Welcome to the Baker Book House Music Blog! We've got new release info, reviews, and artist features.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions: What Love Really Means

I was thinking about what to write about this week, so I asked a co-worker, Erin, what I should do. She told me that well it is a time for new year's resolutions, but then we joked around that those never pan out. I really never make resolutions because two days is the overall average that they last. Then today I was listening to some music and came upon "What Love Really Means" by J.J. Heller. Now, I have heard this song before, but this time when I heard it I thought of my sister, who I don't always get along with. The funny thing is that this past Christmas we had drawn each other's names, so she has been on my mind a lot this holiday season. We don't really talk or see each other much, except of what she writes on Facebook. We have a history of causing each other emotional pain. I love her, but at times I don't know how to. This song resonates with these thoughts. "I will love her for her, not for what she has done, or for what she will become." Who is she? She is Katie: my sister, who is a joy to my heart, daughter to my parents, an adopted daughter of God, who Jesus died for to bring her eternal life, a good friend, and someone whose favorite color is pink.
My new year's resolution is to love her as Christ loves and teaches us to love.
Katie, this song I dedicate to you...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easter is April 24! Our Easter Choral are Out!

It might seem strange to some to announce Easter's date just after Christmas, but after Christmas there is only a short time before Easter arrives. In the world of choir and program directors, now is the time to begin to look for Easter music and programs. Baker Book House strives to help make this process easier by offering a Choral library where you can check out up to 5 pieces of music for one week.


Here is the new releases for this year...


Easter 2011 Choral Music

Concert: Tammy Trent - January 15, 2011

Tammy Trent will be at the Grand Rapids First Church, Saturday 15th at 7:00 PM for a concert.


      Beneath her youthful exterior and fresh-faced exuberance, Tammy is a focused recording artist, author and speaker who knows exactly what she wants to say.  She creates music that serves as a personal conduit for those seeking to worship God and also wants to remind others of God's desire to reach them.  Through her own personal journey of love and loss, Tammy continues to share that theme through her books, her music and her life. 
     Tammy's dedication to the ministry was recognized in November 2009 when the Christian Music Hall of Fame handed her the award for Inspirational Female Vocalist of the Year!
     Her ministry reaches all around the world, taking on such platforms as the Women of Faith and the Revolve Tour as a featured speaker and singer.  And in Tammy's own words, "I commit my resources to outreach, service and ministry to help others discover a real relationship with Jesus Christ and to fully understand His promises and the eternal."


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010 - New Release

The Flame - Captured - Clear Sight Music - Infinity Music
     After 2 years the 2009 Grammy, Stellar, GMA Dove Award nomineereleases his next project on a new record label, owned by him and his wife Crystal, Clear Sight Music. This album speaks to the heart of those who have lived a life that is not how God wants us to live, so thats about everyone. The Flame's Captured is him pouring his heart out, and because of this, there is few other artists on this album. It is a softer Flame in this album without losing the power. With the song "All I Need", The Flame writes how God uses others in our life at time to draw us to Him, like Flame's wife, Crystal is honored in one verse. We are captured by God, and you will be captured by this powerful moving music. Cause, when we are captured, we haven't been so free. "Jesus you are my white flag, I surrender right now"



Level 3:16 - Level 3:16 - Cross Movement Rec. - Provident
     New group Level 3:16 enters the scene focused and determined as musicianaries (music-missionaries). Uniting this unique collection of young, energetic artists from all across the country is one common mission: to elevate their culture and generation to the next level of reality that goes beyond what is seen to what is unseen; that level begins with embracing the gospel message of the quintessential Bible verse John 3:16 as both the means and goal of life itself. 


     Offering an eclectic fusion of Hip Hop, R&B and urban gospel, Level 3:16 is comprised of 2 male emcees, 3 female vocalists and 1 female DJ. Skillfully combining melodic Hip Hop and hard-hitting beats with the musicality and 3-part harmonies of R&B, topped off with classic lyricism, a strong vocal blend and spoken word, the versatility of the band is inspiring and impressive. Their self-titled debut album will be released on Cross Movement Records through a strategic partnership with The Impact Movement, an organization focused on college-oriented ministry that develops students of African -descent into Christ-centered leaders.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Baker Book House

All of us here at Baker Book House would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some Exciting News for Francesca Battistelli Fans!

Francesca Battistelli's sophomore album is due to come out March 1st!!!
I'm not the only one who is excited about this new release- check out Francesca's own thoughts about her new album:


Dear friends and fans,


I am THRILLED to share with you this exciting news: my new album is finished and coming to you in 2011!! It's been such an incredible journey since the release of my first album My Paper Heart and I had a blast working with Ian Eskelin again for this new project. Your support means the world to me and since I absolutely cannot wait for you to hear these new songs, you can hear my upcoming single "This Is The Stuff" on below. Be sure to listen for it on your favorite Christian radio station in January. I wrote this about the day-to-day "stuff" that can get under my skin but ultimately God uses to work in my life.


One last thing… I'd love to hear what "stuff" drives you crazy! So be sure to tweet @francescamusic with whatever the "stuff" for you is with the tag #thisisthestuff. Each week I'll pick five responses and feature on my website. Can't wait to read your responses!


- Francesca

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elevator Music & Smooth Jazz

    Last week with the review of the sophomore album of Michael Essex and Vision, the Encounter, I had mentioned how great I thought it was that they had a saxophone player in the band. I had then mentioned my dislike of what I called "elevator music." In one sense I apologize for using a blanketed mean term that is commonly applied to smooth jazz. I do not want to make blank terminology when discussing music, because that is not fair to the artists and the music itself.In another sense, everyone has music that doesn't speak to them and for some smooth jazz is just a style that they don't care for. That is just fine, just like not everybody's favorite color is pink. 
     "Elevator music" or Musak, as it is properly called, is used to set the mood in places of business. Can you today imagine a time when there was no music playing in stores as it used to be like back in the early 20th century and before. The easy listening, mostly instrumental music would set the mood for customer to be calm and have some fun when shopping, because shopping is not meant to be stressful. Musak attempts please many different people and their genres that they like by mixing the different sounds together. Jazz has its origins in both the African American Oral Tradition and the European Classical interpretation, so in this regard smooth jazz is the prime choice to play. I should also mention here that smooth jazz is not the only type of Musak out there; however smooth jazz is used a lot.
    Though many may disagree with different definitions of smooth jazz or even jazz; in general, there are key element that make up jazz like blue notes, rhythm, and improvisation. Smooth jazz comes out of Jazz Fusion, a hybrid form combining  jazz and rock. In that tradition, Musak, in the form of smooth jazz with take popular songs, remove the vocal, softens it up, and then in many cases adds a saxophone. In this regard, jazz has been commercialized and mass marketed. The end result is not so much jazz anymore, but a sound that many dislike and mock. 
     I would also argue that some smooth jazz today has lost the key element of jazz that is improvisation. To be fair, there are many artists out there that break out of the boring, synthesized pact. These are the artists who stay true to the rhythm and improvisation of jazz, while being easy-to-listen-to or as smooth as cool whip. To me Jeff Sparks' music embodies this cool jazz. He has the foundation of a steady beat of the drum and the accompaniment of the piano or guitar; this allows for him to just soar those notes. His music is not distracting, but it also doesn't put you to sleep.

     In regard to my liking of jazz and smooth jazz, I do like some artist like Jeff Sparks and Tito Charneco with their sound of complex jazz notes in an smooth setting. I do not like the watered down of jazz music, or the music that when trying to appeal to everyone appeals to no one. I always feel that when artist are not true themselves then the music is just bad. It then becomes "elevator music."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Need a Gift for your Father? Here is a musical idea!

  For many people finding the perfect gift for the father or man in their life is a difficult task. The newest project by Sanctus Real entitled Pieces of My Heart is an excellent idea for a number of reasons, like the heart filled songs. The song "Forgiven" is a celebration of forgiveness as described by Psalm 51:12 "restore to me the joy of your salvation." The song "Lead Me" was written by lead singer, Matt, during a time when he was tired in life and having a hard time on the home front. Interesting to note that when Sanctus Real plays this song at concerts, they look out into the audience to see the different reactions. Some couples are all loving, and sadly you have more the broken and struggling. What I love about this song is that it challenges and encourages at the same time. Even though the message is almost for men folk, it also is speaking to women also to have Christ lead their lives.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Michael Essex and Vision New Album - The Encounter!

The talent, the gift, the inspiration- the amazing sophomore album. There is a saying out there that the sophomore albums are never as good as the first. In many cases this is true, but not here! This anointed encounter is diverse in its range of sounds yet unified in its blend of harmonies. This album includes several guest appearances, featuring the talents of Kenneth Henderson, George Moss, and Christopher Gibson.

One of the things that I love about Michael Essex and Vision is the amazing song writing mixed with some sweet sounds. The lyrics have a depth that few praise and worship songs possess today while not losing the beat. What is really cool is that they have Catlindt Landrum on the saxophone. Now I don't know about you but I love the saxophone though I am not always crazy with elevator saxophone music that is out there. There is a fine line and Catlindt keeps it real by not crossing that line. Having the saxophone in the praise band is pretty unique and sweet.

This is a great album!

What makes a great album? This is a question that as a music buyer I ask myself a lot. I love all genres of music (though I don't care to listen to like, elevator music). For me, I like a song, artist, or album that sounds good. Since songs are the most simple of the three, I will use that as an example. Now, good to me is that first the overall sound of the song is well blended, mixed, or put together. Second, the vocals have to not be offensive to the ear, on pitch, on key, or generally appealing. Finally, the lyrics have to be catchy, have meaning, or not sound forced. These criteria is a mix of technical aspect and the quality of an artist. If an album is filled of songs that fit these criteria then it is a great album, like this one.

To Purchase this great album, just come in and visit our store or go online at www.bakerbookstore.com
To Check out the sound come to our store or this youtube video of when they came to our store!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Barbara Faith Jordan

If you are looking for a easy listening festive sound look no further. The Gift of Christmas Peace is a simple joy to listen to.Barbara Faith Jordan is a Christian folk singer from Traverse City, Mi. With Dave Proulx as her piano/keyboard accompanist and her soothing voice, the Christmas season is made a musical special. The Gift of Christmas Peace is a collection of new favorites, classic favorites, and some old favorites. When you listen to this collection, grab a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee), and watch the large snow flakes fall softly among the happy Christmas lights outside. This song, All Through the Night/ Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, is just a sample of the soothing music that you will enjoy, just click on the title to preview.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Lamp in the Dark - video review

Normally I don't post a negative review; however, I don't want others out there to assume as I did on this Bible documentary. I had asked our Bible expert to view it for me so that the review would be credible; however, the video itself is not very.
This is the link to his blog where he did review it.
bbhchurchconnection.wordpress.com

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is in theaters TODAY!!!!
Return to the magic and wonder of C.S. Lewis’ beloved world – via the fantastic Narnian ship, the Dawn Treader.  In this new installment of the blockbuster “The Chronicles of Narnia” motion picture franchise, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace, their royal friend King Caspian, and a warrior mouse named Reepicheep, find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to the Dawn Treader.  Their mission – on which rests the fate of Narnia itself – takes the courageous voyagers to mysterious islands and a river that turns to gold, to fateful confrontations with magical creatures and sinister enemies, and to a reunion with their friend and protector, the “Great Lion” Aslan. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Flyleaf - "Remember to Live"

The new "Remember to Live" album released on Tuesday with some never before recorded songs, a few new songs, and some old ones reborn. It is a great album that seems like an almost acoustic version, intrinsically Flyleaf yet softer. This softer interesting route that Flyleaf took on this album allows for emphasize lyrics and in some songs, Lacey's emotions in her voice are stronger here than the originals. This is not hard like there normal records, but once in a while acoustic versions are kinda fun though not always for everyone. 

Check out this preview below...

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 7, 2010 - New Releases

Theses are the new releases for December 7, 2010. Coming out today is the much anticipated James Fortune, I Believe.

New Releases 12072010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In the Spirit of Christmas - Hallelujah!

It was called a random act of culture. When my cousin showed this to me, I thought that it was amazing and I was sad that I wasn't there.  It is always interesting how different songs can draw and connect different people. This moment in time is a must see.