Here’s some of the albums I’ve been listening to on Spotify last month. Apologies to any readers in countries unable to use Spotify.
Newsboys – In the Hands of God (3/5)
The only Newsboys album I own is Thrive, which I thought was a nice mixture of the anthemic and the quirky. In some ways this new album has a similar sound, but lacks the stand-out tracks that Thrive has. Lyrically it was a little disappointing. "This is your life, treat yourself right, treat others right, live like you know you should". … "heaven’s calling for your best shot", sound like little more than a motivational pep talk. "In the hands of God" and The Upside are my favourites.
Chris and Conrad – Chris and Conrad (4/5)
This a very strong debut album with impeccable production quality. In fact, it almost seems too slick in places – did we really need auto-tuned vocals in Rescue? Its filled with lots of big, anthemic melodies. The songs are well crafted, and the lyrics express complete devotion to Jesus. Lead me to the cross (which interestingly also features on the Newsboys album – I don’t know whose song it is), Love Revolution, and Breathe Your Life are my favourites.
Jeremy Riddle – The Now and Not Yet (3/5)
Jeremy Riddle is a Vineyard pastor / worship leader. The album features a mix of driving praise tracks and more reflective ballads. Bless his name is perhaps the most suitable for congregational use, with a strong melody if a little unadventurous. I didn’t think any one track really stood out, but I liked Among the Poor and I am Redeemer.
Jonny Diaz – More Beautiful You (3.5/5)
This album has a cheerful and sometimes cheesy pop sound, but thanks to some nicely crafted lyrics and melodies, I still found it enjoyable. The opening track More Beautiful You, tackles self-esteem issues in young girls, although risks sounding a little clichéd. The humorous bonus track The Opener is a nice addition.
Abandon – II (3/5)
Rather unconventionally, Abandon have followed up their debut EP with another EP rather than a full album. The opening track Song for the Broken has a U2 feel to it. If I could write a song, has a beautiful melody, although I was not entirely sure I knew what it was about.