Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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The Medicine

Artist: John Mark McMillan
Album: The Medicine
Release Date: 7/6/10
Label: Integrity Music

Sadly, some of the best artists in the music scene can go undiscovered nowadays because of another, bigger artist taking the song and turning it into a hit. Well, there's a name that you need to know and that is John Mark McMillan. Never heard of him? Let me put it this way, McMillan is in fact the talented writer behind the hit "How He Loves" that has in the past year, grown into one of the biggest worship songs in our nation, sung across the country by more and more churches. Now I've known about John Mark McMillan for a while, but his new album The Medicine easily surpassed my expectations. What we have here is a beautifully written folk rock melded with some worshipful lyrics, making for a good combination.Rest assured, The Medicine is not your typical worship album. McMillan's songwriting is full of metaphors, as well as direct references to Jesus Christ.

"Reckoning Day" starts off the musical journey found on the album, talking of Judgement Day and the second coming of Christ. Surprisingly, the title track that follows has an upbeat Americana/folk rock sound to it and seems meant for a summer drive with the windows rolled down. "If I had the Medicine, I'd give you the Medicine" are only some of the resounding lyrics in the chorus and are sure to stick. The next two tracks, "Skeleton Bones" and "Carbon Ribs," serve as modern worship tunes that could even be considered modern hymns. The beautiful "Carbon Ribs" takes on more of a slower tempo but has seemingly well written lyrics to go along with the haunting plucked guitar that backs McMillan's strong, deep vocals. "Death In His Grave" takes the same sort of direction, but with more of a Southern tone to it. The acoustic-driven folk ballad "Belly of the Lion" takes an interesting toll, with lyrics like "Days like these I don't know what to sing about."

More of a post-rock sound comparable to Gungor is found in "Out Of The Ground," certainly having a good amount of energy included. The Springsteen inspired "Carolina Tide" serves as one of the strongest tracks on The Medicine and talks of love and redemption. "Between The Cracks" tells the story of Jesus from a modern day perspective, as well as McMillan's God-given heart and passion for the broken hearted and the problems that go on in our everyday lives. The ending track comes as no surprise, with "How He Loves." Something to take note here, is that despite many other artists doing this song, the original version from the writer of the song has the most energy put into the song. McMillan's soaring vocals mix with a crowd of worshippers for the majority of the song, which put the final touch on the album.

Rating: 9/10 Worship album of the year is no surprise with John Mark McMillan's debut album on Integrity, The Medicine. Although released a few years back, this version contains four new songs, among them the hit worship song "How He Loves." Relentless, McMillan's take on worship is a rather unique one, being folk rock driven. There's no doubt that McMillan's God-given passion is put into The Medicine, making this an album you won't forget.

  1. Reckoning Day
  2. The Medicine
  3. Skeleton Bones
  4. Carbon Ribs
  5. Dress Us Up
  6. Death In His Grave
  7. Belly of the Lion
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Out Of The Ground
  10. Ten Thousand
  11. Carolina Tide
  12. My Only
  13. Between The Cracks
  14. How He Loves (Single Version)
(Buy Here)

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