Phantom Tollbooth finally reached the point where we can't do a full review
every CD we received. We thought we'd say something about the best
of them but even this proved difficult. While there wasn't a 5 tock
disc among them, there also wasn't a bad disc in the lot. We used
to get a lot of discs where we'd shake our heads and say "I hope them don't
quit their day jobs." They were out of tune, had poor production,
or they couldn't play their instruments. Well, things have changed--they
all sang in tune, they all have no problems playing their instruments well,
all their producers are ready for the big time. We present for your browsing
pleasure some Short Bits. Linda & Shari, Co-publishers
Anselm has been together
for ten years. They call their music "reflective sub-rock." To us,
it sounds like lo-fi with a Sufjan Steven feel to it. The lyrics
are praise and worship. Interesting debut album. (SL/LL)
A new modern rock
band from Cincinatti, OH. The singer has a delivery style that reminds
us of Steve Taylor although the lyrics aren't quite as catchy. But still
not a bad first effort. (SL/LL)
Rich Barnard is a singer/songwriter
American living in London. We like it--shoe glazer music without
the whine. (SL/LL)
Spencer Bates is a young,
talented individual. His lyrics are sweetly poetic and thought provoking.
His musical style takes after that of the famous Billy Joel’s fun and light
gaiety. Even you kids will enjoy listening and dancing to _Goodnight
Rosebud_. Let the fun, whimsical talent of Spencer Bates give you
a mental vacation. (AW)
Dream and Dare
A pleasant acoustic female
folk duo. Would be a great fit for the Prairie Home Compansion as
it has that Americana feel PHC showcases. Nice, light harmonies with Christian-based
Raise Up E.P.
Artist: Hunter Brown
a.k.a. “Busta Brown”
Label: M2 Productions
A 15 year-old skinny, white,
Christian kid from Denver, Colorado who calls himself, “Busta Brown.”
Sounds like a disaster for a rapping career, right? Wrong. Hunter
Brown started rapping at the young age of 6, and nothing can stop him.
Instead of encouraging illegal and obscene behavior much like his secular
rapping peers, “Busta “Brown” encourages his listeners to reach for God
in an old-school style and way. Rapping with his entourage, the “J-Squad,”
Hunter raps in front of thousands as he opens up for the famous preacher,
T.D. Jakes. We will see more of Hunter in the near future. (AW)
Spring Hill Worship Music
This was a pleasant surprise.
We figured--another one of those worship leader CDs--but we were mistaken.
First, this is a rock style record--heavier than you might expect--and
there are none of the usual CCM cliche lyrics. If you check out his
church, pack earplugs. (LL/SL)
Glen Clark and The Family
Clark and The Family (The Jesus Village People)
This remarkable ministry's
release benefits from numerous JPUSA musicians in Seeds and the Crossing.
The album has a strong beginning but unfortunately, falls apart as it continues.
Try to see them live if they are in your area and by this CD to support
the ministry. (LL/SL)
This EP is a fundraising
project for Hope for the Children of Haiti(HFC). Unforunately, the
disc arrived broken. We don't know what is in it, but it is for a very
worthy cause.. (SL/LL)
American Idol Season 2 hopeful,
Joanna Martino shows that she is more than any reality TV show by sticking
to her morals with her debut album My World. An upbeat pop-rock
style, Joanna sings about her relationship with God using songs from well-known
contributing writers including, Scott Krippayne, Dan Mukala, Ian Eskelin,
Paige Lewis, Chad Cates, Billy Smiley, and others. These songs are
straight to the point, and can apply to everyone’s everyday life.
Joanna Martino is on of CCM’s new rising stars, and her sincere heart shines
through her music. (AW)
Under the Stars
Artist: Fred McKinnon
Label: Highest Praise Productions
An outdoor live worship
concert captured on CD & DVD created Worship Under the Stars.
Worship leader, Fred McKinnon leads the gathered worshippers in traditional,
upbeat, contemporary original praise & worship songs along with scripture
readings from The Bible. A great album to take on a late night picnic.
Just remember to look up and “Worship Under the Stars”!
Label: Tamer Records
is a good addition to the Christian Contemporary scene. Sienna is
a fresh, young face for young girls to look up to as a good, Christian
role model. Her songwriting skills are mature beyond her age, and her lyrics
are inspirational and uplifting. (AW)
Artist: Springhill Worship
Collaborating with several
known worship leaders such as Jeff Deyo, the eleven eleven band, Tom Lane,
the Booth Brothers and more, Springhill Worship has created a new and uplifting
worship CD called The Name.
Worship touches on Communion,
various aspects of God, and intimate worshipful praise from the inner,
personal soul. As you listen to The Name, you will be
taken to a higher place in your faith as well as having your musical palette