Friday April 30th…the end of another month. And this week, we actually have 30 new releases for you to look over. Hopefully something in this bunch will float your boat. My boat is rocking with a couple killer releases and then my boat feels a little country too with another. My choices are in Blue. Let me know which ones you are dying to hear and which ones I might have missed as I am sure there are some despite the large number here. Thanks for stopping by each week and for all the support. I hope you all have a great and rocking weekend!!
Royal Bloods – Typhoons – (Warner Bros): This album was supposed to come out last year and I have been waiting a long while for it to finally arrive. Their last album, the 2017 “How Did We Get So Dark?”, was smashing. If you like rock with a little blues, a little garage rock sound and just plain hard, then this is for you!!
Gojira – Fortitudes – (Roadrunner Records): If Royal Blood isn’t heavy enough for you then Gojira might more up your alley. This French metal band has the goods and delivers all the time. The last album was back in 2016 and was called “Magma” and it was a lava filled volcano of rock. This should be just as good or better…yes, expectations are high!!
Welcome to March and Friday New Releases. There is not a ton of new stuff, but hopefully there is something for you. I have a few I will try out, but not super excited about anything. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Leave a comment and let me know if there is anything that you would like or something I missed (which I am sure I missed a lot).
Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone – (Bee & El/Sony): Here is someone we haven’t heard in a long, long while. I am looking forward to explore what he has in store. It is can usually be fun, strange, or who knows what, however, it is usually interesting.
Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection – (Nuclear Blast): This should be an very interesting release as well. The guest list is quite impressive and any Schenker fan will love. Guest appearances by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Wayne Findlay and Michael Voss-Schön along with contributions from three original MSG singers – Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. Plus Doogie White is on it, who plays with Michael in Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2017 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2017
Colton Dixon – ‘Identity’: What??? Not Taylor or Harry or Ed?? Nope!!! Colton Dixon’s album ‘Identity’ was the album that did it for me this year. Colton’s very pop album, but a Christian based album, is what I found to be best this past year. The album was a loosely based concept album which was broken down into 3 parts – The Mind, The Body & The Soul. He was able to rock out, dance, and slow it down all with precision. You couldn’t help getting caught up in the messages of the songs and I am still listening to it even though it came out real early in the year. That says something right there.
For My Sunday Song #38, I chose “Even If” by MercyMe. I know I just did a MercyMe but that post was written before I discovered this song. The song is off their new album, “Lifer” and is the first single from that release (Click on “Lifer” to read the review). It is currently #1 on iTunes in the Christian genre.
What I get from the song is that no matter how dark things may get, no matter how bad your situation may be, no matter if you feel if God is not their to help…He is there for you! There is someone I know that is probably going through the most difficult time of their life and I hope they dig deep and reach out to God for forgiveness and for help.
God is a comfort for me. I might not “walk the walk” or “talk the talk” as a Christian person should, but I know He is there when I need Him…which is a lot.
From FreeCCM.com, I found an article by FreeCCMAbby that discusses the meaning behind the song. There is a video you can watch that will discuss the song. I am borrowing the following quote from the site
“Even If” is a reminder to people in difficult situations that don’t seem to go away. God is worthy long before any of those circumstances even showed up. This song is a declaration to God that even if He went silent and never said another word, He’s still worthy to be praised and that He’s our greatest hope in the midst of the trial.” – Bart Millard (MercyMe)
For those that don’t know, MercyMe is a Christian rock/pop band out of Texas who have been tearing up the Christian charts since 2001. You might know them and not know it. Back in 2001, they had a crossover hit to mainstream radio with the song “I Can Only Imagine”. This was the song that introduced me to the band and has made me a fan ever since.
Back on March 31, 2017, MercyMe has brought us their 8th studio album (this does not include the 6 independent releases they had before signing with a major label). Their new album ‘Lifer’ has another batch of catchy songs that celebrate Christ, and life in general, but in a way that does not feel preachy. It actually feels fun and not slammed down your throat. ‘Lifer’ is really a party album that will make you dance, celebrate and might actually make you feel good.
With the way modern radio is, we probably won’t see another Christian crossover song and that is a crying shame. I preach about this on every Christian album I review. The mainstream media won’t play Christian music because it is taboo for some reason. They feel Christian music should be relegated to the Christian only radio stations. My problem with that is people are missing good music…sorry…GREAT MUSIC!!! Who cares if the topic is God or Jesus or anything Christian. The message is way better than the crap that is being played right now. The world could use a little positivity right about now. It is always doom and gloom. Sorry…Got off topic there for a second. Please forgive me.
My Sunday Song #34 is “Dear Younger Me” by the band MercyMe. The song is the fourth single off their 2014 album ‘Welcome to the New’. The story is an autobiographical song by Bart Millard that talks about what he would say to his younger self about what he could do to help him not feel the pain. You can check out the story behind the song as told by Bart Millard of Mercyme on godtube.com.
It is a beautiful and actually thought provoking song. If you think about it now, would you want to know what choices you could make differently as a younger child. I am not sure I would want to do anything differently. Are there things I regret, of course. Are there things I wish I would have done differently, absolutely. Do I wish I could go back and change them…NO!!!!
Why?? If I did, would I be where I am today? Would I be married to my friend, my partner, my beautiful wife? Would I have my two girls that are the best thing I have ever done in my life? If there is a chance any of that would be different by going back and telling my younger self what to change, there is no way I would do it. All of my life choices got me to where I am right here, right now. And I am glad they did!!
It is the last Friday of the month and even the last day of the month. There are over 20 albums on the list today including from some old times like Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan up to newcomers like La’Porsha Renae and Jackie Evancho (ok, she isn’t that new, but she is young). There are also quite a couple 90’s artists back such as Jamiroquai and Ice T’s Body Count. Only a few I am really interested in hearing right away and they are highlighted in Blue. I hope there is something on this list that will brighten your day. Friday new releases are just a great way to end a busy week.
Brother Firetribe – Sunbound – (Spinefarm): Yes, I know this album came out last week, but I had excluded it from the list for some strange reason. I wanted to highlight the release so I added it to this week’s new releases…Brother Firetribe comes to us from the great country of Finland. They are a hard rock and AOR band and is a 5 piece band. ‘Sunbound’ is their fourth release and after three previously stellar releases, I am looking forward to more magic from this band.
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand – (Reprise Records): Mastodon is heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia where I lived for 45 years prior to moving to Charlotte. These guys are heavy metal and deliver the heavy to the extremes. They are unlike most bands I listen to and it is nice to change it up a little. I have followed their career for awhile and can’t wait to give a listen.