#MusicReview: Skillet’s Girl Drummer Jen Ledger steps out and has something to say with new six song EP

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Known for her unique vocals and powerful stage presence, Ledger has been working ardently in preparation for her solo launch, enlisting the talent of Skillet’s Korey Cooper along with GRAMMY Award winning songwriter and producer Seth Mosley to produce the six-song project.

 

Ledger co-wrote each of the songs on the project from a raw and vulnerable place, inspired by her own personal experiences with love, heartache, anxiety and “the fight – to not let these things hold us back and stop us from living.” As her cardinal endeavor, LEDGER is a collection of songs that personify the tension between fear and boldness. [To listen to the entire EP, click the hyperlinked name above]

Song By Song Review

I’m Not Dead Yet: With trademark versatile Christian heavy rock musicality and powerhouse vocals, Ledger is screaming for the enemy to realize every tactic that he brings against her is not valid, and challenges him with a fiery chorus and anthem like lyrics:

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Jen has said the song is about overcoming one’s hardest challenges and showing the world that you are strong. She wrote this because of the anxiety and panic attacks that had suddenly started happening to her in the past few years.

Warrior ft. John Cooper: 

The musicality and figher-like anthems on this album make it a great accompaniment for any workout or just a pump up song before doing something you thought you could never possibly do. Remember, you can do all things through Christ, friend!

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Bold: My favorite song on the album because I feel it fits who I am as a person and all I relate to the lyrics about remembering who my identity is in, and that I am called to be bold in Him:

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Foreigner: A song that details that feeling of not belonging that follows those within the faith because many are called but few are chosen. It’s because this Earth is only a temporary dwelling while heaven is our home.

Ruins: A piano ballad that showcases how broken you feel when a love ends, and the heartache that sets in after that, and how we must bring our ruins to the one who mends them back together.

Iconic: A rock ballad that will shake you from head to toe about how God’s love shakes you up for the better, and his love is practically so unthinkable it is iconic.

All in all, I am honored to have the chance to listen to Ledger because it encapsulates every moment within my faith journey where I had to decide if I was going to give into fear or continue the fight.

Ledger EP is available everywhere today April 13. Pick it up if you need an empowering pick-me-up.

 

#MusicLove:@ColtonDixon ‘s latest #Identity reinstates what we believe

I’ve admitted this before but I’ll say it again. I cried my eyes out when Colton Dixon got voted off American Idol and shortly after that, I stopped watching it at all. I was like how in the world could someone so handsome and talented not get farther, especially with God on his side. The good news is I wasn’t the only one who thought that. God heard my thought and obviously had a greater plan in mind for Colton. In a way, you could see that anyone who had that same thought in that moment was praying in agreement according to God and God grants the secret petitions of the heart.

Releasing March 24, The 17-track deluxe record presents three personal and artistically unique sides to his music in MIND, BODY and SPIRIT, blending his traditional alternative-rock sound with newer pop elements. Dixon more closely examines the elements that make us who we are, from MIND – upbeat, high energy pop to BODY – edgier, rockier to SPIRIT – a calming chance to rest. Each of the three sections of the album varies sonically and is divided by cinematic-like instrumental tracks to prepare the listener for what’s to come. Echoing all sides of Dixon, Identity offers a musical escape from reality, reminding listeners to look towards what really matters – their identity in Christ.

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Song by Song Review

The Mind: An instrumental track where a robotic voice (reminds me of the voice overheard on the Transit Authority ride at Walt Disney World), repeats Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8.

Identity A great song to build faith in the times we live in, specifically the issues that plaque the United States of America in 2017.

We are the chosen

We are royalty

We are your children

You set us free to roam

in my identity.

All That Matters: Anthemic with rock music elements, this song portrays God’s love for us: “all that matters is that I matter to you,” My favorite song because it has the heart of a worshiper.

Brand New Life: Based off Matthew 11:28-30 which says, “Come to me, all you heavy-laden, for I will give you rest.” It is another favorite because it has great potential and was recently announced as the next single for the album.

Technicolor:  This track talks about how walking by faith and not sight actually creates a brightness and beauty to the world around us because of our third eye, or spiritual sight. It has musicality that is EDM meets rock music vibes

The Body: This instrumental track with the same Google assistant voice reads the verses from 1 Corinthians 12:14-27 regarding the Body of Christ as a whole and a whole is the sum of its parts.

In My Veins: In classic Colton Dixon style, we are reminded with this song that we as believers live because of the redeeming blood of Jesus.

Down: With musicality that reminds me of a movie soundtrack and a little of EDM meets rock vibes, it is another favorite of mine because it’s like a remixed or new take on Love Has Come For Me.

I Would Choose You: Fun-loving vibes make this song an original, genuine in choosing God no matter what road life takes you on.

Warriors: My absolute favorite off the album because of the ancient warrior soundbite and overall war song vibes. A good reminder that the battle is the lord’s always and our victory  ,even our faith.

Human: Sounding like a 2017 pop song with electronic dance elements, it shares the story of how God’s strength is shown best through and in our human weaknesses.

The Spirit: This instrumental track reads Galatians 5:22-23 and Isaiah 41:10.

No Greater Love: I’m calling it now but this is going to be a single and climb up the Christian charts likened only to God’s mad love for each one of us.

Breathe: A ballad with electronic elements based on Psalm 46:10, which highlights Dixon’s amazing vocal range.

High: Almost like the Colton Dixon song version of Peter Pan. My favorite line:

Hold my hand, you hold my heart, while I’m holding onto you.

The Other Side: A piano ballad that reminisces Colton’s American Idol days talking about those who leave us behind when they pass away. A hopeful bright look at death. Beautiful piece where Dixon has outdone himself.

Autopsy: A bit of a creep factor created by minor chords on a piano as Dixon’s vocals whisper the words,

“We all are one heart beat from heaven,”

This track creates a visual image of a cadaver in a morgue and asks the eternal question regarding afterlife, “Where you gonna go?”

A gorgeous haunting finale to an exquisite musical masterpiece.

Enter my giveaway to win a signed YA book, Corrupting Darkness!

#MusicLove: Passion’s Newest will have all eyes and ears on Jesus

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of straight worship music. Yet, with Hillsong United and Hillsong Young and Free going mainstream on Christian radio stations worldwide, worship music has really stepped up it’s game and nowadays, it’s basically a more focal version of contemporary Christian pop, rock, and even rap.

The songs were recorded LIVE at Passion Conference earlier this year as more than 55,000 students gathered in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Students in attendance united in sponsoring more than 7,000 children (the most to ever be sponsored at one event) through Compassion International fulfilling all sponsorships in El Salvador, Rwanda, Tanzaniaand Indonesia as well as hundreds in Bolivia.

Passion’s previous release Salvation’s Tide Is Rising debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Digital Albums Chart and No. 6 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart.

A dome filled with hands lifted in praise. Thousands of poverty-stricken children receiving life-altering sponsorships. A mission to see the world changed for the better. This is Passion.

The newest live album Worthy Of Your Name, will deliver songs from top-selling artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill and more, featuring songs recorded at the 2017 Passion Conference in Atlanta. Join Passion in this heart cry as they proclaim God’s love and declare that He is indeed worthy of His name.

Song By Song Review

Glorious Day: A melodic guitar strumming keeps the rhythm with male vocals as this song starts in until the singer shouts, “You called my name and I ran out of that grave; out of the darkness into your glorious day.” Lyrically, this praise song causes those that listen and sing along to put their faith in the resurrection power that lives in every believer.

Worthy of Your Name: The title track features soft vocals alongside an acoustic guitar causing the listener to put their faith in the name of Jesus.

How Great Is Your Love: Musically what stands out to me about this track is the piano accompaniment throughout while the focus is on God’s love in this praise song according (1 John 4:19).

Build My Life: This is such a pure heart seeking after God type worship song. The chorus really speaks to the daily life mission of any believer in Christ:

Holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
Show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

Holy Ground: This song reminds me of a contemporary worship song with the intro instrumental sounding like a Steven Curtis Chapman song. The lead singer sounds vocally like Kari Jobe while singing:

Show us Your glory
Show us Your glory
In wonder and surrender we fall down
Show us Your glory
Show us Your glory
Let every burning heart be holy ground

Heart Abandoned: soft vocals make this song come off like a David Psalm.

Forgiven: Featuring Christian rock band Crowder has the listener putting their faith in Isaiah 43:25 which states,

“I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.”

Your Cross Changes Everything: Featuring Matt Redman, this track has a focal point on the redemption found at the foot of the cross.

A cross that changes everything
And a love that sets the captives free
A hope that ressurected me
And the power of God
For all who believe

This We Know: Christian Rock musicality accompany lyrics with themes of verses James 4:7 and 1 John 5:4.

This we know
We will see the enemy run
This we know
We will see the victory come
We hold on to every promise You ever made
Jesus, You are unfailing

RuleFeaturing both Crowder and Hillsong United, this is my favorite song on the entire album because it’s both catchy and lyrically will have you running around the sanctuary in praise to our King.

God of Calvary: Featuring Chris Tomlin, this concludes the live songs off the album by calling out our victory in Christ while praising Jesus for his ultimate sacrifice.

By His wounds I am set free
By His blood I’ve been redeemed
The great divide He crossed for me
Oh, praise the God of Calvary.

Interested of getting a copy to worship Jesus anytime, anywhere?

Digital copies are available beginning February 17 while physical copies will be in stores March 24.

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Buy Passion’s first album on Amazon now for 9.49 digitally

#BookReview: One Of The Few by @jasonbladd

Some might say that last night was a night when we saw “One of The Few” become an unprecedented majority. Donald J. Trump, a political outsider, became our 45th president.

It makes many Americans feel that we are finally FREE again as a country and as a nation. Though there are still some upset people who are both shocked and in fear over the election results that don’t take effect until January 20, 2017.

Our country is only free because men and women put their life on the line for our every day freedoms. 14705699_10207479601973694_6183286360889527329_n

And it’s also the heart of Jason B Ladd’s Christian memoir, One of The Few.

Yet, if the fact that it’s Christian in genre turns you off, don’t worry this book addresses it all.

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It starts out telling Jason’s backstory but the story comes to a suspenseful and heavy-breathing pace when you read of his experiences in boot camp for the Marines as well as fighter pilot.

Yet, it showcases many worldviews and strongly defends the Christian’s worldview by sharing each side of the argument on multiple issues:

  • salvation
  • Creation theories
  • heaven and hell
  • sexual sins
  • pornography

It shares strong views with clear evidence that they are backed by the writer but in a way that makes you see exactly where he is coming from on each topic and in the end, Ladd offers each reader the chance to really come face to face with Jesus, just like he did on the battlefield.

It’s extremely good and has given me hope that a self-published book, if published with professionalism and for the right purpose, can and will succeed in a world that is crying out for hope, someone to carry their burdens, and embrace them with pure unfiltered and unconditional love.

The book is currently on sale in a specific Veteran’s day special for 2.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Want to win a signed copy of One of The Few? (U.S. Entrants Only, please) Enter HERE NOW!

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