Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Center Stage Shout Out" by Skyhawk Drive Review!

I'm really excited to review this project! I recently heard about Skyhawk Drive, and their EP, "Center Stage Shout Out" which was released in November of 2009.

Starting off the EP is a fun intro track that sets the pace for "Center Stage Shout Out": a fun, electro-pop/rock album with light hearted lyrics that bring a positive message as well. "Their Dance, Your Chance brings a fun pop track infused with elements of rock. This song is so fun, but brings a message of being who we are without caring what others think with lyrics such as, "Shout HEY! World it's me, I don't care what you think!"

Coming in at track number three, "Us Against The Clock" is one of the most fun tracks off the EP. Now, I want to clarify something. When I first heard this song, I thought there was a swear word in the opening lyrics. THERE IS NOT! Ronnie from Skyhawk Drive told me they do not use swear words in their music, which I think is pretty awesome of them. The music is fun, and I bet this is even more awesome live.

"Hey Candi" is a lighthearted, sweet song about a girl that equates how he feels about her with the effects of candy. It's a funny song, but doesn't fall into that "oh brother" category. "Finest Mistake" has got to be one of the BEST Pro-Life songs ever written. This song tells the story of a young girl who makes the choice to have her child; her finest mistake. "Finest Mistake" is a powerful and beautiful song, and I encourage you to listen to it as soon as you can.

 "Silence Says" is next and carries more of a punk feel, with lyrics that deal with the confusion of trying take the advice of others, trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. Great track with a strong punk feel.

"The Breakaway" closes out the EP, and is probably my personal favorite off the album. As teenagers, we go through a lot of terrible things, but through this song Skyhawk Drive encourages us to "give it all to grace" and promises "You're worth more than what they say, don't you forget for another day, that you're loved and you mean everything ". This acoustic track is beautiful, conveys God's love for us, and is the perfect closer for the album.

"Center Stage Shout Out" gave us just a taste of what Skyhawk Drive is capable of. Two years later, Skyhawk Drive is still going strong, and is currently in Skies Fall Studios creating a new project! I recently had the opportunity to interview Ronnie Bingaman, the lead singer of Skyhawk Drive! The interview will be up within the week, and I'm really excited for you guys to get to know this awesome band from right here in Pennsylvania!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fun Times At The Zoo!

So today I went to the zoo with my friends! Be prepared for a total toddler freak out. JUST KIDDING! It wasn't that bad. ;)

*Read the following sentence in your best British accent* I say, by George we had a jolly good time at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Why am I writing with a British accent and using British cliches from 100 years ago? More on that later....

It was SUPER hot today...90 degrees! But it was nice and sunny out, and a perfect day for going to the zoo! Unfortunately since it was so hot, a lot of the animals were sleeping or lazing around...however, there were several lively animals as well. There is a baby elephant at the zoo, and he/she is so cute!

 You could get a picture with one of the elephants (Highway robbery at $10 for 2 pictures with your own camera) but there were 10 of us, so we only had to pay $1...smart, eh?

Out of all the animals, the sea lions, elephants, and  the polar bear were the most fun to watch. We got to watch the sea lions get fed, and during which they do a lot of cool tricks.

The monkey house is one of the best exhibits at the zoo; let's just say they definitely have character! Check out this guy, who is trying to "pray" for his friend!

Isn't that hilarious?

Now remember that whole British accent sentence? Well, halfway through our time at the zoo, my friend Wesley had us all talking like we were tourists from England. In truth, I bet we sounded pretty silly, but it was really funny to see people reacting to things such as, "I say, ol' chappy" and "By George! These American bobbies are jolly!". Well, after passing a guy who decided to take off his shirt, Wesley  decided he was going to do something about that. My other friend Becky, Wesley and I began to search for this guy. After 15 minutes of wandering around the zoo, we spotted the offending guy. I was not about to confront this guy, so Becky and I hung back while Wesley ran ahead. As he passed Mr. Shirtless, he said, "I say, someone has pick-pocketed your shirt without your notice!" It was HILARIOUS!  The guy just kept walking, so Wesley decided to leave his mark. Once again he found the guy, and this time said, "Ol' Chappy, your shirt has been stolen! I'll buy you a shirt!!" We had a good laugh over this. :P

I had a blast at the zoo. It was just what I needed after a very stressful, work-filled week. The whole English accent thing provided a lot of laughs, and now I have a definite farmer's tan. :) Have you guys done anything fun like this lately? I'd love to hear about it, so be sure to leave a comment!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Rubyz "Reflection" Review

Teen pop group "The Rubyz" have been in the Christian Music scene since around 2007. Their first two albums, "The Rubyz" and "Sound Off" became fan favorites, and even though there's been a few member changes, The Rubyz have managed to bring a fun pop sound that competes with secular groups. Let's get to the review!

As with all of the iShine releases this year, rather than calling it a cd, "Reflection" has been labeled an "MVP", which stands for Music, Video, and Purpose. The music aspect gives you 10 songs, (which can be downloaded for use on your MP3 player from an internet link given in the MVP case) the video part of the DVD means you will get 10 music videos, and an episode of iShine KNECT featuring The Rubyz. The purpose portion gives you behind the song sessions, and includes the iShine episode.

To start things off "Reflection" brings a fun, electro-pop sound that sounds awesome through my speakers, and brings beautiful message of how God can change us into what He has planned for us. "Fall With You" also brings a strong techno beat, and encourages us to not be afraid and take chances, because God is always with us.

"Big God" has an old-school pop feel to it, and I really like the music of this song. The lyrics speak of how great God is, and how he can overcome all of our situations. 'Whatcha Seein" is one of my favorite songs off the album with the most unique sound and encourages us to be ourselves, how God made us. "Unchanging" is also another standout track, and speaks of how God's love never changes or ends, unlike human love.

Now begins the cover songs. "Your Grace Is Enough" is the first of the covers, and The Rubyz really did an awesome job with this song! The Rubyz put their own spin on the song, and it really works. "Indescribable" follows, and once again, The Rubyz deliver with shining vocals and music tweens and teens love. "City On Our Knees" could rival TobyMac's original version very easily. "You Reign" is full of soaring vocals packed with a love for Christ. "Lead Me To The Cross" closes out the album, and is simply amazing. I really can't decide if I like Francesca Battistelli's version or The Rubyz' version better. 

The video part of MVP comes in with 10 live performance music videos in which The Rubyz do a great job, as well as 10 song explanations that give you an insider's look at the music of The Rubyz. I enjoyed getting to know what the different songs meant to The Rubyz, and I like the fact there is an interview after the song explanations. It's neat to get behind the scenes info.

Rounding out the MVP is a full episode of the popular iShine KNECT show. This episode is all about lying, and the different consequences that come because of lies. I enjoyed watching this episode, it's lighthearted and fun, but brings a serious lesson we all need to learn.

Overall, "Reflection" by The Rubyz is a great album for tweens and teens. Full of beautiful vocals, catchy music, powerful lyrics and lots of bonus material, "Reflection" is unique and fun. If you are a fan of Cortni, Britt Nicole, Charmaine, or the album "Make Some Noise" by Krystal Myers, there's practically an 100% 
chance you'll like this album. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for an interview with The Rubyz, coming soon! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Tait

Sorry I haven't been blogging much recently! The school had it's Graduation last week and we're still cleaning! :) I have some exciting things coming up, and be sure to enter my Mission Six giveaway!

Today's Throwback Thursday is a band Michael Tait (formerly of dc Talk and now lead singer of the Newsboys  - like you didn't already know. Haha!)  formed with Charlie Chaplin Chad Chapin in 1996 under the name Curious George. Curious George was mainly a cover band;  Michael and Chad performed a few concerts, and wrote some songs together. Not long after, Michael and Chad became more serious about the band that would eventually become Tait. 

After dc Talk went on hiatus in 1999, Michael Tait began to write songs, and look up a few of his acquaintances in the music industry. Tait officially formed in 2000 with Michael Tait, Lonnie and Chad Chapin, and also Pete Stewart. Michael actually named the band in honor of his father, Rev. Nathel Tait. What a great way to name a band!

The first album from Tait was "Empty" released in 2000. The album was well received, and did well on the charts. This album also included a fun bonus track, which one could access by rewinding the cd at the beginning of track 1. The track featured Michael in various voicemails doing impersonations and cracking jokes.

"Lose This Life" was the last album released from Tait, which came in 2003. This album proved to be a great success, and brought a more aggressive rock sound. "Lose This Life" as well as "Numb" became favorites of many.

Tait toured off and on for the next few years, and the lineup changed quite a bit, leaving Michael Tait and Chad Chapin the only original members left. A third album, "Loveology" was put into production, but to date has never been released. It is not certain "Loveology" will ever be released, but from Michael's description of what it would sound like seems awesome. Maybe those songs will become Newsboy material? Hmmm.....

Michael Tait joined Newsboys as the new frontman after Peter Furler stepped down in 2009. Since then the newsboys have released "Born Again", a Christmas album, and a "Miracles" edition of "Born Again". Michael Tait has filled the role perfectly.

Not much was ever said about Tait when they were a band, but their music lives on in the form of "Empty" and "Lose This Life". I'm sure longtime fans of dc Talk and the current Newsboys would really enjoy Michael's past work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Britt Nicole "Acoustic" Review!

Britt Nicole released an acoustic EP in August of 2010. However, I wouldn't really call it "acoustic" in the strictest sense because these songs have drums and other instruments. These are definitely not just "stripped down" versions of 5 songs. The arrangements are different, and Britt seems to have a wider range in this album

For the project, she chose "Hanging On", "Headphones", "Walk On The Water","The Lost Get Found" from her 2009 sophmore cd, and one track, "Set The World On Fire" from her 2007 debut, "Say It". There is also a new song called, "Found By You". I would have liked to see "Say It" or "Sunshine Girl" on this album, but Britt did very well with the songs she chose.

Starting out with "Hanging On". I actually like this version better than the original version. This song has a nice, acoustic feel, the main instruments being an acoustic guitar, an organ, and some simple drums. The sound is slightly different, and just seems to be more personal than the cd version. This song was very well put together.

Next is "Set The World On Fire", which in the beginning was already an acoustic song. However, she redoes the song with a new spin on it. It's not extremely different, but its definitely not a carbon copy of the original. I was surprised with this song; I thought it would be my least favorite because the original was already acoustic. I really enjoyed this song. You can hear more maturity in her range in the acoustic version vs. "Say It's" version.

Pumping through my speakers next is "Headphones". The original was quite bubbly and fun, with a catchy piano vibe and a strong drum track. The acoustic version is done with just an acoustic guitar, slight keyboard, and some drums. This was an AWESOME rendition of "Headphones". It matches the original, if not surpasses the original in it's fun beat, Britt's fantastic vocals, and creativity.

Moving on to "Walk On The Water", Britt starts the song with very soft guitar and piano, her voice being the main focal point. She seems to have more feeling in her voice in this version, stressing words, almost like she is in the room, trying to encourage you. I very much like this song. The lyrics and the music speaks to each listener from Britt's heart.

The fifth track is "The Lost Get Found", which in my opinion is the most drastically different version on the cd. She turns the infectious pop song into a moving ballad, with just a hint of guitar, piano, and a shaker. She once again demonstrates a great range, with amazing feeling in her vocals. I do like the original version better, but this version is very good. 

The final track is her new song, called "Found By You". It starts off with soft piano and a shaker, as Britt sings softly, offering up a prayer for God to guide and direct her, to draw her close to Him. This song is one of my favorites on the album. "Found By You" is written by Britt Nicole and Brandon Heath. They work quite well together, both lyrically and musically as I'm pretty sure that's Heath singing background vocals. 

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed Britt's "Acoustic" album. As a fan of both Britt Nicole and acosutic music, I enjoyed the beautiful arrangements and how you could connect with Britt Nicole through the way she sang passionately about Christ and the hope He gives. Britt Nicole really hit the mark with this album, delivering enjoyable melodies and using her amazing vocal range to her advantage.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Bleach

No, this post is NOT about a certain chemical that brightens our whites and stains our coloreds. Nope, I am talking about, the one, the only......BLEACH!

Bleach formed in 1995, originally under the name "Muffin". Interesting, huh? They released their first album, "Space" in 1996 under Forefront Records. They quickly became popular in the pop/punk scene, and "Static" followed in 1998, earning a four star review from Jesus Freak Hideout. Their third album, simply titled "Bleach" released in 1999, and was their last album on Forefront Records. "Bleach" also earned rave reviews.

1999-2002 proved to be the era of changes for Bleach. Not only did they sign to Tooth & Nail Records, they also lost four members and added three more in this period of time. They released their first album on T&N, "Again For The First Time" in 2002. Blake Gams said of the album, "Another step in the right direction, Bleach adds a radio friendly gem to their musical library". 

Bleach released two other albums, "Astronomy" (2003) and "Farewell Old Friends" (2005) before they broke up. "Farewell Old Friends" proved to be the last album Bleach put out, other than a Greatest Hits compilation. After six albums, touring extensively, and ten years together as a band, it's possible Bleach just got burnt out. But....

BLEACH is making a COMEBACK. According to this website, run by Bleach themselves, Bleach has a four state tour lined up, and an EP coming out later this year! So for all you original pop/punk fans, your guys are back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Something to make you laugh!

I just wanted to share with you a funny video from one of my favorite comedians, Tim Hawkins! Enjoy! :)

GIVEAWAY! Win "Shockwave" by Mission Six

Looking for some great music with message and purpose for teens? Look no farther than Mission Six, an up and coming teen band from Evansville, IN. They've recently released their third album with iShine, entitled "Shockwave". I am very excited to have a giveaway copy of this album! The winner won't be receiving a plain old album, however. "Shockwave" is in a cool new format entitled, "MVP" which stands for Music, Video, and Purpose.  This MVP is packed with 10 songs, 10 live performance music videos, Behind the Song sessions, as well as an entire episode of iShine Knect. The winner will receive one copy of Mission Six's "Shockwave" MVP. The contest ends June 24th, 2011. The winner will be chosen randomly, and is only open to those in the U.S. because of shipping expenses.

Mandatory entry:
Leave a comment on this post with your favorite Mission Six song, along with an email address. (If you want to avoid spammers, you may want to spell out your email address. I.e. lifewithlisap(at)gmail(dot)com. )

Optional entries: (Leave one comment for each additional entry)
Follow Life With Lisa on Google Friend Connect. (One entry)
Follow me on Twitter (shortperson22), and leave your Twitter handle in the comment. (One entry)
Leave a comment on my Shockwave review. (One entry)
Tweet about the giveaway once a day using the following message. (One entry per day)

#WIN "Shockwave" by Mission Six from Life With Lisa! Great album with a great chance of winning! Ends 6/24 http://bit.ly/mGwooD

Leave a comment on any of my posts. (One entry)
Blog about this giveaway. (Three entries, leave three comments)

Thanks for entering! :)

This is a sponsored giveaway. All opinions are mine.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Introducing....KAELUM WAY!

Well, as you know, I LOVE to find new bands, especially up and coming indie ones. After watching Ben Kasica's first Skies Fall podcast, I knew I wanted to check out the bands I saw featured in it. I have to say, Kaelum Way was my favorite!

Kaelum Way is a new band from Nashua, New Hampshire, and they sound very promising! They released their EP, (produced by Ben Kasica) on May 10th, and I really want it now that I have previewed it! The clips sound really good; their vocal and musical abilities definitely shine! You can preview and buy "Pictures Of Home" here. Judging from their website's about page, they would be an awesome band to see live. I.e: "The band has an energetic live performance of original songs that have been known to include such antics as swapping instruments (even mid-song), two-person drum solos, and chains of 3 members playing each others guitars and a trumpet."

Kaelum Way is also giving away a FREE download of their song, "Let Go" on their Facebook. It's a great track, and hey, you might really like them! I know I do.

Diary Of A Teenage Girl: "My Name Is Chloe" by Melody Carlson Book Review

Melody Carlson is one of my favorite writers. I've read several books from her True Colors series, but "My Name Is Chloe" was the first book I'd read in the Diary Of a Teenage Girl series.

"My Name Is Chloe" tells the story of Chloe Miller, a rebellious teenager with a gift for music who refuses to fit the stereotype of a normal girl. In the beginning, Chloe struggles with finding her identity, school, bullies, and most of all, the decision of whether or not to accept Christ. However, Chloe is greatly impacted by her friend Caitlin, and other circumstances in life, and decides to accept Christ. Soon Chloe forms the band "Redemption" with her Christian friend Laura and Allie, who is dabbling in witchcraft. Allie later accepts Christ after seeing the change in Chloe's life. However...just because Chloe accepts Christ doesn't mean everything will be smooth sailing now. Chloe's world is rocked by an unjust accusation, and now Chloe must decide whether she can forgive like Christ forgave, or to strike back.

The main plot of the series revolves around Chloe's musical abilities and the formation of Redemption, however, "My Name Is Chloe" is the first book, and tells the story of Chloe and Allie's Salvation, and the very beginnings of Redemption. Overall, "My Name Is Chloe" is a great read! Melody Carlson has the talent to draw the reader in and make you feel like a part of the story. Messages of hope, redemption and forgiveness fill the pages of this book, and the band storyline is fun to follow as well. Be sure to check out the Chloe series of the Diary Of A Teenage Girl books! So far, they've been great, and I recommend them for teenagers all around!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Top GMA Dove Award Performances

The Dove Awards were last month, and whether you thought the awards were fair or not, you have to admit there where some pretty awesome performances. I've decided to compile a list of my favorite Dove Awards performances from the past several years. ENJOY!

Definitely one of the most iconic performances from one of Christian music's top bands!

A great, high energy performance. I love how epic this sounds live with the orchestra and piano!

I love that they did a tribute to Southern Gospel, a truly underrated section of Christian Music....but where is Ernie Haase & Signature Sound? :)

I don't know how Steven could've sang this like he did, but it is truly a moving performance, and it took a lot of strength to sing that song. Beautiful

Two of my favorite Lecrae songs! They did an amazing job!

No doubt the HIGHEST energy, best Dove Award performance in a while!

I could post a lot more, but I don't want to get tedious! If you are interested in any more, be sure to check out
Third Day's "Children Of God" performance, and Brandon Heath's "Give Me Your Eyes" performance.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mission Six "Shockwave" MVP Review!

I have been a big fan of Mission Six since their 2008 debut, "Superhero". Well, since then the guys have released "Not Too Young" (2009) and this year's release, "Shockwave". Mission Six is known for their fun, pop/rock/dance music, and encouraging lyrics for teens. Does "Shockwave" take Mission Six one step further? Let's find out!

Let me start this off by saying "Shockwave" is not your typical album release. Rather than calling it a cd, "Shockwave" has been labeled, "MVP", which stands for Music, Video, and Purpose. The music aspect gives you 10 songs, (which can be downloaded for use on your MP3 player from an internet link given in the MVP case) the video part of the DVD means you will get 10 music videos, (more on that later), and an episode of iShine KNECT featuring Mission Six. The purpose portion gives you behind the song sessions, and includes the iShine episode.

Starting off the album, we have the title track, "Shockwave". Mission Six brings their signature style to this song, and it's definitely a top-notch track. The lyrics bring a great message of being a "shockwave" in our daily lives, by impacting this world for Christ.

"Lifted High" brings more of a worship aspect to the album. "Lifted High" brings a punchy pop/rock sound with lyrics that glorify God, and is sure to become a favorite among youth groups. "Heaven Down To Earth" brings a slightly different sound, and the lyrics continue to impact the listener, challenging us to bring Heaven down to earth and spread the Gospel. Definitely one of my favorites!

Next we have "Outshout The Lies", a slightly poppier rock track that challenges the listener to outshout the lies of this world and Satan. Overall, it's a great track from start to finish. "Shine" comes next and is my personal favorite off the album. I love it musically, and to me this track has the best lyrics of the album. I like the "harder" sound of this track, and it's one of those worship songs you would definitely not yawn at!

"Sweet Sixteen" is a song written by Noah Hayden, the lead singer of Mission Six after his 16th birthday. There's a lot of meaning in this song, because as teens, around 16 is when we really start solidifying our beliefs and what we want to do with our lives. The music fits the song perfectly, and overall this is a great track.

The next four tracks are all covers, so I won't focus so much on the lyrical themes, but more on how the band covered them. I was a little disappointed they chose to do four covers instead of four original songs, but M6 does a great job on them. I enjoy their own unique take on the different songs. The four songs are "Everlasting God", "Mighty To Save", "Never Let Go", and "Revelation Song". In my opinion, the best cover is "Mighty To Save", to which M6 brings a rockier sound. "Everlasting God" is also a great cover, and gives Anthony the opportunity to show off his guitar skills. "Never Let Go" and "Revelation Song" are also great covers.

The video aspect brings ten music videos, which are ten live performance videos Mission Six did at the KNECT Shoot a few months ago. The guys are great performers, but the audio you hear is the cd, not really the live performance. I personally wish they would have left the original live audio on it, but it's not a huge issue. The KNECT episode is all bout "being cool", and I enjoyed it very much.

Overall, I enjoyed "Shockwave" very much. This album focuses more on worship, but not in that pre-packaged formula a lot of bands follow today. I like the fact that you get a lot for your money with this album, and the behind the songs, Knect, and live performance videos were nice to watch.

If you are a fan of the Jonas Brothers, VOTA, FM Static, Robert Pierre, or any other iShine artist, I have no doubt you will like Mission Six. Be sure to check their tour dates at http://www.missionsixband.com/ for the Shockwave tour this summer and fall!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Throwback Thursday: DeGarmo & Key

DeGarmo & Key was one of the original Christian Rock bands. Formed in 1978 by main members Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key, DeGarmo & Key released their first album, "This Time Thru" in the same year.  They immediately began to attract listeners, and cemented themselves as a top-notch Christian Rock band.

Between the years of 1978-2006, 23 albums were released from DeGarmo & Key, including Greatest Hits collections and solo projects. They were nominated for 7 Grammy's and won 17 Dove Awards.

Another fun fact is DeGarmo & Key were the first Christian band EVER to have their music video played on MTV. The original music video for "Six,Six,Six" was played on MTV for a while, but then was pulled due to the "violent content" of the video. MTV had actually interpreted "Six,Six,Six" as an anti-Christian song, even though it was about the Anti-Christ. MTV exec Sandra Sparrow had no idea DeGarmo and Key were a Christian band when she added their video to the list of those to be removed from rotation. MTV later allowed DeGarmo & Key to submit an edited version of their video, and "Six,Six,Six" was once again playing on MTV.

Also, their song "Don't Stop The Music" was a direct response to Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's anti-Christian Rock position. The song included lyrics such as "I hear dissenting voices, Quick to disagree, But I'm on a music mission, They don't bother me. I'll sing the songs that set me free" Also, I found it quite ironic that in the liner notes of "D&K" the words "Dedicated to Jimmy Swaggart" were blacked out, but still visible upon close inspection. 

It seems the last album DeGarmo & Key put out before moving on to solo projects was "To Extremes", released in 1994. Several greatest hits albums followed, and DeGarmo & Key reunited for two concerts in 2007 and 2008. 

On June 6th, 2010, Dana Key died from a blood clot at 56 years of age. At the time of his death, Dana Key was head of Ardent Records, and pastored The Love of Christ Church in Cordova, TN. A fun fact about Dana is he was a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key, the author of "The Star Spangled Banner".

Eddie DeGarmo is still alive, and is one of the founders of Forefront Records. 

In 2007 Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key were honored with the ASCAP Vision Award, and were inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2011.

DeGarmo & Key were pioneers in the Christian music industry for sure. With 23 albums to their name, first Christian music video to be played on MTV, influencing hundreds of musicians, winning 17 Dove Awards and starting two Record Labels, DeGarmo & Key is remembered as one of the best Christian bands in the History of Christian Music.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anthem Lights Debut CD review!

THE TIME HAS COME!!!!! The project I've been looking forward to for several months now is here! Anthem Light's debut project, "Anthem Lights" hit iTunes and national retailers today! Does it live up to my excitement?

"Anthem Lights" starts things off with "Can't Shut Up" which is currently a hit single on radio stations all over America. An anthem for young people all over, Anthem Lights boldly declares that "This is why we stand up and sing, we can't shut up! We've got everything that we need! We can't shut up! Love has come and now we are free! We can't shut up!". A fun, energy packed track, "Can't Shut Up" mixes pop and rock in a great way, and there is no question about the impact the lyrics have on listeners.

Next we have "I Wanna Know You Like That" is another strong song that encourages men to stand up and be like David, but is a message applicable to every Christian. If you haven't noticed already, there isn't a main vocalist. As I mentioned in my Anthem Lights EP review , Anthem Lights is comprised of four singers, Alan Powell, Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm, and Kyle Kupecky. Vocals are often traded throughout their songs, and it's obvious these guys are talented. Overall, "I Wanna Know You Like That" is a great pop/rock track.

One of my absolute favorites from Anthem Lights is "Circles" which follows "I Wanna Know You Like That" It slows things down some, and brings a more serious tone to the album. This song has impacted me personally, and challenged me in my Christian walk with lyrics like "Before you even know it, I'm right back at the start, Doing what I hate, And breaking my own heart, I'm going back and forth , And then forth and then back, And then round in circles"  Once again the guys hit things right out of the park with their vocals and lyrics.

"Can't Get Over You" is another slow track, but the lyrics are powerful. A message of God's forgiveness, grace and love, "Can't Get Over You" doesn't bring a whole lot of new stuff musically, but as I mentioned, the lyrics are powerful. After what God has done for us, how can anyone "get over" His saving grace?

"Stranger"...yes!!!! I was dying to hear this kind of pop music again!! Anyone remember the days of TrueVibe,  90's era ZoeGirl, and Plus One? It seemed Christian music was done in that area, but Anthem Lights brings it back in this song! I don't mean the sound is dated, but rather it's a revival of GOOD pop music that has been missing from CCM for a while. Anyway, the lyrics of "Stranger" speaks of being a stranger in this world, waiting to go to our Heavenly home. "I gotta keep my eyes looking to the sky for you, the Son is on His way, and I wanna be ready, and I won't forget I'm not home til I'm with You, the Son is on His way!" reminds us of the coming of Christ. Definitely one of my favorites on this album.

"Outta My Mind" starts things off pretty neat, with a little auto tuned intro, then Caleb brings in the verse, asking God for happiness, then the chorus realizes that we need to have the mind of Christ in order to be truly happy. I love the bridge in this song, and I'm going to start telling people I'm outta my mind. :P Overall this is a good track, once gain with great lyrics and a fun pop/rock beat.

"Lifeline" has a fun pop/latino sound, and Chad Graham's voice really shines in this track. "Lifeline" speaks of Christ being our lifeline, saving us from our sin. I love the breakdown on the bridge, it definitely catches your attention, and fits the song perfectly.

The next track is "Lighthouse" which has a beautiful piano and string intro. I thought it would be a slow song, but it really isn't. "Lighthouse" has a strong beat, and the lyrics encourage us to reach the lost, saying, "It’s up to you, it’s up to me, To be the lighthouse, They should know they’re not alone, So shine so they can see the lighthouse, And find their way back home" This song is yet another example of Anthem Light's strong songwriting skills and powerful vocal ability.

"Freedom Into Slavery" was a track they recorded back when Anthem Lights was Yellow Cavalier, (more on that in my EP review) I believe it has been recorded for this release. "Freedom Into Slavery" follows the lines of "Circles" in a way, speaking of how we can turn the freedom Christ gave us into slavery because of sin. This is another favorite, the guy's vocal ability shines through, and the song is just great anyway you look at it.

Rounding out the album, "Where The Light Is" comes next. "Where the light is, darkness must be bound, where the light is, darkness can't be found" is so powerful and true. We can't say in words how powerful God's light is over Satan's darkness. This is the perfect ending to the album, a beautiful ballad for the hurting and lost. A favorite by far.

Overall, I was very impressed with the debut album from Anthem Lights. In every song we get a sampling of the strong voices of Alan Powell, Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm, and Kyle Kupecky. In every song we get powerful, heartfelt lyrics that encourage and lift up each listener. Of course we get some fun pop music as well! Who says "boy bands" have to sound like the Backstreet Boys?

I would definitely recommend this album. It's suitable for all ages, all people, and all music lovers. The heart behind the album is evident. If you like pop music with a bit of rock thrown in here and there, "Anthem Lights" is for you.

By the way.....check for an interview with Anthem Lights EXCLUSIVELY on Life With Lisa, coming soon!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Loving Memory....

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Grandpap's death. I wrote this the day after he died, and posted it on my NRT blog. I wanted to post it on this blog, because I know at some point in our lives, every one of us faces the death of someone we love. It's hard, whether you've known them a week or all your life. But God doesn't leave us when death happens. Our bodies don't just sit in a grave for eternity. If you are a Christian, you have the hope of Heaven, of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Some day, either after you die or if Christ returns, you will get to see your loved ones again, but this time there will be no pain, no sickness, no disease, and no fear. If you don't have the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to email me with whatever questions you may have, (lifewithlisap@gmail.com) or to find a good, Bible-believing Church in your area. You can have the hope of eternal joy and peace in Christ.

My Grandfather died last night. He struggled with lung cancer for 10 years. 

We spent all Wednesday at the hospital. Why? Because we got a call around 9 am that the doctors had given him less than 24 hours to live. So at about 10:30 we all went into room 1103 to say goodbye. It was hard. When my other Grandpa died, he was testifying at a pulpit in a church, and died of a heart attack. We never got to say goodbye. But as "Oh What a Savior" played in the background, my Grandpap struggled for breath as he told each of his kids and grandkids he loved them and was proud of them. As my Aunt talked to him, she said that when my Grandpap was getting diagnosed with cancer in April 2000, she was downstairs having my cousin. She prayed that God would give him 10 more years to be with us. Almost to the exact day, God fulfilled that prayer. Haley's birthday had just occured less than 2 weeks earlier.

Dealing with death is hard, whether or not you get to say goodbye. He was 77, and saved. He said he was ready and wanted to slip away. The doctors gave him something to ease the pain and he fell into a deep sleep. He never woke up.

My mom and I had come home at about 9:30 p.m., and my Dad stayed at the hospital. I was going down the road where we live at a college facility and ended up at the church to check something on the soundbooth computer. As I moved the files around, I looked up at the front and just went and sat on the front seat. I had my Zune and began to listen to "Never Let Go" by David Crowder Band. Tears began to roll down my face as the songs reassuring message played through the headphones. I began to pray. God met me there. It was 10:30, and I had no idea my Grandpap had just gone to be with God. Isn't it amazing that when we don't know the extent of circumstances, God always has the right solution?

After I found out he had died, I went home and wrote out Isaiah 25:8, 1 Corinthians 15:55, and Revelation 21:4-5. Those verses were exactly what I needed. 

You know, when death comes, we feel robbed. We know it is coming, but we are never really prepared. The knowledge that they are in Heaven brings some comfort, but the pain is still there. But all I can say is, "O death where is thy victory? O Grave, where is thy sting?" What words could be more true? Even as grief fills you, He is an ever present help and comforter. I don't know how I could have survived the things I have gone through without God! Through death, health, sickness, bad times, good times, sorrowful times, he is always there and gives us strength and encouragement.

I'm sorry, I'm definitely not a good writer. I just felt like I needed to share this. Just know that whatever your problem may be, whether it's the death of a loved one, depression, divorce, sickness, or a high note in your life, there is always someone who cares and will be there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shockwave Music Video

The third album from Mission Six, "Shockwave"  comes out today! Check out the live music video for the title track below, and buy the album at your local Christian bookstore!

I did have this originally posted here, but I can't turn the autoplay off, so I have removed it. You can still watch the video here, as well as other iShine artist music videos. It's worth the click, so be sure to check it out!

Monday, May 2, 2011

And the winner is....

By a unanimous vote, the winner of the first Throwback Thursday faceoff is......


Stryper battled to the finish, winning with "Soldiers Under Command" over Petra performing "Judas' Kiss". Thanks to those who participated! :)