March Music Reviews

Matt & Toby


Matt & Toby
Tooth & Nail Records

ec‘s grade: B+

Matt & Toby is a side project from a couple of the guys from Emery. I’ve always enjoyed Emery’s harder stuff, but have always been a bigger fan of their more melodic moments. When I heard rumors that a side project was in the works, I readied myself but was expecting more of the same. Imagine my surprise when I heard the first tracks coming from my earbuds: It was melodic, mellower and—dare I say?—more mature. There are definite rock-ish moments, but none of the rawk that Emery fans might expect. Another big plus is the intentionally transparent and thoughtful lyrics. My personal faves are “What Plays in My Head,” a song about fatherhood, and “You Will Sing.” Hopefully, this side project will become permanent.



ARTIST: Keith and Kristyn Getty
ALBUM TITLE: Hymns for the Christian Life
LABEL: Getty Music
PROS: Beautiful modern hymns, laced with traditional Irish-folk instruments
CONS: Not for the typical teen, which isn’t really a con…just an observation
TOP SONGS: “In Christ Alone” (featuring Alison Krauss), “A Mother’s Prayer”
THOUGHTS: The modern resurgence of folk music isn’t something the Getty’s are chasing because they’ve been playing and writing ancient sounding, Irish folk hymns for years. Thinking teens interested in lyrical theology will wear out this Celtic gem.
ec‘s grade: A

ARTIST: Disciple
ALBUM TITLE: O God Save Us All
LABEL: Fair Trade Services
PROS: When Disciple hits, they hit it out of the park
CONS: For the first time, there seems to be a distinct attempt to write radio-friendly songs
TOP SONGS: “RIP,” “Draw the Line,” “Outlaws”
THOUGHTS: In typical Disciple style, “O God Save Us All” is a rocker through and through. Including a few new industrial turns, the album doesn’t completely stack up to some of their earlier work, but for fans young and old, this is a strong project worth your time.
ec‘s grade: B-

ARTIST: Chris August
ALBUM TITLE: The Upside of Down
LABEL: MCA Nashville
PROS: Perfectly crafted songwriting showcasing August’s ability to turn a phrase
CONS: Much more mellow than anticipated, some may be put off by the many sparse ballads.
TOP SONGS: “Amen,” “This Side of Heaven,” and “Restore”
THOUGHTS: The writer/singer of the deservedly smash his “Starry Sky” is no one-hit-wonder. “The Upside of Down” is both catchy and lyrically weighty. Even the album’s title is a reference to the benefits of partaking in Christ’s sufferings.
ec‘s grade: B+

ARTIST: Capital Kings
LABEL: Gotee
PROS: Dubstep and Electronica are grossly under-represented in Christian music
CONS: Only 3 songs plus one remix? Come on guys.
TOP SONGS: “Be There,” “I Feel So Alive”
THOUGHTS: Lyrically, the album isn’t much more than a Christian pep rally, which isn’t always a bad thing, but the impossibly short EP feels underwhelming.
ec‘s grade: B-

These reviews were written for ec by Randy Williams. Get your copy of the current issue Subscribe at .

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