Monday, February 27, 2006

BEAUTY HAS GRACE Posted by Picasa
Jaci Velasquez began in Contemporary Christian music as an inspirational singer more or less, with hits such as 'On my Knees'. In 2005, she released BEAUTY HAS GRACE on Word Entertainment.

On this album, she dabbles experimentally with the pop and light rock genres. And on a few tracks, she has a raspiness in her voice not too unlike Ashlee Simpson.

What one will notice when reading thru the lyrics for the ten tracks, is that she is a Christian who does not have all the answers to life's dilemmas, but she has chosen to put her trust in her Lord who provides her with comfort and solace. Velasquez uses multiple songwriters including industry vet Chris Eaton on a track.

One gets the feeling Velasquez is trying to reach a younger audience with this project. At times she sounds hip, at others it seems a stretch. But, overall I like this project. It is a statement of genuine, down to earth, upward looking faith.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


It all began when 80's band Heart Attack decided it wanted to record some of their original songs they had lying around. Their vocalist got hurt in an accident, which was just one event that prevented the music from being released. A couple of the remaining members, Brent Handy and Alan Sandifer, contacted some of their favorite artists to see if they would be interested in working with them to put out the songs on CD. John Schlitt of Petra agreed to do vocals on all ten tracks, while ex-Petra drummer Louie Weaver played drums on several tracks. Schlitt and Weaver recorded their parts at different times. The result is the Cd PROJECT DAMAGE CONTROL, put out in 2005.
Right off the bat, it should be stated that this is not a Petra record. For one thing, it does not feature the songwriting or guitar work of Bob Hartman. Secondly, it also differs from a Schlitt solo project. Lastly, musically it is more akin to the likes of REZ or DOGS OF PEACE. It has a darker, heavier feel.
The album features several catchy tracks. LIAR is about the great deceiver: "He's the liar, liar, liar/He sounds good for a while/He's a liar, liar, liar/Don't give in to the words of a liar, liar, liar". NEW JERUSALEM points to the ultimate destination of believers: "We're on the way to New Jerusalem/We're on the way to see the Lord/We're on the way to New Jerusalem/Praise Jesus forevermore". The last cut, TRY AGAIN" is very 80-ish musically. It speaks of witnessing: "Some people come him Jesus/Some don't call at all/He's the King of Kings and Lord of Lords/I've got to tell everybody I know!"
There is talk of another PROJECT DAMAGE CONTROL cd. No official word yet as to who would take part. The sound quality on PDC is not as good as on a Petra record by far, but this is not a major record label release. It can be bought or ordered thru your local Christian shop.