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Music Reviews


Miami Vineyard LIVE
Artist:  Miami Vineyard
Reviewed By:   Kevin Swartzendruber

If you love Black Gospel, Latin, Caribbean, and Anglo worship music, this CD is for you. For one night, 20 Miami Vineyard Community Church musicians joined together in the making of Miami Vineyard Live. The CD meshes many flavors, from Latino claves to gospel two-step to funk and soul to delay-laden rock guitars in this fresh release. Join in as thirteen singers and seven musicians bring their unique sound to seven classics along with six new offerings.

Although my music preference tends toward a more rock type edge, this CD will appeal to those with a preference toward a more adult contemporary audience. If you are looking for a quality sounding worship CD with a distinctly Caribbean sound, look no further.

Miami Vineyard LIVE (released 10/18)

I Will Praise You
Artist:  Rebecca St. James
Reviewed By:   Kevin Swartzendruber
Singer/songwriter Rebecca St. James is uplifting as ever and especially personal in her latest release, I Will Praise You. Rebecca’s use of scripture and personal insight combine to create an intimate time of praise and worship for the listener. In this, the first release with new compilations for Rebecca in six years, she shares her challenges to live in hope and not fear, and to worship God in times of calm and times of storms.

Five of the ten songs on this CD were written by Rebecca and only two are covers of other artists, including Matt Redmond’s You Never Let Go. The title song, I Will Praise You, has an upbeat sound and praise-provoking lyrics that will quickly have you humming along.

Her first CD with record label, Reunion/Beach Street Records (having only released with Forefront Records since 1994) I Will Praise You, looks to be a reintroduction of Rebecca St. James to the Christian music world.

My favorite songs on the CD are the first three including the title song, I Will Praise You, You Never Let Go, and another uplifting dance-type mix, Shine Your Glory Down. I particularly enjoyed Rebecca’s modern sound and the strong use of drums and backup vocals. Whether you are looking for new praise and worship songs or are just a fan of Rebecca St. James, I Will Praise You is sure to be a worthy addition to your Christian music collection.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Robert Pierre
Artist:  Robert Pierre
Reviewed By:   Kevin Swartzendruber

If you love to hear fresh voices in the contemporary Christian music scene Robert Pierre is a young artist worth taking a listen to. An 18 year old high school senior on the verge of graduation, he has just finished recording vocals for his new CD and is currently in rehearsal for a tour of some summer festivals.

I got a chance to preview four of the tracks on his up and coming CD and I have to say I was all around impressed. From the first to the last song, Robert will have you tapping your toes and lifting your heart to God as you sing along. With a strong voice, fresh music, and inspiring words Robert’s heart and convictions come through with a contagious pop sound that will appeal to both the young and the young at heart. If you love The Afters, Bruno Mars, Tenth Avenue North, Chris Sligh, or Hawk Nelson, Robert Pierre should be next on your list.

You can preview four of the sound tracks at . If you provide your email address and zip code the four songs are made available by Noise Trade for download. My personal favorite is “Jesus.” Robert does a masterful job of taking the listener from a place of being in touch with his daily needs to pointing his gaze in the direction of the One who can fulfill that need – great for those days when you may be down or realizing your need for fresh inspiration to turn to Jesus. In the next soundtrack, Robert builds on that theme with a current worship favorite, “You Hold Me Now.” I never fail to feel moved to pour out my soul to the Lord every time I hear that song! Moving on to the next track, “Breaking My Heart,” the listener is provoked to consider the need for being conformed to the character of Christ. The final track, “Identity,” locks in that focus by provoking the believer to realize the need to stand in that identity in the face of the world’s ways. I am looking forward to hearing more from Robert as his new CD is released later this year. If you would like to read the lyrics to the four songs, here are the links:

1. Jesus:

2. You Hold Me Now:

3. Breaking My Heart:

4. Identity:

You can also follow Robert Pierre on Facebook at .