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> 2007 the year in review – top albums of the year (girlwithguitar)

9 Dec

Our contributor girlwithguitar has submitted her list of top albums of 2007 (in no particular order)

Paramore – Riot
Anberlin – Cities
Jordin Sparks – S/T
Family Force 5 – Business up Front…Diamond Edition
Aly & AJ – Insominiac
Hannah Montana2 / Meet Miley cyrus
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Ashley Tisdale – Headstrong
Jonas Brothers / S/T
Britt Nicole – Say It

> Krystal Meyers – “Make Some Noise” album review

28 Oct

When I heard that Krystal Meyers was making a dance pop album, I automatically thought,”Oh, no. A pop album? This is gonna be terrible!” But when I finally heard her album, I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead of just putting out an okay album with songs about boys, she released a well made, catchy record with a lot of meaningful songs. (Yes, it is possible.) “Make Some Noise,” (which was used by ABC to promote ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’) “Feels So Right” (Every time You look at me I’m on a high/I need Your loving cause it makes me feel alive) “Love It Away” (If you’re hurting, feeling afraid/He will love it away/…What is broken/What’s been stolen/Our Father will restore) and “Beautiful Tonight” (In my sickness can You make me beautiful tonight?) are just a few of those songs.

But she can’t totally leave her old music style. And it shows through in “S.O.S.” “My Freedom” and “Up To You.” (The former she sings ‘I am in distress/Come and save my life/This is my S.O.S./Screaming up to the sky.’) While her newest album’s musical uniqueness from her two older ones is awesome, it still is nice to hear the music she started with.


Even if you didn’t like that she “sold out” from her rocker style, you gotta admit: she did pretty good on this album, all things considered.  Her best one by far. I already can’t wait for her next one.
Rating: 5 out of 5

make some noise

Another Take:
This album is one of my “guilty pleasures” of 2008.  It was “OK” to like her when she was playing guitar rock but truly sophisticated critics aren’t supposed to like “this” kind of music. But dang it, Make Some Noise and Shine have been playing on a regular basis on my Zune.  Ms. Meyers has now proved she can do two styles of music effectively and who’s to say she can’t do just about anything. If this is selling out then maybe it’s not so bad! -drivebyMEDIA

> hawk nelson & amy grant – “one little miracle”

1 Apr

I know this looks like an April Fool’s joke but really it’s Hawk Nelson and Amy Grant on “One Little Miracle” from the new album ‘Hawk Nelson… Is My Friend’ that released on April 1, 2008
Listen to it here

(a full review by gwg coming soon)

> The Afters – “Never Going Back To Ok” album review

5 Mar

Oh, yes, The Afters. You remember their song, “Beautiful Love”, right? Oh, those were the days…

Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this album was definitely due. At least they didn’t wait as long as Inhabited did, (I can almost hear some people saying, “Who?”) so they weren’t almost forgotten by people.

On their latest effort, “Never Going Back To Ok”, they have a track list that sound kinda-sorta similar to their last album, “I Wish We All Could Win” but overall, they’ve improved greatly. They start off with ‘The Secret Parade’ a psychedelic/rock song reminiscent of The Beatles, which unfortunately, lasts less than two minutes, but any sadness of that track being cut short is soon forgotten when their title track starts playing, a song that could easily fool people into thinking they’ve become an Alt. Rock band, rather than remaining the status quo. Well, they’ve definitely remained the status quo, but don’t get me wrong, the record is still good; in fact it’s probably one of the best I’ve heard this year. (But the year is still pretty young, there’ll be other albums.) Some of the highlights from the record (including the two I’ve named) are ‘Tonight’, ‘One Moment Away’, “Ocean Wide’ ‘Beautiful Words’ and ‘Myspace Girl’, a sweet song based on the true story of how their former bassist met and got to know his wife through MySpace. (Gee, why do you think he’s their “former” bassist? Hmm…)

Now while it’s an excellent album, there’s one thing I didn’t care for: its Let’s-Start-Out-Slow-But-Then-Later-In-The-Song-We’ll-Kick-In-The-Guitars continuum on lots of tracks. But don’t think that’s a bad thing, it just got a little irritating for me. But nonetheless, still a great album, and well worth the (long) wait.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

review courtesy of girlwithguitar

> 2007 the year in review – concerts

20 Dec

We saw alot of good live music this year and only the lack of time and money stopped us from seeing more! My top 3 were:

Mute Math at the Intersection

Sufjan Stevens at Calvin College

Anberlin at the Intersection

Recap: 2007 started with a pleasant surprise in January with the David Crowder Band leading the worship service music at Mars Hill Bible in Grandville Mi. As it was a worship service and not a concert I have no photos. You can see some photos and what gear the band used at

Way Fm 89.9 in Grand Rapids brought in many great shows and two of them were early in the year at the Ground Floor in Grandville Michigan. The shows were Skillet / Nevertheless and Fireflight / Family Force 5 / Disciple. The Skillet show was packed, hot, sweaty and loud; in short just what you’d want! Family Force 5 was at their krunking best as always. Fireflight was a nice surprise as the girls rocked harder than expected.


Family Force 5


Sufjan Stevens came to Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Music, where he performed 2 sold-out shows at the FAC. His multi-piece band performed complete in butterfly wings and scout uniforms . For those familiar with his music it was no surprise that the music was unique and well performed, but it was also surprising how loud it was.
Sufjan Stevens

Mute Math made an appearence at the Intersection in Grand Rapids and played a flawless set. (See their live DVD Flesh and Bones and you will get a good idea of how good their show is.) This was probably the top performances I saw all year. The Cinematics opened and for an unknown band made a good impression.

Mute Math


One of best albums of the year was Anberlin’s Cities, so we were geeked to see them perform it live. They brought with them Daphne Loves Derby, Playradioplay!, and Jonezetta. We ended up playing “Confines of Gravity” from Playradioplay! alot this year. I was looking forward to seeing Jonzetta who turned in a very good set . Daphne Loves Derby did a good set, but suffered from having to play sandwiched between Jonzetta and Anbelin.  Anberlin did not disappoint but photos were hard to take with all the energy on stage.

Stellar Kart , following up their Dove award for “Me and Jesus”, brought their pop/punk music to a small but appreciative crowd in Hudsonville Michigan.
Stellar Kart

Sullivan, Showbread & Project 86 made an appearence at Skelletones. I was mostly going to see Showbread, but found Sullivan having a better than average live show and Showbread was more screamo than I was expecting.


The Fray brought their brand of radio-friendly pop to the Van Andel Arena along with Mae and Ok Go. Ok Go were fun and energetic. Mae played some new material from their upcoming Singularity, but seemed out of place in an arena. The Fray made the most of their 1 album of material and did a competent job of translating their songs to an arena atmosphere.


The Fray

Fifth Third ballpark was the sight of Hawk Nelson Baseball Tour with “The Nelsons” and the Send.

The Send

Hawk Nelson

We had not seen Mitch Mcvicker in over a year so it was time again to see one of our favorite artists. The Setting was a small church in Newago Michigan. Mitch brought an all new cast of band members to help him play past favorites but mostly off his new album Love will Rise. The new members were all accomplished muscians and there was a fresh energy to the songs.

Mitch McVicker

The hottest ticket of the year was not for some artist like the Rolling Stones or the Police or U2, but to Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. (Oh and the Jonas Brothers too!) Yes we did have some of those tickets that sold out in a matter of minutes. It was quite an event, but I am still waiting for a concert review from girlwithguitar…..

Hannah Montana

Miley Cyrus

So all in all a good year of concerts. We would have liked to seen some  groups  like Paramore, The Almost and Eisley. But their is always 2008………..


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