Posts Tagged ‘Sheryl Crow’

In 1996, Contemporary Christian music, as a genre, was starting to take off with the likes of girl-groups such as Point of Grace, as well as such mainstays like DC Talk, the Newsboys, and crossover-pop queen Amy Grant. The nonchristian music world was enjoying the likes of Sarah Machlachlan, Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, and Lisa Loeb. However, the two musical worlds collided with the release of Sarah Masen’s 1996 self-titled debut album. Masen’s debut album is nothing short of insane awesomeness with a dash of quirkiness and creativity. The lead-off track and hit single on Christian radio, All Fall Down, proves that Masen is very creative in both lyric (“the fool stands only to fall but the wise trip on grace – all fall down”) and overall sound. Never has a guitar sounded like it came straight out of a Beatles tune since Phil Keaggy entered the scene in the 1970’s. Other songs such as Break Hard the Wishbone, Tuesday, and Fly Baby sound a bit too mellow, but not unbearable. Lyrically, songs such as Flames of Truth sound great. However, it still sounds too mellow. Masen takes many cues from her influences on the Sheryl Crow-Jewel-tinged rocker Unveiled Faces. If anything, Masen does sound like Lisa Loeb, but is more talented than her both lyrically because of the spiritual metaphors that she uses about finding Christ on Downtown. Masen sings “In the middle of our human condition/ is the emerald city of our saving provision/ and we wrestle and struggle/ till we can hardly stand/ and we drive downtown into that praying land/ but what we want most is home/ what we want most is home.” Come In is one of the best tracks due not only to what it talks about – feeling awkward in a new place, but also in its overall sounds: it gives the feel of awkwardness that works extremely well. This songs screams “I’m awkward and so are you. Let’s be awkward together and be friends.” Sarah Masen’s debut album was a critical success. All Fall Down was even featured on the 1996 soundtrack to the hit television show Party of Five. It’s a wonder why Masen didn’t build on this success and achieve greater noteriety both within the Contemporary Christian music community at large as well as with her mainstream counterparts. (like maybe getting booked for a few spots on the Lilith Fair tour?) Sarah Masen’s self titled debut album is 100% a winner.


Magic Kingdom

Disney is a pretty cool place. Why can't they totally rock out?

It’s no secret that the Wild Heart loves is all things related to Disney. Disney ROCKS when it comes to good art, animation, and just making people feel like kids again. My childhood would not be complete without such films like The Little Mermaid, Oliver and Co., Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story and even Aladdin. The songs only made the films better.

As I wrote about earlier, Disney has a pretty interesting relationship with rock & roll and Broadway. However, one way I was thinking about earlier is how they have a Contemporary Christian music festival every year called “Night of Joy.” Night of Joy is one big festival that requires a separate ticket that takes place in the Magic Kingdom.

So as I was thinking today while watching a YouTube video about Epcot Center was this: what about a rock festival or concert series that incorporates both rockers past and present? Like Night of Joy, it would be a separate ticket event. However, it would dwarf Night of Joy in the form of 3 stages sometime over Memorial Day Weekend in May. There would be 3 stages that are active on 3 nights. The 3 stages would be set for different types of artists:

  • The disney stars stage would happen at the Magic Kingdom. Picture this: your young daughter is a big fan of Selena Gomez from Wizards of Waverly Place. What wouldn’t be more magical for your young daughter than to see her at night at the Magic Kingdom along with some of her other favorite Disney stars?
  • The Legends stage would be held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It would feature such legends of rock as Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Paul Simon, Heart, Aerosmith, Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Journey, Stevie Nicks, Sammy Hagar, etc. Better yet, to make it a bit more kid-friendly, these legends would be introduced by a current Disney Channel star so that it may be an easier thing for the younger kids to digest. In essence “this is what mom and dad listen to.”
  • The Disney Rocks! stage would consist of current rock artists who would be rockin’ either the Animal Kingdom or Epcot. The artist roster would be a who’s who of current rock artists such as the Kings Of Leon, Green Day, Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Foster the People, etc.

Better yet, they could even sell some special edition trade pins with the artists on them either featuring a classic album cover of the artist but, in place of the artist have either Mickey or Minnie. Or you could have a picture of the artist in a pose (Paul Simon with his guitar singing to an animated Mickey Mouse, Donald getting serenaded by Ellie Goulding, Mickey making faces at the Kings of Leon, etc) or Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy paying tribute to a well-known album. These would all be limited edition pins.

What do you think of this idea?

Rock music’s gold dust woman makes a huge splash with her 1983 release, The Wild Heart.

Rocker and Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks shows off her best vocals on her 1983 release "The Wild Heart."

Stevie Nicks is known for having a lush, deep, contra-alto voice. Nicks’ beautiful voice truly shines on such tracks as synthesizer-driven If Anyone Falls. The track only gets better on the chorus, when Nicks is joined by her two backup singers which include die-hard fan favorite band member Lori Perry- Nicks.

However, the best track on this album is the ever-popular Stand Back. Since the album’s release, it has become a staple at both Nicks’ solo shows and Fleetwood Mac concerts. It shows Nicks at her best – complete with vocal prowess.

Nicks also shows what a great songwriter she is on Nothing Ever Changes in which Nicks exclaims “Come back…little boy/ baby come back…yeah…little boy/ Ooh…it’s just me that lies waiting/ Well it could come from anywhere/ oooh it could come straight straight from my heart/ nothing can be saved here.”

The one weakness of this album though is the end trackBeauty and the Beast. To anyone who was born AFTER 1983, do not let this title fool you because it is not inspired by or even talking about the 1992 Disney classic of the same title. She is speaking about the silent film of the same title. It just sounds too slow tempo-wise and doesn’t fit in with the overall album.

Overall the album is comparable to other great artists such as Sheryl Crow and her body of work, who has cited Nicks as an influence and also worked with her. I would recommend this to any fan of independent music because it has a definitive independent feel to it. Overall, it is a great album.