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SPRING 2001

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Editor, Matthew Cooke ©, 2001 amazon.com and ncdn associates of amazon.com,bn,tower,cdnow

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PREVIOUS PREVIEWS

    POSTED 10 SEPTEMBER 2001

    "Beverly" Beverly Crawford
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    Like contemporary Christian music, today's gospel sounds warmly embrace the urban soundscape. Few artists can take hold of both old-time, roof-rattling testimonials and city-slick grooves. Beverly Crawford is one of them, and she does it quite well on "Beverly." Fusing elements of jazz, pop, urban, and Motown, Crawford sings loud and proud with a lot of energy. There's even a dash of Caribbean flavor, spicing up a delicious mixture of old and new.

    "Have I Ever Told You" Ffh
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    On the road for 200 dates a year, FFH built a large ministry as an independent act long before major labels came courting. Hard road work and dedication have paid off with the polished yet human-sounding "Have I Ever Told You." Jeromy Deibler's trademark vocals once again provide the foundation for this worthy, 12-song collection. FFH's music is honest enough to escape formula, yet it nestles easily into any contemporary Christian radio format.

    "Vol. 2-I Could Sing of Your Lo" I Could Sing of Your Love Fore
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    Long before multiple-disc CD players, "party tapes" were a labor of love for music fans. Everyone enjoys a great sampler, and that's what Sparrow Records has in the "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" series. This double-CD release is every bit as good as the original, again employing the "studio side/live side" concept. With what seems like a million praise-and-worship collections on the rack, it's so hard to choose. But this outstanding release makes it easier and should be your first choice.

    HOT PRE-ORDER

    "Declaration" Steven Curtis Chapman
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    As a beloved member of the Christian music community, as well as one of the genre's most notable crossover success stories, Steven Curtis Chapman commands attention. Let it be known, then, that his latest record, "Declaration," hits the shelves September 25. With the first single from the record, "Live Out Loud," already ruling the Christian radio charts, it's only a matter of time before the album follows suit. To get a jump on things, pre-order a copy of the record today at Amazon.com and we'll send it to you the second it becomes available.

    TOP SELLERS

    "Satellite" P.O.D
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.

    "The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music [BOX SET]" Various Artists
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.

    "Top 25 Praise Songs" Various Artists
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.

    "Spirit of the Century" The Five Blind Boys of Alabama
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.

    OUR CUSTOMERS RECOMMEND

    "Summershine" Vigilantes of Love
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    A customer from Georgia recommends "Summershine" from Vigilantes of Love: "With "Summershine," Bill Mallonnee and Co. take on a little more of a pop sound for their most accessible release yet. After the heavy Americana/folk direction of "Audible Sigh," the Athens boys throw in a generous amount of Brit-pop influence, and sprinkle some classic Southern rock and early REM styles in for good measure. Vigilantes of Love will no doubt win over some new fans with this record."

    FEATURED BARGAIN OF THE WEEK

    "Winners Never Quit" Pedro the Lion
    ...AVAILABLE HERE.
    Ultimately, David Bazan's unsparing vision is shot through with light on Pedro the Lion's "Winners Never Quit." On this intense, moving CD, Bazan's songs stare unflinchingly into the abyss, even as his record ends with a sense of hard-earned hopefulness. Check it out now at a very reasonable price.
    See more Christian & Gospel Value Picks
    ... HERE.

    POSTED 20 JULY 2001

    "Cece Winans" Cece Winans
    ...available here/
    One of the musical Winans clan's most accessible and successful performers, CeCe Winans has released a self-titled album that combines the glossy sheen of a pop diva with the devout gospel of a true believer. Silky smooth and delivered with style, it's an irresistible piece of sparkling spirtuality.

    "Hero" All Wound Up
    ...available here/
    Following in the footsteps of MXPX and secular bands like Green Day, All Wound Up serve up one gloriously messy song after another on their debut, "Hero." With a punk aesthetic and a subtle but noticable spirituality, they represent yet another twist on the CCM formula, even while staying fun and accessible to fans of any faith.

    FUTURE STARS

    "Untitled" Benjamin Gate
    ...available here/
    With a genuinely alternative sense of dynamics, occasional nods to electronica, and Adrienne Liesching's edgy vocal style, the Benjamin Gate are one of CCM's less typical acts. Choruses are buried in guitar-laden reverb, but they still jump off "Untitled" like a welder's spark. There are godly messages throughout, underscoring the musical antics with desperate spirituality and faith. It all works like a charm, marking a stunning step forward for those looking to expand the palette of contemporary Christian's usual offerings.

    Read more
    ...available here/

    TOP SELLERS

    "Thankful" Mary Mary
    ...available here/

    "Spirit of the Century" Blind Boys of Alabama http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000059MEM/ncdn">...available here/

    "Live in London and More... [LIVE]" Donnie McClurkin
    ...available here/
    "Stronger" Natalie Grant
    ...available here/

    SPOTLIGHT RELEASE

    "Leave Here a Stranger" Starflyer 59
    ...available here/
    Laced with Britpop and played in an appealingly languid, blurry-eyed style, Starflyer 59 further stretch the mold of what contemporary Christian music can sound like with their latest record, "Leave Here a Stranger." Lead flyer Jason Martin's songs are impossibly catchy and utterly weightless, floating through melodies while using a wide range of musical textures and dynamics. The comments made throughout the record about love, life, and faith are subtle, but they're still an important part of the whole, as Martin lays down his slurry, lovely soundscapes. It's a creative, bold piece of work.
    Read more
    ...available here/

    SUBSCRIBERS RECOMMENDATIONS

    "Living By the Book" Paul Overstreet
    ...available here/
    A customer from Canada recommends "Living by the Book" from Paul Overstreet: "I loved this! It is hard to find a good Christian country music recording. Paul Overstreet has an amazing gift for songwriting. The lyrics to these songs really touched my heart and the music is terrific.... I believe this is Mr. Overstreet's best album to date."
    Read more
    ...available here/

    MAHALIA JACKSON

    With her blend of New Orleans jazz-influenced vocal ornamentation and her massive pipes, Mahalia Jackson's form of gospel music was stunning, profound, and absolutely inspirational. Three of her best recordings, "Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting," "Recorded Live in Europe," and "In Concert Easter Sunday 1967," have recently been reissued. Check them out for a dose of energy and spiritual bliss.

    * "Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting"
    ...available here/

    * "Recorded Live in Europe"
    ...available here/

    * "In Concert Easter Sunday 1967"
    ...available here/

    See all Mahalia Jackson releases
    ...available here/

    Gospel is deeply emotional music; it's the sound of the human voice giving praise to God's glory, even when the singer has been "'buked and scorned." In honor of the recent release of a trio of Mahalia Jackson reissues, Amazon.com has selected 25 of the most intense, lively, and soul-shakingly brilliant gospel recordings ever made.
    ...available here/

    See our Gospel Essentials
    ...available here/


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reviews excerpted are copyright © 2001 amazon.com & associate ncdn and CDnow, TowerRecords, Barnes & Nobel associates