I’m a fan of Josh Garrels. A big fan. His ability to express biblical truth musically in ways that are artistically profound (both with regards to lyrics and sound) is stunning.
Not too long ago I came across a couple videos of Josh doing some live music (video for ‘Words Remain’ and video for ‘Ulysses’). Because of the quality of those projects — I’ve never heard live recordings sound so good — I was excited to discover the most recent endeavour with Josh and Mason Jar Music: The Sea In Between.
The concept is simple: make really beautiful music and record it in a really beautiful place with really beautiful accompaniment and production. The overall result is breathtaking. I ordered the video box set, which came (here’s a surprise) beautifully packaged. I watched it as soon as I could and I couldn’t be happier.
The documentary and interview/interactive approach of the film is a neat way of getting to know Josh and his family better as well. I particularly enjoyed the segment where Josh was talking about the undeniable impulse that people have when they behold something beautiful to admire, thank, and reach out to the one who created it.
A Comeback? Really?
I’m not really a fan of ‘comebacks’ for bands. If it’s over, then it’s over. Leave it alone. Especially after eight years, in a genre so niche as the brand of ska that the OC Supertones got famous playing. How could a comeback possibly be successful in their case?
To make a comeback now, they’d be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either they would need to change their sound so much that they wouldn’t really be the same band, or they’d play the exact same style and risk being totally irrelevant.
So when my brother told me this past weekend that the Supertones had a new album out — after 8 years! — I was very skeptical. But oh man, am I glad I gave it a chance!
I don’t often do reviews on this site. That means two things: (1) It’s not ‘professional, Challies-esque’ quality, but also, (2) I’m doing it because I want to and you know I mean it.
When I first heard that one of the members of Grace Fellowship Church (Rexdale) was a rapper, I assumed a few things. One of them was that if he’s local he probably can’t be that good. Another is that he was probably one of those guys whose life and faith must be somehow compromised if he’s actively engaging the hip-hop scene in Toronto.
I’m thrilled to say that not only were my arrogant assumptions about ‘Spoken‘ flat out wrong, but through Role Model Records I’ve also been introduced to several other local Christian rappers who are skilled and dedicated to using their art for the glory of God.
I don’t really ever do this, but I really like this album, so I thought I’d share it here. It’s a free download and if you’re anything like me, you won’t regret it.
At first the album didn’t really strike me, but it has grown on me tremendously. I won’t offer a review here because I’m not at all qualified. I’ll just say that he’s got a really unique sound and his music is really eclectic. But perhaps most intriguing on this album, for me, is the lyrics. Josh has a unique gift of expressing Scripture in rhymes that capture the ear and the imagination. I like that. A lot.
Some favourites of mine on the album:
- Farther Along
- For You
- Bread & Wine
- Flood Waters
- Pilot Me
So give it a listen or download away…