Posts Tagged ‘christianity’


Madonna is one of those artists that can do everything and do it well: sing, dance, and act – though that remains rather questionable. Howevever, every artist must grow up eventually and prove to both audience and peers that they are great. Madonna does this in her own unique way with her 1989 release, Like A Prayer.

Like A Prayer unveils a new persona of Madonna: the grownup. With the release of this album, not only does her own voice seem to mature – but also the overall production and lyrical content. On the title song. Madge explores religious elements in both lyric and production. She uses a backup choir and the lyrics are both a double entendre for prayers to God and sex.

In fact, this song wasn’t without controversy. The video for Like A Prayer stirred up quite a bit of controversy among Christiansdue to its exploitation of burning crosses and Madonna having sex with a saint in a church. Pepsi used the song for a commercial

Cover of "Like a Prayer"

The cover of the album is a direct homage to "Sticky Fingers" by the Rolling Stones

starring Madonna and ended up pulling the commercial altogether after only a few airings.

One of the best things about this album is the production quality. For this album, Madonna chose the production team of Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard. Leonard previously had worked with Madge on some of her best known hits such as La Isla BonitaWhere’s The Party, and Who’s That Girl. Bray was previously a member of her old band, Emmy and the Emmys. The instrumentation on such songs as Till Death Do Us Part, Cherish, and Keep It Together are all amazing.

Lyrically, Madge also grows up. Promise To Try feels like a letter to a 5-year-old Madonna from the adult Madonna. It is quite possibly about the death of her own mother, who died of cancer at the age of 30. Madge herself has said that this fact – her mother dying at such a young age, was on her mind along with her divorce from actor Sean Penn. These 2 factors influenced the recording of this album.

Overall, this is Madonna at the height of her career. It’s one of her best and definetly worth a listen.

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So a few days ago I got an email about something the Wild Heart (a.k.a Christina Lynn – who is the wild heart) has wanted for quite awhile. I’ll give you 3 clues as to what it doesn’t pertain to: marriage, babies or changing religions. For starters, I’m not married nor am I seeing anyone – yet. Children – see aforementioned sentence. Religion – ok Christianity is a relationship and I am never leaving Christ.

Anyways so at the beginning of the year I sent in some of the blog posts I have written to the Houston Press Rocks Off Blog. Houston Press is a local weekly magazine based out of Houston, TX. Anyways, I sent in the one about the Stevie Nicks concert that was held back in August, my open letter to Mtv, a review of Bounce by Bon Jovi, and a write-up about Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury.

A few days went by and I got a response! The Houston Press Rocks Off Blog is wanting me to do freelance work for them! I have accepted the position. This is literally my dream job – to write about music and get paid to do it. Furthermore, some have even told me that I wouldn’t be a good writer or that I would never make it as a music writer or blogger. I won’t lie – that hurt me a great deal. But, as always, Jesus had other plans for his child because he loves his children

Now, this doesn’t mean the end of the Wild Heart. I will still keep up the Wild Heart the best that I can. Let me make this clear: this is NOT the end of the Wild Heart. I will update this blog as much as I can.


Singer Kevin Max by a window, taken for public...

Kevin Max Smith, formely of DC Talk.

A few months ago I was at my day job and I was listening to Out of the Grey’s 1993 self-titled debut album on my Grooveshark account. My boss waltzes in and sees my home screen, which has a picture of the album cover and asks “Out of the Grey: are they still ALIVE?!” to which I respond with a “yes.” Needless to say, he was surprised that someone as young as I would actually know who Out of the Grey is.Unbeknownst to him, I am well-versed in who Scott and Christine Dente are as I am with the likes of Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. I have or have had at one point all of their albums and seen them in concert twice in the 90’s – my parents would take me.

It got me to rethink something I have been pondering for a considerable amout of time now: why can’t the Contemporary Christian Music industry see that there maybe a market for a CCM classic station? One of the things that I hate about CCM radio is they refuse to play anything from the 70’s-mid 2000’s. With the exception of their golden boy Chris Tomlin, its like artists such as Point of Grace, DC Talk, Rebecca St. James, Out of the Grey, Russ Taff, etc have all dropped off the face of the earth.

As a result of this, a whole generation is now coming of age not knowing that TobyMac is famous for being in DC Talk, not just his solo work. They’ll never know who the other two guys are: Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith. Nevertheless, it’s a travesty that these guys will never know that great band.

Plus, people like retro. They love nostalgia. That’s why classic rock is very popular. That’s why, whenever a long-broken up band (such as Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, the GoGos’s, Aerosmith) return, they return in a major way. People buy their tickets and albums because not only do they like the new stuff, but they also like the familiar faces. From what I saw when TobyMac performed “Jesus Freak” in concert as the encore, the crowd LOVED it.

Also, with CCM, there is one thing that makes it stand out from all other genres: its the same rhetoric from over 2000 years ago. Granted, yes, some of the slang maybe different as well as styles and fashion choices, but the message is the same. Though yes, Christians should try to remain relevant but relevancy for one person is irrelevancy to another. Who knows? Some people may love 80’s hair metal bands.

Additionally, great musicians are influenced by other great musicians. Margaret Becker and Amy Grant. would not exist without Joanie Mitchell. Without Metallica, P.O.D would not exist. Music, generally-speaking,  is a form of building blocks. If CCM doesn’t start both openly promoting older artists, they will be taking away a major building block in creativity. One must be inspired to create, so how come other, older Christian artists inspire a younger generation? Why can’t Amy Grant to a 16-year-old girl who feels excluded because of some of her nonlegalistic ways?


One of the best things about Contemporary Christian Music singer Amy Grant is that she isn’t afraid to tell the truth. Though the truth can hurt, she does it in a very loving way. This is what makes her rather popular even to this day in Contemporary Christian Music.

On 1982’s Age To Age, Grant shows that she is now a beautiful, young, Christian woman. Grant, whose previous albums included her self titled debut album (recorded when she was only a teenager), My Father’s Eyes, 2 live albums, and 1980’s

Cover of "Age to Age"

forgettable Never Alone.

Grant takes a new musical direction with Age to Age. She and then-piano player Michael W. Smith experiment with some of the musical stylings that made the music of Fame popular at the time on Don’t Run Away.  Grant also grows up lyrically on Got to Let It Go where she exclaims “Lord, here’s my heart/ I’ve been keepin’ it from you/ And I’ve got to let it go/ Holdin’ on just brings me worry.

Other songs, she takes a more classically-inclined approach. Songs such as Sing Your Praise to the Lord, and El Shaddai, which is sung partially in Hebrew. The latter talks about the death of Christ.

Age to Age  was the first Christian music album to gain gold certification status in 1983. It became the first of its genre to be certified platinum in 1985. Upon its release, it became the fastest-selling CCM album during that time – unheard of in that genre back then!

Overall this is a good album, but if you are not familiar with Grant’s earlier work – only her later work, you will be dissappointed.  However this is still a classic.


Ladies and gents, I need to admit something: I have a love-hate relationship with Pandora radio. My Stevie Nicks station now only plays indie music – not her solo stuff, Fleetwood Mac or even Buckingham Nicks – all of which I have separate stations for. Additionally, I am sick of it playing the same songs of hers or Fleetwood Mac every single time I bring it up: Landslide. I also tried to give last.fm a shot but it went down in a blaze of glory. However, no thanks to the ex-boyfriend of me, the Wild Heart, I have been introduced to something that is nothing short of amazing: Grooveshark. Better yet, it’s legal and free unless you don’t want ads – then you must pay. But the best thing is you can upload songs and listen to songs in a query, but you don’t download them.

I have found many random things on there, so I will tell you of what they are. They are mostly rarities – like I have never heard them OR I haven’t heard them since I was a child. The 0 of the best that I have found on Grooveshark.

  1. Stand In My PlaceBryan Duncan. This is one of those songs that to me, just screamed “put me at number one.” I grew up listening to Contemporary Christian music because I was born, raised, and still am a rather devout Christian. I used to hear this all the time back in 1991-1993 when I was 4-7 on 89.3 FM KSBJ. As Christian music matured a little in the 90’s, this song and artist virtually disappeared from KSBJ’s playlists. As I myself discovered my own faith outside of the faith of my parents and grandparents (I’m Protestant, raised Southern Baptist, but now attend a Vineyard church). Something about the lyrics that say “you traded paradise for poverty/ created all and laid it all on the line for me/ I’m just an ordinary heart and soul/ you bridged an ocean to stand in my place.” Nobody else would have done that for me, and that is why I choose Christ.
  2. All My LIfeBryan Duncan. This was also a song that has since disappeared from the airwaves of KSBJ. Glad to see it once again on Grooveshark.
  3. Thousand DaysStevie Nicks. Since I have become quite a bit of a Stevie Nicks fan lately, I have been looking up her music alot on the internet. I came across this on Grooveshark and it turns out this is on her Enchanted box set – which is somewhat of a limited edition from what I hear. I don’t think it is a demo because it sounds professionally produced, that is, unless she produced it herself. Either way it is one amazing track. I cannot help but wonder who the song is aimed at and what album was it meant for.
  4. Love In A World Gone MadAgnetha Faltskog. Though I am not a big fan of ABBA, this woman is a really good pop artist. I wish she would have gone places beyond Sweden.
  5. Races Are RunBuckingham Nicks. Before Lindsey Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, they were known as Buckingham Nicks. They recorded one album together entitled Buckingham Nicks. It is considered a rare album, however many bootleg cds have surfaced. Lindsey Buckingham has expressed interest in re-releasing the album, however it has yet to be released.
  6. Pac-Man FeverBuckner and Garcia. For some reason I find this song amusing.
  7. Cest La VieRobbie Neville. I first saw this song on VH1 Classic’s Greatest One-Hit Wonders. I must say that back in his day, Robbie was one hottie. Sadly now he looks like an old man and those cute-boy looks have long gone.
  8. Into the Hollywood Groove – Missy Elliott featuring Madonna. Normally I am not a big rap fan. However, I will make an exception for this song because I like Madonna on the chorus.
  9. 96 Tears ? and the Mysterians. Kids, this is what drugs and music sound like mixed together.
  10. BLOX germ-killerGTA Vice City. I would imagine that somehow, some way, Howard Hughes would use so much of this germ-killer that he probably would own the company and run it from his little theater in his house much akin to how he was in The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio

What happens when you mix a virtually unknown Christian rock band from Australia that sounds better than its mainstream

The Newsboys are one of the craziest and most serious bands in Contemporary Christian Music.

Australian predecessors (INXS, Kylie Minogue, the BeeGees, and even Men at Work), a rotating drum set, the message of Christ‘s love and forgiveness, and all-around craziness? You get the Newsboys!

Since the landmark release of their eponymous album Not Ashamed in 1992, the Newsboys have been at the top of their game within modern-day Contemporary Christian music.

One of the best things about Take Me To Your Leader is that it is an album that is fun to listen to. You don’t have to be a Christian to love their music because it is fun for everyone. Especially on the title track, where they talk about those that are searching for Christ in all the wrong places. Co-lead singer John James proclaims “I don’t know why you care/ I don’t know what’s out there/ I don’t know how it’s done/ Just take me to your leader son” Breathe, in the same vain, talks about how Christ is all about renewal to humanity.

However, one of the most standout tracks is the disco-friendly Reality, which is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son.

The Newsboys are not immune to their own sense of humor, especially on Breakfast where they exclaim “with spoons held high we bid our brother ‘cheerio.'”

On the other hand, the album gets a bit more serious with songs that talk about why forgiveness, though hard, is something that needs to be done because it is what Christ says to do (Let It Go) and even miracles on Miracle Child.

This album is definetly a classic.


…………or at least bring back happy memories of summers gone by.

Since it is a nice day in Houston, so much that I went swimming, I figured I would tell you what my picks are for the 10 best songs of the summer.

  1. Cruel SummerBananarama.  Every single summer, I keep thinking this and usually I am proven wrong by my own best friend, family or new friends. This especially happened one summer when I had a bad semester in college previously. I was thinking that things were going to suck but they didn’t. I found a great lifegroup at church, I kept busy with summer school taking spanish (I enjoyed watching “las peliculas de Disney”) and social problems . I hung out with my best friends a bit, and even got to do 2 mega articles at the school paper. It was one of the best summers I have ever had.
  2. California Dreaming – The Mamas and the Papas. Almost every year in highschool, my parents and I would take a trip to California. We would usually hit up Los Angeles and/or San Francisco.
  3. UpShania Twain. Remember what I just said about my family’s trip to California? Well this song really brings back some memories. After much begging on behalf of me to my father, we finally got to go to Universal Studios Hollywood so I could ride the Back to the Future ride. (my dad had a longstanding hatred of Universal after they released that Last Temptation of Christ film and he outright refused to go there to that place) Either way, he caved in and took me and my mom to Universal Studios. At the time, I was enduring some fallout from things at school – both highschool drama and the fact that I failed a class and would have to retake it with a teacher that treated me like scum. So as I was at Universal Citywalk, this song comes on and it made me feel better. Oh and the following school year was one of the best that I remember having in highschool. So I guess things did look up for me.  
  4. Give It UpAvalon. If you grew up evangelical christian like I did, summer meant that it was time for camp – which would usually mean that somehow or some way you would end up dedicating your life to Christ again or making some sort of life change and making a promise that you probably would break to Jesus. The same thing would happen on mission trips both foreign and stateside. It’s an unfortunate ordeal. That is why I picked this song in retrospect because God calls us to give him your all 24/7 365 days a year, not just in the summer or when it suits you.
  5. Down Under – Men At Work. If you were someone that were a teenager around 2003, you may or may not remember that they used this for the film the rockin’ awesome (and very funny) Disney movie Finding Nemo – at least in the advertisements. That was the best summer film that Disney has ever put out next to Flight of the Navigator
  6. Round and Round – RATT. Picture this if you live in Houston: it’s the eighties, the temperature reads 90 degrees but the humidity is through the damn roof and you’re sitting by the pool with your cold drink of choice and the radio’s blasting ROCK 101 KLOL (before it became MEGA 101) and this song comes on. Perfect day isn’t it?
  7. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden. This basically sums up every single summer in Houston – hot, humid, and when it rains it is nothing short of sheer amazement.
  8. Sister Christian – Night Ranger.For some reason, people seem to forget that people graduate all the time during the year – especially if you go to Devry University or are on the quarter system. However, for some reason this song reminds me of a highschool graduation. Maybe it has something to do with the video.  
  9. Shackles (Praise You) – MaryMary. Like I said before, I am a Christian – but not a perfect one. This song brings back memories of when I was about to enter highschool at my parent’s church’s youth group. I did the mission trip that they called Houston 2001 (now Houston Project, for all you people who attend Houston’s First Baptist Church). This song was a bit, uh, overplayed on both KSBJ and at church. Either way, I like the song because it is very catchy and I love MaryMary’s harmonies.
  10. Maggie May – Rod Stewart. The ultimate summer love song.
  11. It’s The End of the World As We Know it (and I Feel Fine) – R.E.M. One thing said, you must send much love to the boys from Athens, GA. My vote for best simple video.
  12. School’s Out For the Summer – Alice Cooper. My parents generation, as far as shock rockers go, got Alice Cooper. My generation gets Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga. I think Alice Cooper’s is better because he wrote what every single person thinks about school.
  13. I Cannot Get You Out of My SystemNewsboys. Probably one of the greatest Christian bands of my childhood. I have always loved their rotating drum set that they use in concert. Better yet, they are original when it comes to their sound – a rarity in Christian music even to this day. Sheer amazement.
  14. Beautiful Stranger – Madonna. You gotta love Madonna. She is always cutting-edge, but sometimes she does go too far. (I wasn’t a fan of her standing on a cross during the Confessions on a Dancefloor tour – very offensive to me as a christian) However, I still like and even forgive Madonna – unlike some christians. I love this song. It reminds me of when I was 13 and I had to stay with my grandmother. I would watch VH1 and this song would always come on.
  15. You Found Me – FFH. What does FFH stand for you ask? It stands for Far From Home. They were a popular contemporary christian band back in the late’90-early 2000’s. They sounded a bit like John Mayer but ALOT better. I was in love with the bass line of this song, and still am! Also, the blending of their harmonies is nothing short of awesome. God has truly given them a gift.
  16. Time of the Season – The Zombies. Now picture this, a day at the beach with your love. Fireworks are going off because, well, it’s the 4th of July (if you live in the US that is), barbecues making some burgers (or veggie burgers) and corn on the cob. Perfect day isn’t it!  I probably would be accurate in saying that this defined summer when my father was a teenager sometime in 1969 – the year that Woodstock and the poorly planned Altamont happened.
  17. Extreme Days – TobyMac. Probably one of the best Christian artists ever. This basically defined summer 2001 for me – the summer where I left middle school and entered highschool. At the time I was a wannabe extreme sports person, but I did not succeed even at my sport of choice – rollerblading and skateboarding.
  18. Ice Cream Man – Van Halen. Who doesn’t like ice cream or Van Halen for that matter. I like both.
  19. Conga – Miami Sound Machine. ANYTHING Miami Sound Machine (or Gloria Estefan for that matter) sounds very summer-like!
  20. Heatwave – Martha and the Vandellas. Perfect song for the summer from Motown Records.