I’m currently on year eight of a two-year Master’s program —kids, job change, etc— and this semester I had my first class back on campus since 2011. The class I’m taking is a research class, which means that, on any given night, I’m carrying 200 sheets of paper (journal articles), three books, two notebooks, a laptop, and a tablet on my back. Each week, I became increasingly worried that my messenger bag would give out. Then, I got an offer to review the Varsity Elite backpack from Solo.
Few pop artists really live up to that label “artist,” but Matthew Parker is one and Daydreamer proves it. The music is catchy, filled with all the hooks, loops, bleeps, and bloops that should be expected in 2018. And yet, it’s really good! Most of the time, when an album has “everything,” if often feels a bit bloated and overproduced. That’s not the case here. The music sounds hand-crafted if that’s even a thing anymore.
This is going to sound a bit silly and overly dramatic, but I really appreciated getting to listen to Austin French’s debut album. I hadn’t heard any of his previous work, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of pop artists write peppy sounding songs that make you feel happy while you listen to them, but I walked away from this album and I kept that joy just a little bit longer. It was refreshing to hear songs that actually helped me to remember how awesome it is that I’ve been saved and how blessed I should feel all the time.
The Apostles’ Creed was not a piece of my Christian upbringing. I was raised in a non-liturgical church, but I have since gone back and tried to see if I have missed out on anything.
In my estimation, I have, slightly, because I don’t have a firmly ingrained mental connection to the ancient church. I don’t have something like the Apostles’ Creed in my head at all times, and I think that I am at a disadvantage because of that fact. Of course, there are some who do have this short theological recitation memorized but with no benefit because they have learned the word but not the meaning behind them.
[“Church Without…” is a series of think-pieces designed to slowly deconstruct what we think is essential to having church and to call attention to the hidden barriers we’ve erected between ourselves and the Great Commission.]
This series started without much of an idea of how it would go.
I think I told Eric Dye that it would be “Godin-esque” in its opinionated brevity, but that was all I really had to go on.
And now, we’re at the end, with lucky number 13.
I’ve been a fan of Phil Wickham for a while now. He just might have one of the best voices in Christian music. His songs are always an intricate weaving of words and music, which sounds obvious but so many artists today seem to just throw it all together in the studio. Wickham’s music reflects a painstaking attention to both sides o the coin: words that mean something and music that matches the words, both lifting the spirit to contemplate and celebrate Jesus.
Living Hope is Phil’s latest release, and it is like all the rest: incredible.