

For more on Mike R Schuster check out his official website at http://www.mikerschuster.com/.

– Ken W.

Steven Curtis Chapman – Worship and Believe

SCC_worship

Steven Curtis Chapman
Worship and Believe (Deluxe Version)
Provident

The latest from Steven Curtis Chapman strays from his usual pop-rock style and focuses on worship. I have a high regard for Chapman, with all that he (and his family) has endured he continues to be engaged in his faith; both with music and a ministry for adoption (Show Hope). Given all that, it makes a worship album all that more significant.

The deluxe version runs 17 tracks for a total of 1hr 24min with the addition of the live tracks. Picking out a few favorites is difficult, but I would highlight “One True God” featuring fellow worship artist Chris Tomlin. “One True God” has that big worship sound and its heartfelt lyrics are inspiring. I also like “The Body,” as I am a firm believer in the gathering of the saints (and sinners) in a corporate environment. The live tracks are a nice addition by capturing some of the energy of a live show.

Overall, Worship and Believe is a fresh offering in the worship genera and Chapman’s many years of experience in life and his musical career are evident with this new CD. For more check out http://stevencurtischapman.com/.

– Ken W.

Owlegories Vol. 2

Owlegories Vol. 2
The Ant, The Fruit, and the Butterfly
Gunderson Entertainment

owlegories-vol2Volume 2 of the Owlegories series continues to provide wonderful family entertainment with a strong biblical message. There are many theories on repetitive instructions from Classical Conversations to the Montessori Method, and I believe they would all agree that Owlegories is a creative mode of reinforcing character lessons in an entertaining, in a meaningful way. It’s something that I find to be another instrument in my teaching toolbox.

What better way to teach children about the value of getting their work done first and doing all things as if for Jesus (The Ant). I can say it over and over again and reinforce it by rewards or punishments, but for some reason my children seem to get it better when the message comes from an adorable little animated owl. The same can be said of following Christ actively (The Butterfly) and living a fruitful life that is a testimony to others (The Fruit).

The Owlegories is a great new series that brings a fresh appeal to the animated storytelling genre which was once dominated by adorable little vegetables. For more on the Owlegories check out their official website at http://www.owlegories.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Owlegories. And don’t forget to check out their iOS and Android apps!

– Ken W.