The Playlists

Author's Note: For those who have seen the "prototype," this is a little bit different. Instead of posting reviews bi-weekly, I'll be posting a new review here only when I read, hear, or see something that impacts me deeply. So, expect new reviews on occasion, not regularly.

One of the things I thought that would be fun to blog about were reviews of the books I've read, movies I've seen, and music I've heard recently. So, I decided to take some time and place a few keystrokes and start a series of sorts that I'll call "Playlist."

1. Prepare Him Room-

Artist: Sovereign Grace Music
Release: September 29, 2014
Tracks: 14
Mins: 59
Publisher: Sovereign Grace Music

To make a long story short. I've grown up with SGM as a staple of musical standards in my life. Listened to almost every single album of theirs, and loved it, even if it pierced me to the heart. They have been used immensely by God to help shape me into who I am today. So, when I was blessed with this album in an extremely unique and "only God could have done this kind of awesome" way, I knew I had to write a review at some point!

Conventional is not a good word to describe this album. Bob Kauflin and the team at SGM have created new hymns (yes, hymns can be made in the 21st century.) and even remastered some of the more theologically neglected, traditionally sung "christmas" songs into compositions that are, instead of hinting at the glory of the Gospel, proclaiming it's truth with many a loud voice.

While each solo on songs like "O Holy Night" or duets on "The Unbelievable" are amazing in and of themselves, the best is truly saved for last. The new rendition of Isaac Watts' Hymn, "Joy to the World", will surely send shivers of euphoria down your spine as such a beautiful foreshadowing of Heaven is demonstrated as the almost full vocal cast joins the song at one point or another to sing to and of Earth's King.

Yes, I know, I'm a little late with the timing and all. But, one of the other beauties of this album is the fact that it's songs don't only have to be sung in the Yuletide season. They are all, in one degree or another, songs of the second advent, the return of the King. And those songs can never be sung enough! The album, as a whole, is marvelous. With each song, there is a building upon of the previous one and it brings that "further up and further in" longing into it, which is what makes the finale so Joyous.

Buy the album. Be blessed. There's no way that you could listen to these songs and not be impacted by the wonderful outflowing of the Gospel!

Check out the link(s) below for purchasing details through iTunes or though SGM directly.

2. Fascinate-

Artist: Lou Fellingham
Release: October 7, 2014
Tracks: 12
Mins: 53
Publisher: Integrity Music

It's a pleasure to introduce Lou Fellingham's most recent album: "Fascinate." Even though it was released last year, this has been one of my favourite albums as of late. Each song on this album is beautifully crafted. So naming favourites is near impossible. A few highlights, though, would be "You Are My Peace," "Trinity," and "Roar." With a deft skill, Lou gives a taste of being engulfed by God and His love, all without losing sight of biblical truths or becoming repetitive and vain in words. Certainly a rare blessing in this day and age.

Check out the link below for purchasing details through iTunes.

3. The- Wingfeather Saga

Author: Andrew Peterson

Filled with uncanny humour, and uncommon suspense. These books are definitely a blessing for all ages. Where most modern "fantasy" tales lack depth of plot and content, this is the exception! Peterson weaves a charmingly crazy world that is surprisingly believable right off the bat. Another wonderful aspect of these books are the characters. These are not your typical actors, simply hired for stock and backdrop work. No! Peterson gives each character wonderful development and emotional leeway that can be identified and sympathized with by readers.

Peterson also doesn't just throw in a little morality here and a little analogy there. This is not a cheaply done "Christian" fiction. He portrays in a cleverly subtle way the Gospel of Grace from start to finish. You just have to look for it. Nothing that has been put into these books has been done in a halfhearted fashion, so nothing you can glean from it can be done halfheartedly either. With bite-sized chapters, all the intricacies, characters, issues, and twists will develop slowly but surely. Though, you being engulfed into the rapturous tale and reading it in one sitting will be another matter!

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book 1
Released: 2008
Pages: 284
Publisher: Water Brook

A story of the three Igiby children, Janner, Kalmar (Tink), and Leeli, who live with their mother and pirate Grandpa on a cliff overlooking The Dark Sea of Darkness. It just so happens that a day for them entails meeting a crazed bird-man and evading the wretched Fangs of Dang. But, when the Fangs are on a mission to find the mysterious Jewels of Anneria, the one time occurance for the Igiby children becomes a new way of living... Oh, beware of the man eating Toothy Cows as well!

North! Or Be Eaten, Book 2
Released: 2009
Pages: 331
Publisher: Water Brook

The story started, continues beautifully. With the Jewels being hunted throughout Skree, shaky and suspicious alliances are made in a desperate quest for safety. Of course that means not everything is as it seems. Especially when dealing with Grey Fangs, Bomnubbles, and the Fork Factory. Things come to a head when Tink thinks only of himself, and his entire family is thrown into an even greater peril then before.

The Monster in the Hollows, Book 3
Released: 2011
Pages: 348
Publisher: Rabbit Room Press

Dealing with the consequences of bad decisions, the Igiby family seeks refuge in the Green Hollows from Gnag the Nameless and his Fangs. Things are only made harder when the Hollow Folk don't want the Igiby family there because of Tink's new, fang-like appearance. That ends up being the least of the Hollow Folk's problems when a giant, horrid beast called a Cloven starts terrorizing the people, seeking something it wants.

The Warden and the Wolf King, Book 4
Released: 2014
Pages: 519
Publisher: Rabbit Room Press

What was begun years ago by Gnag the Nameless comes to a head in the Green Hollows. Witches, trolls, a giant Spider, and a malicious dragon named Yurgen are only some of the evil things the Jewels of Anneria must face. But, they face it not alone. And so the final battle for the fate of the Shining Kingdom begins.

Author's note: Without getting into the territory of spoilers, all I can say is this. The ending was so painfully fitting, with an awful tease at the very "end?" The Gospel was on such a wonderful display here, without even becoming drippy with allegory. I know, in a way, my heart was ripped out and something else was put back in it's place... the world and me seemed even more fragile and broken than I remembered from before.

With confidence I can say that this is one book/series that has impacted me greatly and will continue to do so for a long time. Yes... you might think I'm crazy. Crazy for crying, laughing, and raving over "fantasy" books. Though, you might understand why when you read them for yourself. The highest compliment of my praise that I can possibly give is this: Aerwiar has earned it's place amongst Narnia and Middle-Earth as another wonderful window into our world. A window where we can be sure to look through and see ourselves, each other, and things in a new and sometimes clearer way!

Check out the link below for purchasing details on the bundle set through The Rabbit Room Store. Individual copies are sold as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment