Who is the first female Welsh artist to have a number one pop single in the past 25 years? If you said Duffy, you would be correct. You would also have to be a fan of her and her music. This Welsh singer-songwriter, who’s real name is Aimee Ann Duffy (Duffy is her professional name) is not very well known in the U. S. unless you listen to modern alternative radio. I had never heard of her until my lovely wife Robin asked if I had. She was pretty pleased to turn me on to her music. My wife is a big fan of the music from the 60’s era and Duffy, although a contemporary artist, sings the kind of music reminiscent of that time period. Duffy was born June 23rd, 1984 in Gwynedd, an area in north-west Wales. In 2003 she was the runner-up to the Welsh alternative to American Idol. She sang in various bands until hooking up with Suede’s ex-guitar player Bernard Butler. Duffy and Butler began co-writing songs and created a fresh retro sound. I will tell you now that this music is not my typical “knock the snot outta ya” hard ‘n heavy musical style you have come to read about here. But there is just something about this fresh sound that hooks me in. This fresh sound is what you will hear on her full length debut album. The album review to follow.
Monthly Archives: April 2008
When I think of Delirious?, I think of modern Christian worhip music. They have released many worship albums, and have several well known worship songs including: “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever”, “Deeper”, and “Lord, You Have My Heart”. Delirious? began as a worship band for a youth outreach event called “Cutting Edge”. This event was created by Arun Community Church in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England. They have been a favorite in our household since purchasing and listening to their “Glo” album in 2000. I have loved their mix or worship centered lyrics and modern rock music. The band Delirious? features Martin Smith on vocals and guitar, Stuart Garrard (also known as Stu G) on guitar and backing vocals, Jon Thatcher on bass guitar, Tim Jupp on keys and piano, and Paul Evans on drums and percussion.
Their new album is called “Kingdom of Comfort“. It was released in the U. S. on April 1st, 2008, April Fool’s Day. I wonder if there was an intention to it’s release on that particular day? They did have an album titled “King of Fools” released in 1997. “Kingdom of Comfort” was inspired by the band’s recent missions trip to Cambodia and Mumbai, India. The band’s guitarist Stu G is quoted as saying:
Seeing children looking for scraps on the rubbish dump they call homes in Cambodia and the education and feeding projects in the slums of Mumbai India really had an impact on us. It wasn’t possible to simply proceed with business as usual. We had to ask ourselves, what am I building? A kingdom of comfort? Or a kingdom of heaven?
With all the enthusiastic media coverage of the papal visit this week, I thought it best to post a simple reason why I do not share in the same enthusiasm. Nor would any of the eariler reformers who died opposing the doctrines of the papacy.
This reason is found in a single word, justification, as it relates to the salvation of your soul. It is one of, if not, the most significant differences in the doctrine of the papacy and the church reformers. Reformers teach that we are justified by faith apart from works (Rom. 3:20-28; 4:1-5; 9:30-32; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-14), but once we believe with true faith, the good works will flow out of the changed heart (Eph. 2:8-10; Js. 2:14, 17). The papacy teaches that we are justified by faith and the good works that come from that faith. Did you catch that little word “and“? That little word is a huge word relative to these doctrinal differences. I would contend that the word has eternal ramifications. The following is a very understandable definition from Ra McLaughlin:
Part of the disagreement between the Calvinists and Roman Catholics on the issue of the relationship between faith, works, and justification, stems from a disagreement over the definition of “justify.” Roman Catholics generally argue that to justify someone is to recognize that the person really is righteous. Thus, they read James 2:21-22 to teach that Abraham reached a point of actual righteousness when he passed the test of being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22. Calvinists, on the other hand, recognize two definitions for “justify” (most words may have more than one meaning), seeing that it sometimes means “vindicate” or “validate,” and sometimes it means “to count a person as if he were righteous, even though he really isn’t.” For example, when Abraham believed God, God counted Abraham as if he were actually righteousness (Gen. 15:6), even though Abraham had not yet done any good works since believing. Calvinists teach that the only one who is truly righteous enough to be saved is Christ himself (Rom. 3:9-20; 5:15-19), and that Christ shares his own status as “righteous” with those who are united to him by faith (Gal. 3:17-29). The first definition, “vindication,” is the one Calvinists apply to James 2:21-22. Calvinists believe the context in James 2 is not contrasting, on the one hand, true faith plus good works, and, on the other hand, true faith without works. Rather, Calvinists argue that James is contrasting two kinds of faith, one that produces good works (true faith) and one that does not produce good works (false faith). “Vindication” seems the best definition in this passage, according to Calvinists, because Abraham was already reckoned as righteous when he believed God in Genesis 15 — many years before God “tested” (Gen. 22:1) his faith. The test was to determine whether or not Abraham’s faith was true (Gen. 22:12), not to cause Abraham to do enough good works to earn his justification.
Just something to discuss with your more enthusiastic friends.
In Matthew 5:30 Jesus says:
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Although this passage is used in reference to lust, I found an interesting story that I have somewhat related to this scripture.
While being burned alive at the sake Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was quoted saying:
This was the hand that wrote it, therefore it shall suffer first punishment.
The “it” he mentions is the right hand Thomas Cranmer used to sign the recantation documents after having been in prison for two years. The recantations were affirmations of his belief in transubstantiation and papal supremacy. Prior to his death at the stake he was lead by procession to St. Mary’s Church in Oxford where he was to make a public statement affirming his recantation. Instead he was quoted as saying:
And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy and Antichrist, with all his false doctrine.
After this he was lead away and burned at the stake for the crime of heresy. His incarceration and subsequent execution were at the request of Queen Mary I, later known as Bloody Mary. For she was responsible for the execution of many reformers in an effort to re-establish the Roman Catholic Church.
I would commend any reformed scholar to read more on this reformer, brave man, and co-founder of the early Anglican Church movement. I have provided some links in the text above.
In a world where speed metal, blazing fingers, and even faster picks, Dragonforce is near the top of the power metal pile. I was first introduced to this band by my son Corey. He also shares my taste for head-banging, smash-mouth, guitar oriented music. After listening to the first song I was impressed by the skillful, yet lightning fast, guitar playing. This extreme power metal band formed in 1999 hails from London, England. Dragonforce will draw on influences by all forms of metal, melodic metal, and speed metal, but also video games. Their lyrics are definitely influenced by the themes present in games such as Final Fantasy. To quote Herman Li (one of the lead guitarists) from Guitar World on a description of the band’s style: “Nintendo Metal, or Bon Jovi on speed”. I would have to agree. After hearing my first few songs from Dragonforce, my first thoughts were, “these guys have to be doing major finger callesthenics in order to maintain that speed live.” This is a definite deviation from my last review, but one I have enjoyed. Dragonforce gets my axe playing juices flowing much like the bands Dream Theater, and Symphony X do.
The latest album release from Dragonforce is called “Inhuman Rampage” It is their third album. It was released on January 9th, 2006, and their first with Road Runner Records. The album title alone depicts their musical style. The first track “Through the Fire and Flames” blazes into the auditory canal with inhuman thrash. This song is the most successful single by Dragonforce. It is also used as the unlockable final encore song in the popular video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Track two, “Revolution Deathsquad”, slows things down from 200mph to 100mph. This toned down pace (not really) allows you to enjoy a nice mixture of palm muted and loud crunching guitar rhythms, along with some keyboards, and video gaming sounds. The mid-point of the song sounds similar to older Metallica. The next song is called “Storming the Burning Fields”. It begins with the patented blazing solo guitar but later incorporates a well mixed combination of keyboards and rhythm guitars. The typical lyrics say:
Have you ever been at the butt end of a practical joke? Today is the day most practical jokes occur. Happy April Fool’s Day! Most times it is fun to be the practical joker, and even less fun to be the joke’s recipient. But almost all of the time it is fun to be the indirect observer of a practical joke. For this reason I present the following picture.
Hey! Who called for this photo op?