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Showing posts from November, 2016

EP Review: Simply Christmas by Rachel Potter

First things first. You may have heard about the terrible wildfires that have been plaguing parts of the South. I've been to Gatlinburg, TN a couple of times and it's such a beautiful part of the country. It's a wonderful place to visit and so seeing all the footage of it burning broke my heart. As of right now, three people have been killed and who knows how many buildings have been destroyed. They could really use our help right about now. If you can, and feel led to do so, here's where you can donate to the American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation. You can also donate to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee who will be giving grants to nonprofits helping out. If you're unable to give at this time, please keep the people of Gatlinburg in your thoughts and prayers. Everything helps.

Now, today's EP isn't new, but it's a good one. I mean, it's Rachel Potter.  I've said it about her before, but Rachel is the kind of si…

Album review: Full of (Even More) Cheer by Home Free

Leave it to the talented men of Home Free to do something that usually kind of annoys me, but doesn't when they do it. You see, Full of (Even More) Cheer is more or less a re-release of their album Full of Cheer. My issue with re-releases is that most of the time, they throw on a few new songs without doing anything to the rest of the album. In those cases, I'd rather they just put out an EP of the new songs. I do recognize that there are various reasons for doing this and I think a lot of the time, it's out of the hands of the artist. Even still, I usually end up giving your average re-releases the side-eye.

This album, however, gets a nod of approval from me instead. Partly because I love Home Free too much to ever give them the side-eye. But mainly because they actually changed things up. Bless 'em. The first big change? Well, Full of Cheer came out before Chance joined the group. So into the studio he went so that this new album would reflect the current line-up. …

Album review: A Little Bit of Christmas by Chris Rupp

I said that I would be reviewing this and there's no time like the present. In listening to this, I've concluded that Chris Rupp is basically the musical equivalent of a chameleon. Especially when thinking about some of the other videos that he's put out this year alone. His taste in music is evidently quite varied and part of the fun of being a fan of his is seeing what he'll do next. He's not one to be pigeonholed into one style of music. This is perhaps an odd comparison, but in some ways he reminds me a bit of Eric Church in that respect. Namely, that he basically makes whatever kind of music that he wants. 
Luckily for those of us who follow him, we live in a time where he's free to do this. Thanks to Patreon, content creators are able to produce any kind of content that they want without needing the support of a major label. It really is a wonderful thing. It also makes you think about how limiting being on a major label can be. Aside from having the fre…

Album review: Peppermint Winter by VoicePlay

Man, there's been some great Christmas albums that have come out recently. I've reviewed three of them so far. To recap: we've talked about A Hollens Family Christmas - and I've just added in Peter's most recent video from it. I gushed over the gorgeousness that is Voctave's The Spirit of Christmas album and I've raved about Brett Eldredge's Glow. Today's album, however, is from 2012. Sadly, I was living a VoicePlayless existence back then. Now that I've become a full-fledged VoicePlaya, there was no way I could let this holiday season go by without talking about their holiday album, Peppermint Winter. I mean, how could I? It's a great album and one that needs to be heard and purchased.  
No, really, you should buy it. This is VoicePlay doing what they do best. Taking songs - several of which have been done countless times - and making them their own. This collection of songs is so distinctively VoicePlay. It's fun and downright silly a…

Album review: Glow by Brett Eldredge

I've thought that Brett Eldredge is among the best male singers in country music for a while now. After listening to Glow, my opinion has changed a bit. I think that Brett Eldredge is among the best male vocalists in music, period. Glow is Brett's third album and he's never sounded better. Considering how good he sounds on his other two albums, this is indeed saying something. In case you weren't aware, Brett is a big fan of Frank Sinatra. I've heard him sing some Frank Sinatra before, on his YouTube channel and on his Snapchat Bedhead Jams. I always love when he does, which is one of the reasons why I adore this album.

To say that Brett is channeling Frank Sinatra on this album is an understatement. There's times when you'd swear you were listening to Frank. This is largely due to his vocals, but the fact that he's singing along with a full symphony doesn't hurt. Out of all the different directions he could've gone with Glow, he decided to go w…

Album review: The Spirit of the Season by Voctave

I first wrote about the men and women of Voctave back in August during my month of Disney. I did a video spotlight on their beautiful "Disney Love Medley" that featured Kirstin Maldonado and Jeremy Michael Lewis. You can find right that post right here. I definitely recommend checking that out, if only to watch the video. This is another a cappella group that I've basically fallen in love with and one that really makes me miss being in a choir.

Voctave consists of Kate Lott (soprano), Tiffany Coburn (soprano), Ashley Espinoza (alto/soprano), Sarah Whittemore (alto), Chrystal Johnson (alto), E.J. Cardona (tenor), Tony De Rosa (tenor/director), Kurt von Schmittou (baritone), JC Fullerton (bass) and James Ray (tenor/arranger). They're a bigger group than most of the other a cappella groups I listen to and they put out this wall of beautiful harmonies when they sing. Honestly, the word beautiful doesn't even do them justice. They are vocally stunning and captivating…

Album review: Debut by 7th Ave

This is going to be part album review and part an introduction to a group that some of you might not be familiar with yet. With some videos thrown in for fun. First things first: who is 7th Ave? It's a new quartet founded by one Chris Rupp. You know, as in the guy who also founded an a cappella group that I'm quite fond of: Home Free. Yeah, him. Earlier this year, he announced that he would be leaving Home Free to pursue other musical interests. I'll be honest and admit that this news made me sad at first. It's always sad when someone leaves a group that you love. I've had it happen multiple times.

That said, I think that this departure was the easiest to handle for me. I say this because Home Free is still very much intact and making great music with new member Adam Chance. And Chris has more or less been a music making machine; we never really had time to miss him because he's been producing so much content. Let's recap: he put out a beautiful piano album…

Album review: A Hollens Family Christmas by Peter Hollens

Something strange has happened to me. I used to have a fairly strict rule about waiting to listen to Christmas music until December. Or rather about choosing to listen to it on my own, since it seems like the stores start playing it earlier and earlier. But generally, I like to save Christmas music for December. Now as you're of course aware, it is definitely not December yet. It's definitely still November. And yet, I find myself writing a review of a Christmas album.

This is mainly for three reasons. The first being that it seems like there's a lot of Christmas albums coming out. I know that I, in all likelihood, will not be able to write about all of them. But there's a few that I'm definitely planning on getting to. Seemed like a good idea to start now. The second reason I wanted to write about this album? It's the first new album that I've listened to in its entirety and it's great. The third reason? Peter has worked so hard getting it right and h…

Video spotlight: Scars to Your Beautiful by Evynne Hollens

This was originally not going to be my next post, but seeing as how negative pretty much all of my social media feeds have been over the past few days made me want to write about this now. See, this song was originally done by Alessia Cara and it's all about body image and loving yourself. No matter what the rest of the world thinks.

This is an important message these days. Especially lately. I'll be honest and admit that it annoys me that I feel a need to write about this because it shouldn't be this way. But it is. Denying that truth changes nothing. I never wanted to get political on my blog and I'm not. Not exactly. But right now the country is in a state of turmoil. The election is over and the hate is flowing. Friendships are ending because apparently learning someone voted differently than you did means that you're all of a sudden some kind of evil person. At least that seems to be the implication. As if they suddenly aren't the same person that they'…

Video spotlight: How Great Thou Art by Home Free

After uploading my last video spotlight, I realized that the next thing I posted would be my 200th blog post. I uploaded my first blog on January 6th, 2012. I've gone through periods where I was writing a lot and then there'd be weeks or even months that would go by where I wouldn't write at all. Falling in love with a cappella music near the end of 2014 has done wonders for my writing, as evidenced by all the a cappella related things I've written about over the past couple of years. That love started when I happened across a video by a group that I'd never heard of. The video? The CMA Single of the Year Medley. The group? Home Free.

As soon as they uploaded this on October 28th, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I wrote about it. Because how could I not take the time to write about this one? Upon realizing that this post would be my 200th post, I couldn't think of a more appropriate video to talk about. I mean, it's a video by the group that…