Andy Mineo – Uncomfortable Album and Tour Review

Andy Mineo – Uncomfortable Album and Tour Review

I hadn’t really discovered Andy Mineo until earlier this year when his new album Uncomfortable dropped in September. read more

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One Wild Life : Soul [Album Review] – Gungor
One Wild Life - Soul

One Wild Life : Soul [Album Review] – Gungor

Last year was full of transition for the band Gungor, and I wrote about their challenges in Gungor’s Shunning and I Am Mountain Review. read more

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25 Advent Songs While We Wait for Christmas
25 Contemporary Advent Song

25 Advent Songs While We Wait for Christmas

The misunderstood and often lacking music of Advent hold some beautiful value for us as we prepare for the great season of Christmas that begins December 25th. read more

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What I’m Into – November 2014
What I'm Into Nov 2014

What I’m Into – November 2014

November is one of those months that starts slow in anticipation of the holiday season, and then it suddenly speeds up and passes away. read more

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The Liturgists – EP Reviews

The Liturgists – EP Reviews

Originally, I had these thoughts mixed in with my review of I Am Mountain, but while there is a clear connection, it made sense to separate the two thoughts. 

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Gungor’s Shunning and I Am Mountain Review

Gungor’s Shunning and I Am Mountain Review

Almost two years after I first saw the band Gungor live for the first time, they returned to Austin earlier this year, where I was pleasantly surprised to a completely different experience.

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The Ascension – Phil Wickham [Album Review]
Ascension - Phil Wickham [Album Review]

The Ascension – Phil Wickham [Album Review]

Phil WickhamPhil Wickham keep churning out albums, and I like it. On September 24, Phil Wickham released his 6th full length album titled The Ascension. This month, I was able to attend his concert where I saw him perform live for the third time, and I keeps becoming even more impressive.


Musically, these new songs fall right in line with his past records. There’s no real shift in style like many contemporary Christian musicians are trying this year. I like the constant. There are a few songs that start off with some pop radio sounds, but it does seem that the instruments are always secondary elements.

Phil Wickham also has a beautiful voice that is capable hitting a wide range. It’s impressive how Phil Wickham often uses his voice as a major instrument in the song. When he plays live, this is even more noticeable because he applies live effects similar to how he uses pedals with his guitar.


Ascension - Phil Wickham [Album Review]

Lyrically, there isn’t much theological depth, but there is a very beautiful, poetic truth that he preaches through his music – the reality of heaven. This is one of the reasons he’s become one of my favorite artist. He is focused on heaven and seeks a distraction-free focus on that pursuit of our Lord.

The titles alone from this record and his previous unmistakably and unapologetically show the desires he has for these songs. Here are some of my favorite lyrics from some of the songs on this album.

Carry My Soul

One of my favorite songs on the album, the theme is focused on the dramatic moment when we die and our soul is ripped from our body and taken into heaven.

“Oh I can hardly wait

Until You carry my soul

Carry my soul away”

“And I will keep my lamplight

Burning in the night

I’ll be waiting here for You

Watching for all Your signs

If I may be so bold to ask You

Would You lend Your ear to me

Oh Lord come quickly”


Like many of Phil Wickham’s songs, this one is deeply entrenched in scripture. This song takes its central message from Psalm 42 and the Samaritan Woman at the well.

One thing I ask and I would seek

To see You there in front of me

With nothing standing in the way

Just me before You unashamed

I thirst for you

I thirst for you

You’re the well that won’t run dry

Only you can satisfy

When My Heart is Torn Asunder

This song is a striking reminder of the temporary nature of our struggles in comparison to the eternity of heaven with our Lord.

There is hope

Beyond the suffering

Joy beyond the tears

Peace in every tragedy

Love that conquers fear

I have found redemption

In the blood of Christ

My body might be dying

But I’ll always be alive


Phil Wickham-bwEven though this album is called The Ascension, it is never directly about THE Ascension of Jesus. It uses the word more figuratively and poetically referring to a spiritual and mental ascension to the ways of God. There is some reference to death and heaven, but Catholics reserve this term for Jesus ability to enter into heaven on His own power as God. The rest of us will be raised in a similar way but by His power and authority at the final judgement. Nothing is said directly about it, so there’s nothing that can really be seen as problematic.

I was impressed with the album, but my preference is his more authentic and simplified versions of the songs that he performs live. Even still, the music is great and a beautiful gift to us. The pop themed sounds can be a turn off for some looking for something more prayerful, but don’t let the sound fool you, it’s authentic prayer.

Buy The Ascension from Amazon

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Homemade Worship Music [Campfire – Album Review]

Homemade Worship Music [Campfire – Album Review]

In a world overflowing with processed products, there are still a few musicians left willing to hand make quality music worthy to praise our Lord.

In November 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Tenth Avenue North’s Struggle Tour in San Antonio opening with Audrey Assad and Rend Collective Experiment. I’ll address the first two in a different post.

The Irish musicians known as Rend Collective Experiment has become one of my new favorite bands over the last year . I had not heard much about them until last fall, but their approach really caught my attention. Like many new collectives seeking a deeper authenticity, there is more than one lead singer to keep the focus on the art rather than the individuals.

First impressions from the group can come off as quirky with their hodgepodge of instruments and eclectic visual style. Looking past that, their music becomes a beautiful transcendental experience. Their art can be described as raw and authentic.


CampfireThe Campfire album, released January 2013,  is a collection of alternative versions from the Organic Family Hymnal and Homemade Worship by Handmade People albums. The biggest difference is that album is all folk style. It certainly has the authentic feel of being homemade while keeping full production quality from professional studio equipment.

The style of this album comes off more as live recordings from a night of praise and worship. Like I mentioned in my review of A Creation Liturgy by Gungor, that does not always fit everyone’s taste. For some, It can be considered distracting, while others see it as just part of the “homemade” flavor. I personally enjoy the folk sound, but I have to admit that the background singers hold me back from letting these songs lead me into prayer. Although, it is fun to listen to it really loud in the car if you want to feel like you’re partying at a campfire with friends.

I think the cover of the album sums up this album the best. Friends getting together to have fun in community and praise the Lord.

Since this album is a combination of the first albums, I want to share some thoughts on those too.

Organic Family Hymnal

Rend-Collective-Experiment-OrganicFamilyHymnalThis is my favorite album from the the group. The music in this collection was their first major release that really helped define their sound and character. One of my favorite elements is the way they take familiar parts of hymns to combine them with new music for a refreshed approach.

I highly recommend the songs “I Exalt You.” and “Love Divine.” Rend Collective Experiment takes these classic concepts and breathes new life to modernize old hymns.

Homemade Worship by Handmade People

Even though they did add more production and “processing” in this album, the music is still very in line with their mission.

HandmadeWorshipThe lyrics are great in their first album, but they found a way to take it to the next level in this collection. These songs are intentional and focused directly to our Lord. As obvious as that sounds, many bands today can easily get caught up singing about how great we are rather than how amazing our God and His love are to us.

My favorite songs in this album are “Desert Soul” and “Alabaster,” although every song has something to love. Below are my favorite lines in the whole album.

I’m lost without Your creative spark in me
Recreate me.
I’m dead inside unless your resurrection sings.

You are exactly what we need.
All that I am is dry bones without you lord,

A desert soul

I am broken, but running
toward you God, you made me whole.

Desert Soul

As a Catholic, I have to confess that there are some flawed theological concepts in a few songs, but fortunately it’s never any of the main themes. They call us all to the same Lord, and remind us of our daily call to convert our hearts to God’s love.

Their music quality rivals that of Mumford & Sons, but the most impressive quality of this group is their deep passion for Jesus. I highly recommend their first two albums to you, but I would suggest that you listen to some samples of the Campfire album before you download or buy it just to see if it is something you enjoy.

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