It's been over a year since I last posted on this blog, and I bring you Total Surrender. (Not to the blog or you, silly - that's the band.) This 4 piece band has been playing in the Massachussetts/RI area for a few years now. The album releases June 11th.

While the lyrics contain truth, sometimes the singing seems off. Standout tracks include: "City Of Gold", which looks ahead to the day we are taken to heaven forever. "Surrender", which speaks of what God can do when we give our broken lives over to Him. "Free" leads us to the true source of freedom - the blood of Christ which has released us from our sins.

You can check this one out if you want to. I probably wouldn't buy it myself, but there's no denying the truth of Total Surrender's words.

Check out their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/totalsurrendermusic Also, their Twitter: www.twitter.com/totalsurrender7


Well, it's been a while since I've done anything with this site, but we'll start things up again with Lara Landon's new album, Overcome. I listened to it all in one sitting yesterday evening. The first thing I noticed is that the arrangements are different, more haunting, almost as if radio airplay was less of a focus than before. The lyrical depth hasn't changed, however. The album's booklet features Scripture tied to the beautifully spiritual songs.

There's the wise-beyond-her-years message of "Better For The Breaking", recognizing that coming through trials refines us. The sweet prayer of surrender that is "Defenseless" (which resonates with me right now). The plea of Jesus for us to come to Him for rest in "The Storm". Lara's music is haunting, triumphant and hopeful. I love the Middle Eastern influence in "Look East" and "Overcome", both songs of promises to come. The single, "I See God In You", is addressed to someone who reminds her of God's work and qualities. Another highlight is the gorgeously worded "I Want You". It's similar to something Christy Nockels might sing. "The River" also stands out as a song of broken relationships and second chances.

If you're looking for a unique album with deep lyrics, Overcome is worth checking out.

Visit Lara's website @ http://www.laralandon.com


Check out her artist profile on NRT @ http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/artistdetail.php?artist_id=1263

This album of mostly slow songs includes a cover of Chris McClarney's "Your Love Never Fails". I haven't heard the original yet, but this one is well done. The other songs on this album were either written by Sean alone, with his wife Aimee, or the producer, Brent Milligan. Aimee supplies BGVs for most of the songs, and she even gets co-vocalist credit on the last track.

After hearing this album, I have to say I wish there were a few more upbeat tracks. Stand outs include "Shelter" (especially the chorus) "Surround Me" and "You Are Good" as well as the aforementioned cover song. I'm sorry this review isn't as detailed - I'm working from jotnotes made 2 weeks or so ago.

Today I'd like to introduce you to As One. The Surrey, BC band recently put out a nine-track album that was recorded live at Relate Church and released at their youth conference in late April.

Listening to the album, I found three stand out songs: "You Came", "Hope" and "Alive". I love the chorus of "Hope", but maybe it's because I have a weakness for 3 line patterns. ("My strength found in Jesus/The hope of nations/Salvation has come to this place") The same is true of "Alive"; it's a declaration that "I won't forget what You've done". We really need to be reminded of His great sacrifice, and although there's many songs that serve to do so, we can always use more. Sometimes all it takes is the right combination of words and music at the right time.

The one track I didn't like as much was "All Things". There's too much "I" and not enough "we". The verses apart from the chorus could have come from any inspirational song about overcoming obstacles. Which would have been alright if it wasn't supposed to be a worship song. And I'm not sure whether the vocalist on this one had a cold or that's his regular voice. (Sorry.)

In the end, As One will be enjoyed by anyone who likes the style that Hillsong United has made famous, although you won't find any deep prophecy references. (Maybe next time? I hear they want to put out an EP.)


1) When I See You 5:38

2) All Else Fades 4:09

3) Short Of Breath 3:51

4) The Creator 3:51

5) I Give You All 4:54

6) Lead Me Home 2:51

After an agonizing half hour trying to remember how to take a screenshot (okay, maybe "agonizing" is a bit much), I finally had proof that I'd invited my friends to become a Facebook fan (did I say "become a fan"? I meant "like"....whatever!) of Nine O Five. The reason for this little exercise? It snagged me a digital copy of their EP.

A worship band hailing from Port Perry, Ontario, Nine O Five recently appeared with Starfield at their home church, Carruthers Creek Community Church (C4) in Ajax for a free concert (which, before you ask, I did NOT see....I'm just passing on some trivia.) Band members include siblings Josh and Stephanie McCabe, Tim Mann, Tom Lang, and James Watts

From the awe expressed in "Short Of Breath" to the complete surrender of "I Give You All", this EP is solid all the way through. Josh McCabe's vocals are heartfelt and emotional, and the music ranges from reverent to joyous. However, "Lead Me Home" is a little abruptly ended, and at some points echoes "In Christ Alone" musically. If you like Our Heart's Hero, Tenth Avenue North, Hillsong United and/or Starfield, you might enjoy Nine O Five. You can get "All Else Fades" and "I Give You All" for FREE @ http://www.purevolume.com/nineofive. They're easily the 2 best tracks on this album.


1) Song Of The Angels 4:02

2) Greater 5:07

3) Worship Rises 5:20

I won a copy of this EP through the Canadian Bible Society's Facebook page, but I'd actually been following Joshua Seller on Twitter before that. The former Canadian Idol contestant is part of Worship Rises, a Canadian worship project? movement? (http://worshiprises.ca/) and leads worship at Harvest Bible Chapel in Oakville, Ontario. He also co-wrote its theme song. I follow Worship Rises because I like worship music (okay, I'm a junkie! lol).

"Song Of The Angels" (CGMA's Scripture Song of the Year award winner for 2009) is derived from Rev. 4:8 and 4:11. It starts off quietly and gets more powerful by the chorus. Next, it's "Greater", my favorite song of the 3, which reminds us of several things; God is greater than anything we're going through, will always be there for us, and is so much stronger than we are. I get chills at this one. It's the perfect anthem for anyone who's facing giants, a cry of defiance if you will. The last song, the aforementioned "Worship Rises", dedicates the worshippers' lives to God in the process of singing. It's a beautiful slow tempo song that builds at the bridge.

If you like his music, he's working on a full-length album now. Stay tuned!

Listen to the 1st two songs here: http://www.myspace.com/joshuaseller

Watch a video of Joshua performing "Worship Rises" here: http://vimeo.com/7136657

This is the first album I’ve ever reviewed by request of the artist. Not the first request, but hopefully not the last. I’d like to thank Rhett Canipe for asking me to do this.


The album starts off with “My Bravery”. A stirring celebration of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, featuring a chorus of whoas or ohs or whatever they’re saying. Unless you’re of the crowd that wishes the audience would either learn the words or shut up, it shouldn’t phase you. Didn’t bother me.


“The Invitation” calls all people to come to Christ, and this is where he sounds a little like Mike from Tenth Avenue North during the chorus. In “Breathe”, Rhett expresses a need to get closer to God. Probably the song with the most potential to be covered.


“Vessel” starts off with a cowboy hot desert sun twang which seems to contrast with the sea metaphors running through the song. A little contrast can be a good thing, however, because it gets your attention.


The longest song on this EP, “Hold Me Now”, at 6:37, features the voice of Audrey Assad, who seems to be everywhere these days. A piano-driven track that lasts longer than its lyrics would lead you to believe, it’s a nice way to end an album. Pulled back and forth like sweet taffy (a good thing, I assure you).


With a mixture of the expected and the surprising, Rhett Canipe’s EP leaves me in a paradox. I want more, but yet it’s just enough. Enjoy!

    Laura Cynthia Chambers



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