The official kick-off to spring also marks the month of Easter, which means plenty of uplifting new albums to celebrate the risen Savior. Some of April’s biggest names dropping discs include Marvin Sapp and Steven Curtis Chapman (spotlight reviews coming soon), alongside other prominent players like Smokie Norful, Thousand Foot Krutch, Delirious and Demon Hunter. Read on to get the skinny on some of this month’s top titles, and for those simply looking to add a few new tracks to their playlist, we've got the best download picks as well.
The Act: Smokie Norful
The Album: Once In a Lifetime (EMI Gospel)
The Sound: R&B/Urban Gospel
The Scoop: The latest release from Smokie Norful is more than a simple greatest hits compilation, but an intimate portrait of the musical journey he’s taken so far. Sure, it’s loaded with all his key singles and current church classics, but the tracks unite under an umbrella of the human condition from a Christian perspective, coupled with plenty of praise.
Best Download: “I Need You Now”
The Act: Thousand Foot Krutch
The Album: The End Is Where We Begin (self-released)
The Sound: Modern Rock
The Scoop:Taking matters into its own hands, Thousand Foot Krutch voluntarily returns to indie life and the sound that turned the modern rockers into a household name. Gear up for a hearty round of rhymin’ and rappin’ over full harmonies, crunching guitars and a lyrical canvas that pushes the envelope.
Best Download: “Light Up the Sky”
The Act: Demon Hunter
The Album: True Defiance (Solid State)
The Sound: Hard Rock/Modern Metal
The Scoop: The sixth studio disc from these hard rock veterans just so happens to mark the band’s dozen-year anniversary. The full-throttled fivesome sound fiercer than ever; the project casts an entirely original musical palette, grounded in the message to live out life with assertiveness and unrelenting passion.
Best Download: "My Destiny"
The Act: Manafest
The Album: Fighter (BEC Recordings)
The Sound: Rap/Hip-Hop
The Scoop: Toronto's Chris Greenwood (better known in musical circles as Manafest) teams up with producers Adam Messinger (Justin Bieber) and Seth Mosley (Newsboys) for an accessible but still ambitious blend of rap, hip-hop and R&B. The street-savvy artist tackles topics like childhood insecurity, perseverance and evangelism.
Best Download: “Never Let You Go”
The Act: Delirious?
The Album: The Cutting Edge Years: 20th Anniversary Edition (Sparrow)
The Sound: Brit Pop/Rock/Worship
The Scoop: Even though Delirious? is technically no longer a band, this CD/DVD set offers longtime fans something to fawn over, while also introducing younger listeners to its origins. The collection celebrates all of the group’s key early cuts, which have since transformed into some of the church and modern worship scene’s most moving material.
Best Download: “Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?”
The Act: Big Daddy Weave
The Album: Love Come to Life (Fervent Records)
The Sound: Pop/Rock
The Scoop: After the title track first appeared on Big Daddy Weave’s The Ultimate Collection, the group’s latest pop/rock shades come to full fruition on a brand-new studio CD. “I find that I say I ‘love,’ but that sometimes it stops at words and doesn’t turn into action,” muses frontman Mike Weaver of the new album’s centerpiece. “Jesus is ‘love come to life.’ My prayer to Him is for love to come to life in all of us... in what we do, not just what we say.”
Best Download: “Love Come to Life”
The Act: Trip Lee
The Album: The Good Life (Reach Records)
The Sound: Rap/Hip-hop
The Scoop: One of today’s most talked-about rappers hits his creative stride with a little help from label mates/co-producers Lecrae, KB and Andy Mineo. Throughout The Good Life, Trip Lee turns in a ceaselessly contagious soundtrack while encouraging believers to make the most out of their walk with the Lord, rather than trying to climb the seemingly empty worldly ladder.
Best Download: “Robot”
The Act: Holly Spears
The Album: Heartache to Hope (Girl on a Mission Music, LLC)
The Sound: Pop/Adult Contemporary
The Scoop: She may be debuting nationally this month, but Holly Spears has a pretty impressive history dating back to being discovered by Blessid Union of Souls' singer Eliot Sloan, followed by a tour with that band and additional dates alongside The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn and Gin Blossoms. Throughout Heartache to Hope, Holly turns in socially conscious songs that vocally recall the likes of Natalie Merchant or Margaret Becker.
Best Download: “A Beautiful Mess”
The Act: Haste the Day
The Album: Best of the Best (Solid State)
The Sound: Metalcore
The Scoop: With a ten-year history before disbanding in 2011, it’s only fitting that Haste the Day says farewell with a career-spanning anthology. The highlight reel is virtually endless as it traces the band’s evolution from an underground Indiana outfit to one of the nation’s most respected faith-framed heavy music acts.
Best Download: "Chorus of Angels"
Copyright 2012, watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.
About the Writer
Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, IllinoisEntertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name few). His record label writing credits include Warner Brothers, Atlantic, Curb, EMI and Universal, with additional photo credits for Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, MTV.com and Vibe.com. He’s also the author/narrator of "Access Matthews" (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel’s very own "Gospel Dream" (where he served as season one judge).
News You May Also Like
With the kids gearing up for a week off from school, spring has officially sprung (or has it)? While family-friendly destinations like Orlando, San Diego and Myrtle Beach are surely on everyone's mind, some parents are probably starting to sweat over the funds that could disappear from their...
The songstress invited some friends to join her on several cuts, giving the album the feel of an intimate gathering. James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow and Grant’s husband, Vince Gill, among others, all make appearances on the record.Grant says she’s learned the art of choosing the...
Every song is a chapter taken straight from the singer-songwriter’s life, detailing the highs and lows of the past decade – the marriage of her step-daughter, the 2010 Nashville flood, the unexpected deaths of close family and friends and the struggle of both her mother and her father...