Is Justin Bieber A Christian?

Recently I watched an interview with Justin Bieber talking about his faith. At first I was kind of shocked that such words were coming out of his mouth. But at the same time something told me he was genuine about it.

Several months ago I saw a headline that Bieber had gone to a Hillsong United worship concert. I thought “cool maybe he has turned his life around” but i really didn’t think much more of it. I needed to see more proof, and part of me still does. But only God knows Justin’s heart and where he stands and its not up to us to judge him.

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Kevin Max – Broken Temples (Album Review)

Originally posted on New Christian Videos:

Kevin Max former DCTalk member and former Audio Adrenaline singer has come out with his 10thstudio solo album. Kevin is a very creative guy, not only does he write music but he also writes poetry and books. But we are here to talk about his newest music album. In 2012 Audio A came back together with Kevin Max fronting the band. After the first album with Max “Kings and Queens” Audio A management wanted the band to be more of a worship band rather then what they were, a rock and roll Christian band. Kevin didn’t feel that, that’s where he was supposed to be so he went solo once again.

Broken Temples” is the name of his new album, as you seen in the album cover I think that’s Morris Code. This album features songs that Kevin was writing while still in Audio A. In past albums Kevin Max has written things that were sort of dark and mysterious, this album doesn’t really live up to that. It is more about his journey in his faith and walk with Jesus Christ. I think it is a great album, I have always liked Kevin’s voice, and it has always been so smooth and soothing if you will. It’s music to my ears. I think God knew what he was doing when he created Kevin Max. Well let’s get right into the music and go track by track.

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Jeremy Camp – I Will Follow (Album Review)

Originally posted on New Christian Videos:

I Will Follow is three time American Music Award and oneGRAMMY nominated artist Jeremy Camp’s eighth studio album. Jeremy has been writing and recording for 12 years now, he has sold four million albums, four of his albums went RIAA Gold and he has one Multi-platinum DVD. He has been on more than 25 tours in the U.S. and has played in more than 32 countries.

Recently over the past year a door was opened with Capitol CMG and Jeremy decided to go all in and put his full effort into this album. I think it is a great album and that Jeremy Camp has down a great job on this album.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, all! Let’s not forget that Jesus is the true reason for the season!

As you celebrate today, check out these Christmas tracks; they’re among some of my favorite out there.

Straight No Chaser-12 Days of Christmas

Northern Wonder-Little Drummer Boy

Tobymac and Owl City-The First Noel and Light of Christmas

Pentatonix-That’s Christmas To Me

Paul McCartney-Wonderful Christmastime

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

My Top 7 Albums of 2014

As you may know, I have a decently eclectic taste in music. I enjoy pop, some rock, rap, and the “typical” music that most people seem to listen to. Often, however, you’ll hear me listening to techno, a capella or pure instrumentals. It’s really a toss up. With that being said, here are my top 7 albums of the year. Like last year, I chose 7 because I once again found 5 to be too few, but 10 included too many albums given what I listened to this year. Without further ado, here are my favorite 2014 albums in no particular order!

Ultraviolet – Owl City

Mystical. Haunting. Dark. Mysterious. Exciting. Adventurous. Chilling. Interesting. Encouraging. All of these are words that accurately describe Owl City’s new EP: Ultraviolet. Although the EP only contains 4 tracks, this may be the best piece of work that Adam Young has ever released, in my opinion. In a mere 4 songs, he manages to spark imagination, create welling emotions of happiness, sadness, heartbreak, and joy, and most of all, he makes the experience a good ride that feels like a complete, cohesive project.

Above is an excerpt from my review of Ultraviolet; you can read the full review here.

Xscape – Michael Jackson

Xscape is a great release whether you’ve listened to Michael Jackson before or not. If you enjoy Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Royal Tailor, or Justin Timberlake, you’ll probably enjoy Xscape as well. After all, Michael Jackson was a big influence for each of the artists mentioned, and by listening to Xscape, you can definitely hear why, and you can see how Michael truly changed the face of music.

This is an excerpt from my review of Xscape. You can read it in full here, if you’d like.

G I R L – Pharrell Williams

Pharrell’s album has a sort of throwback vibe to it; I’m getting the sounds of the 1970’s and ’80’s that are blended with the sounds of the modern era. I’m hearing the same tone of electric guitar on Pharrell’s “Come Get It Bae” as I hear in the Bee Gee’s “Jive Talking.” Hand claps, stomps, and trumpets mix with bass beats and computer generated sounds. The blend is refreshing, much like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was for me last year.

That’s an excerpt from my G I R L review, which you can read here.

Anchor – Colton Dixon

Anchor is truly an impressive masterpiece, from the lyrics of action, encouragement, and faith, to the incredible range of sounds displayed on the tracks. This is not an album to be missed, and I can guarantee that you’ll want to see and hear these ones performed live…

This quote is an excerpt from my Anchor review, which you can read here.

Yes! – Jason Mraz

Yes! took me a lot longer to warm up to as compared to some of Jason’s other works, but this album is a great one. It carries a very understated, acoustic tone; far more so than any of his other albums to date. Yes! is smooth, easy to listen to, and peaceful. It is peppy when it needs to be, but it slows things down to draw emotions when necessary. This album shouldn’t be missed.

This Changes Everything – Northern WonderThis Changes Everything (feat. Shawn Chrystopher)

Here’s a little indie release for you. Northern Wonder is a one man techno band in the vein of Owl City, and it is very clear that is where Northern Wonder’s inspiration comes from. This 4 track EP features Christian themes and infections tunes. It is a strong debut release for the artist, and I can’t wait to see what else he can create in the months and years to come.

That’s Christmas to Me – Pentatonix

Pentatonix has released two works this year: PTX Vol. III, a 7-track EP, and That’s Christmas to Me, a full length Christmas album. It mixes Christmas classics with original songs and throws in a heavy dose of Pentatonix’ trademark magic. Each track familiar yet new, and each one is a joy to listen to. It will go down in history as a classic album; that much is certain.

Honorable Mentions:

Shatter Me – Lindsey Stirling
Although Stirling has put out some standout singles this year (including “Shatter Me” and “Dragon Age”), the full album just doesn’t feel unique enough to make one of this year’s top spots.

Crimson Cord – Propaganda
As always, Propaganda makes listeners do some heavy thinking as he hits them with tough subjects in his raps. However, for several tracks on the album, the central issue concerns racism and the struggles that come with being black. It makes it difficult for somebody who isn’t black to be able to relate to a lot of tracks, although there are some standouts (“Bored of Education” and “Crimson Cord”)

I love Pentatonix, and this EP is solid. However, it lacks some of the originality in the vocal arrangements as compared to their other works. Nonetheless, original tracks on the EP, such as “On My Way Home” and “See Through” are among the best they’ve ever done.

Well, that wraps it up for this year! It’s been an interesting year for music, and although you won’t find a lot of top-sellers on my list, these are the ones that I think really show the diversity and excellence in music. Just because a lot of these aren’t popular albums doesn’t mean that they’re bad. In fact, they put most others to shame.

Thoughts? Which albums or EPs do you think should have made the list?

Thanks For Reading

YouTube Announces YouTube Music Key

YouTube (Google) announced YouTube Music Key Beta” today. Basically in a summary it is a paid premium subscription music service where you can listen to music through YouTube, have offline listening and background play and its ad free. Sounds pretty much just like Spotify but that it also has music videos. its starting out at $7.99 a month whenever it actually releases, which is pretty much the same cost as Spotify right? It also will have full albums in video form, which is pretty much already there anyways and if you cant find it on YouTube you can surely find it on Spotify.

If its gonna have music videos, are they gonna be high quality? Because i dont want to pay for a music video that has quality of this video.

And btw i love 12 Stones so im not knocking them im just saying the video was uploaded in 2007 and its bad quality. If i wanted to just watch music videos i could go to Vevo, they have a lot of music videos that are also on youtube, through their Vevo Channels. I just think its not gonna go well because we are all used to YouTube music videos being free, and up until the last year or so all youtube videos were free. So we will see how it goes.

What are your thoughts? leave them in the comments, and dont forget to follow the new Ramble blog and share with your friends!

Just Rambling,

John Stuart