New Releases from Thousand Foot Krutch, Britt Nicole, Starfield and Casting Crowns

Here are some new reviews for you to check out:
Thousand Foot Krutch– The End is Where We Begin
Have you ever created an exercise playlist for yourself where every song is aimed to pump you up?  Thousand Foot Krutch’s seventh album and their first independent release after a lengthy relationship with Tooth and Nail Records, has that relentless in-your-face feel to it.  After a brief  robotic Cylon intro, the album kicks into high gear with “We Are” and never really lets up.  Songs like “Light Up the Sky”  and “Let the Sparks fly” are intense, interchanging powerful crunchy guitar chords with Trevor McNevan’s rap verses (which harken back to the band’s earlier albums) to produce heat not heard in Christian music since Skillet’s “Awake and Alive” album.   When I promoted Krutch almost 15 years ago in concert, the band whipped the youth into a frenzy that I had rarely seen before.  The songs on this album remind me of that concert and I suspect these songs will all translate very well into concert.  Even the very theatrical and orchestral “Courtesy Call” builds in a very cool manner into a head-banging climax.   It could be said that the album draws too closely from influences like Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park, but this is also what gives this album such a solid feel from start to finish.  So far, this is my favorite hard rock Christian album of the year.  Most highly recommended
Britt Nicole has always been my recommendation for those who want an alternative to female dance-pop singers on the radio.  On this, her third album Britt Nicole continues to create catchy songs that would not be out of place on secular hit radio, reminding me of Katy Perry and Rihanna on many occasions.  The title cut “Gold” encourages the youth to see that God has made every person valuable.   “Look Like Love”. “Amazing Life (Capital Kings Remix)” and “Breakthrough” continue the commercial pop sound, and would not sound out of place at your local dance club.  The highlight of the album, though, is “Ready or Not’,  a collaboration with rapper Lecrae, which has the potential to help Britt Nicole to a wider audience in the secular world.  Now that Britt Nicole is on her third album, the lyrics on this album reflect a new-found maturity.   The ballads are a little too similar to the usual easy-listening  Christian music which dominates the format but this is a small nit-pick.   Overall, definitely worth a listen.
Starfield– The Kingdom
Like Thousand Foot Krutch, this is an independent release from a band that has been one of Canada’s top acts in recent years.  The band seems to have picked up a Switchfoot influence which is a great stylistic departure.  The first song,
“Natural Disaster” brims with an energetic and edgy sound.  “Burns for You” continues in this vein, at a slightly lower intensity.  “The Kingdom” is an anthemic number which should go over well in concert.  The remainder of the songs stay in the same consistent mid-tempo praise style that so dominant the Christian airwaves.  Thus, my only minor criticism is a sameness to the songs after awhile.  The only break is the rousing “All I Want is You”, my favorite on the album.  Nonetheless, this is a promising change of direction for Starfield.  Solid and quite enjoyable.
Casting Crowns– Come to the Well
Casting Crowns are the darlings of the Christian music world.  I suspect I will be a lone dissenting voice by stating my disappointment with their latest offering.  After the very nice “Courageous”, a song from the soundtrack of the movie of the same name, and, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, which questions the self-righteous in all of us,  the remainder of the songs fall short for me of what one of the most consistent Christian bands should be capable of.  Although the lyrics tackly some interesting issues, the commercial Christian radio-friendly arrangements seem to stop the album from connecting with me.  An example is “My Own Worst Enemy” which tackles the same issues as “Monster” from Skillet.  Listen to both songs and the latter song is simply more sincere and believable.  Recommended  for fans of this band but I feel that Casting Crowns has come to the same well once too often.
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One response to “New Releases from Thousand Foot Krutch, Britt Nicole, Starfield and Casting Crowns

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