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Insomniac Folklore – A Place Where Runaways Are Not Alone

Re-post (Originally posted in November 2014)


Insomniac Folklore
A Place Where Runaways Are Not Alone
BD Records
Grade – B+

It is not everyday that I get a CD for review that has an FCC warning for strong language. And doubly odd is that the track in question is followed up by “This Little Light of Mine!” So let me explain – the best I can that is. The band is Insomniac Folklore and as the name suggests their an eclectic bunch of musicians with a modern-folk twist. It’s like punk meets folk.

The CD kicks off with a poetic spoken word introduction, and an invitation to participate in the sideshow that is about to invade your ears. The first musical track is an ecclesiastical based song called “Useless.” Right off you’re presented with an eclectic folk soundtrack and the deep, nearly monotone, vocals of your ringmaster Rev. Tyler Benjamin Hentschel. “Useless” is followed up with the sweet vocals of Amanda Curry on the melancholy track “Run Away.”

There is a lot of what I would call “odd” on the CD, but depending on your taste, you may just find it cleaver and entertaining. I know I have grown to like it myself. I think others would call it “artistic.” Either way, it is intriguing and highly creative.

Getting to the explicit warning for “In Me,” well the warning comes from the use of the slang term known as “BS.” In the lyrical context it is about building each other up and our dependence on the Lord for maturing as followers of Christ. So it goes… “BS don’t make things sharp.” Blunt but relevant. Get past that and the rest of the song is a cry out to God to break a heart of stone and darkness – a psalm like cry out to the Lord as it closes – “What can you do in me?” Another bold statement comes with “bodies and arson” where they sing, “burn down the building and let free the body.” The song speaks of the trappings of caring more for the church building than the church body.

Admittedly, it took a while for me to get past the oddity of the album, but in the end that is also what makes this Gospel centered sideshow even more valuable. Step out of the comfort zone and open your ears to a tapestry of music and edifying lyrics.

– Ken W.

David Ian – Vintage Christmas Wonderland

David Ian
Vintage Christmas Wonderland
Prescott Records

Vintage is what David Ian does well and his second holiday EP is spot on classic.

From the jazz piano, the drum brushes, and the enchanting vocals of Tal and Acacia, this album is a bundle of classic coolness. I particularly like “Jingle Bells” with its trio harmonies and jazzy Andrews sisters sound of Tal and Acacia.

For more on David Ian and his “vintage” offerings, check out his official website at http://www.iantunes.com/.

– Ken W.

Press Release: http://alphaomeganews.org/news/?p=7763

“Songs I’ve chosen for the new EP include two instrumentals: a mellow and swinging rendition of ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’ and ‘The First Noel,’ featuring a melodic bass solo by Jon Estes. The familiar sound of the vocalists stay true to the Vintage Christmas brand in ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ and ‘Winter Wonderland,’ with a slight departure in ‘Jingle Bells.’”

“Jingle Bells,” the EP’s final track, is confidently led by Andre Miguel Mayo and decorated by the classic and energetic harmonies of Tal and Acacia who also appeared on Vintage Christmas. Each song easily captures the spirit of the season with an intimate sound that’s warm and inviting.

Word Records – Triple Play “Best Of” (Mullen, Lampa and Velasquez)

The review below was a compilation, but as I was reviewing Jaci’s new CD, “Trust,” I was recalling my earlier days listing to Jaci, Rachael and Stacie Orrico. I was fortunate to have seen them all on stage and some in person over the past 17 years. Hoping to hear more from the others some day soon.

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Word Records – Triple Play “Best Of”

Recently Word Records released three “best of” CD’s from the top of their artist roster. Nicole C. Mullen’s “Redeemer,” Jaci Velasquez and “On My Knees,” and Rachael Lampa’s “Blessed.” Individually, each of these leading ladies has had a unique impact on the pop, Latin, and R&B markets. All have been individually successful and through all of the transitions both at Word Records and within the Christian industry itself, the three have held their own.

There is not doubt that each is deserving of a “best of” collection although one often wonders about the motivation behind such a project. In recent history, it either meant another label shakeup or an artist sabbatical. However, in this case, and point in time, new rock acts are dominating the industries attention. If we’re lucky, as fans, the three leading ladies and Word are planning the next big take over of the airwaves.

Either way, for fans of Rachael, Jaci, and Nicole, the 17 song compilations are worthy of evaluation. And in the instance of Nicole’s collection the listening audience is gifted with the addition of two live recordings of favorites “Redeemer” and “Call On Jesus” which have not been released before.

I have collected a sampling of links to past reviews and interviews from Nicole and Rachael. As I began to search our archive I was shocked by the absence of Jaci’s music on our site. However, in our defense we can only cover what is passed our way, and each artist has at times had different publicist with exclusive and inclusive media lists.

Of the three, I have had the pleasure of meeting only Rachael in person. However, I did get the opportunity to interview Nicole over the phone which was a real pleasing and friendly experience. Hopefully the future of Alpha Omega News will be full of new reviews, interviews, and concert photos from Nicole, Rachael, and Jaci.

– Ken W.

Wayne Caparas – Gospel Project

One of my favorite things about writing reviews for AlphaOmegaNews are the independent artist that offer to send in their CD’s.  This review was originally posted in September of 2008.

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Wayne Caparas

Gospel Project

Independent

Grade – B+

Wayne Caparas is a multifaceted artist with experience in singing, songwriting, and acting.  He is also in the professional field of multi-media production and business management at Caparas Media. The Gospel Project is an outreach of Wayne’s desire to teach the Gospel.  He himself has received extensive Biblical training that he is applying as a teacher and speaker as well as a musician.

The album, Gospel Project, is an accumulation of these skills and passions expressed in the form of music.  The CD starts out with a rather cool reggae rhythm on “I Know I Am.”  The base line on this song is kind of groovy and it really helps to make the lyrics flow.  The first song then is followed by a more inspirational sounding track called “Who Do You Say I Am,” telling a story about Jesus’ disciples.  I also liked the traditional spiritual “Life Changer.”  The spiritual chant is a lost art and not often heard on a mainstream CCM project.

The CD also features a handful of guest artist including Quiana Parler on “I Belong,” an amazing feat of vocal virtuosity, and Robert Williams (Saxophones) and Michael Brown (vocals) on “Maybe Maybe, Maybe,” which has more of a blues influence.  Additionally, Wayne’s daughter Amber is also featured on the CD on vocals, specifically on “Caterpillar Dreams,” which kind of has a light jazz wistful sound.

While there is a variety of sounds and styles on the Gospel Project,I believe that the overall appeal would be for the Gospel/Inspirational genre.  I think that the quality of writing, lyrically and musically, demonstrates that Wayne Caparas is a uniquely gifted artist on many levels.

  • Ken W.

Official Website: http://waynecaparas.com