Rebecca St. James
Rebecca St. James, the girl wonder from Down Under, knocks our socks off with her latest CD, Transform (ForeFront). Good title; Rebecca's music transforms with each new album. It's still her trademark pop (and even a few elements of disco!), but with more depth and musical maturity than her previous releases. The first radio single, "Don't Worry," is pure pop. But much of the rest of the CD goes deeper—sonically and lyrically. One of the strongest tracks is "Merciful," a gut-wrenching cry of confession and repentance: We will lay down/We humbly repent/And we cry out for you God/Have mercy on us. While Rebecca sings this heartfelt prayer, the London Symphony Orchestra permeates the background with a haunting string accompaniment. Another stellar cut is "Stand," which captures Rebecca's passion for sharing her faith: This is our time to rise up/To stand and be counted … / We've got the hope/We've got the answer/Let's lay down our all/With reckless abandon. This one'll be spinning in our CD player for quite a while.
Loud and Clear (BEC), the fourth CD from the Supertones, is aptly titled: It should be played loud, and its message is clear—Christ rocks our world. The CD explodes with the hard-driving opening track, "Escape from Reason," with Matt Morginsky at his rappin' best. Highlights: the reggae-ish "What It Comes To," featuring dc Talk's Toby McKeehan, and "Return of the Revolution," with background vocals by Gospel Gangstaz.
by Chris Lutes
|GROUP/ARTIST||ALBUM (LABEL)||STYLE||COMPARE TO||NOTE THIS|
|Aurora||Aurora (Red Hill)||dance pop||B*Witched, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears||sisters Lauren, Rachel and Raquel learned to sing harmony together from their mother, who wanted to keep the then 4- and 5-year-olds occupied while she cooked|
|Embodyment||The Narrow Scope of Things (Solid State)||hard rock/hardcore||Sevendust, Creed, Godsmack||this album makes a radical departure from the growling death metal that characterized Texas-based Embodyment's previous offerings|
|Nichole Nordeman||This Mystery (Sparrow)||folk pop||Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Paula Cole||This Mystery includes the bonus cut "Why," the song that launched Nichole's recording career|
|The Normals||Coming to Life (ForeFront)||modern rock||U2, Better Than Ezra, Live||this sophomore album from the Normals features a fuller band line-up, edgier sound and weighty songs like "Black Dress," the story of David's sin of adultery with Bathsheba|
|Philmore||Philmore (Five Minute Walk)||power punk||Offspring, Weezer, MxPx||brothers Justin and Kayle Greiman, and friend Brett Schoneman, grew up in Garner, Iowa (population: 2,916) and attended Garner-Hayfield High School|
|Salvador||Salvador (Myrrh)||latin-style rock||Santana, Ricky Martin, Lou Bega||originally known as Holy Fire, Salvador played at the DC/LA conferences last summer and leads worship for Teen Mania's Acquire the Fire conferences|
|Kelli Williams||In the Myx (of Your Will) (Myrrh)||r&b||Destiny's Child, TLC, Lauryn Hill||Kelli began singing professionally at the age of 10, and is a former teen champion on Ed McMahon's Star Search|
NOTE: For your convenience, the following products, which were mentioned above, are available for purchase from the ChristianityToday.com Shopping Channel:
- Transform, by Rebecca St. James
- Loud and Clear, by Supertones
- Aurora, by Aurora
- The Narrow Scope of Things, by Embodyment
- This Mystery, by Nichole Nordeman
- Coming to Life, by The Normals
- Philmore, by Philmore
- Salvador, by Salvador
- In the Myx (of Your Will), by Kelli Williams
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