Category Archives: CD Reviews

CD Review and Giveaway: Whole Heart by Passion

An Invitation to Open Your Heart to God

Passion - Whole Heart cover - 600Whole Heart
by Passion

Release Date: February 23, 2018
Label: sixstepsrecords
Length: 66:25


Buy the CD
Passion Website
sixstepsrecords Website


1. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
2. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran)
3. God, You’re So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill & Melodie Malone)
4. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone)
5. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran)
6. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
7. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker)
8. Ghost (feat. Crowder)
9. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone)
10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman)
11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells)

About The Passion Movement:
From its start in 1995 Passion has been rooted in the confession of Isaiah 26:8 – Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our hearts – existing to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation. Passion has encountered millions of students and 18-25 year olds, young people whose lives have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

One of the most impactful and stirring aspects of the movement, founded by Louie and Shelley Giglio, has been the sea of voices uniting together to lift up the name of Jesus, currently helmed by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone. The band has seen worship leaders such as Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Crowder, Christy Nockels and more uniting over the years, writing, recording and leading arenas in worship.

Transcending the conferences, songs from Passion have become some of the most recognizable and unforgettable worship anthems of this generation. With more than 1.8 million units sold and a multitude of chart-topping singles such as “How Great Is Our God,” “God Of This City,” “One Thing Remains,” “Even So Come,” and “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” listeners across the world continue to be impacted by the music of Passion. Delivering new projects annually, songs from records such as Here For You, White Flag, Let The Future Begin, Take It All, Even So Come and Salvation’s Tide Is Rising have become timeless staples in the Church. Their newest offering, Worthy Of Your Name, is now available. The four-time Dove Award winners have had seven albums debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Albums Chart with two hitting the Top 5 on the Billboard 200.

Through it all, Jesus continues to remain at the center.


My Review

Your love
It comes with no conditions
You give us Your whole heart
My hope
Is in the blood of Jesus
I know who I am
Because of who You are
–“Whole Heart”

Whole Heart is the latest live recording to come out of  Passion Conference. Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker, and Melodie Malone are joined by household names like Crowder and Matt Redman, as well as Sean Curran, and Tauren Wells, who many will remember as the former frontman of pop outfit Royal Tailor.

Stanfill opens the record with title track “Whole Heart”, singing about finding purpose and identity in Jesus. This is one of the stand-out songs on the project. I also thoroughly enjoyed both instances where Crowder makes an appearance: “Ghost” and “All My Hope”. The former is a song about the Holy Spirit (or holy ghost), and he lends a tone dark and mysterious enough to suit. The latter, where Crowder is joined by Tauren Wells, is the biggest departure for the album. This earthy, bluesy gem is joyful and would be equally at home alongside early Stevie Wonder or Southern Gospel.

Other memorable moments come on the simple, yet contemplative duet “God You’re so Good”, “Reckless Heart”, and “Ever Almighty” — all of which feature Melodie Malone. Malone, gifted with an emotive voice, sings with a delicate yearning and an honest vulnerability that can minister to a crowd better than any deep-chested shout.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Matt Redman. It has become commonplace to say that artists on stage singing worship songs are “leading worship”. However, like artists in any other genre of music, some folks on these types of stages do little more than entertain. On penultimate track “Great Are You Lord”, Redman truly leads worship by taking himself far enough out of the way to allow the collective voice of the crowd to predominate. At nearly 9 minutes, the track goes long. If you’re looking for diversion, you might lose interest. However, if you’ve come to be an active participant, Redman will give your heart the space it requires to cry out to Jesus.

While Whole Heart, clocking in at over an hour, is brimming with music, it’s not the kind of record to knock your socks off with innovative bells and whistles. For the most part, it’s fairly mellow, subtle, and workmanlike. You’ll get out of the listening only what you bring to it. So if you’re looking to be entertained rather than making the effort to personalize your worship experience, I would suggest you look elsewhere. If you come at Whole Heart with your heart open, however, you’ll find earnest singers giving their all to praise a mighty God who gave His whole heart. Are you willing to give yours in return?

His love is like lightning
Cracking through the sky
And burning though the rage
Burning through the pain of a billion scars
– “Ghost”

— Dawn Teresa


4 Hearts - CD - DVD

4 of 5 Hearts. An Invitation to Open Your Heart to God.

Whole Heart is a slow burn, taking time and attention to sink in. But the listener who gives it both will be rewarded.




Passion - Whole Heart cover - 600

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a CD for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Giveaway Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

CD Review: Open Hands by Laura Story

Laura Story’s Latest: An Outstanding Album about the Beauty of Letting Go

Laura Story - Open Hands - posting sizeOpen Hands

by Laura Story

Release Date: March 3, 2017

Label: Fair Trade Services

Artist Links:

Laura Story’s Website



1. Death Was Arrested

2. Open Hands

3. You Came Running

4. Give You Faith

5. For the Love of My King

6. Awake My Soul (A 1000 Tongues)

7. Whisper

8. Every Word You Breathe

9. Majesty

10. Extraordinary

11. Grace Abounds

My Review

The first thing to catch my attention about Laura Story’s newest project, Open Hands — an album filled with songs she’s written or co-written —  is that she chose to lead off with the one song she didn’t write. I’d like to know the story behind her discovery and adoption of “Death Was Arrested”. Thematically, the focus is on Jesus’ victory over death in His resurrection that followed the crucifixion. His sacrifice as Messiah and Savior gave new meaning to life and death and brings us the freedom to live fully. 

When asked about Open Hands,  songwriter and worship leader Story attests that “worship begins with surrender”. So immediately after establishing our reason for hope with “Death Was Arrested,” she sings of surrender with “Open Hands”. Together with Third Day’s Mac Powell, Story entreats God to “take it all, every  weight, all the shame…take it all, ’til all I have is open hands”. Powell’s voice blends well with Story’s and lends extra depth and interest, taking what starts as an introspective moment and bursting it wide open into mega worship. Together, these two opening songs form a solid base upon which the rest of the album builds.

The only real downside to Open Hands is its brevity — the eleven track album clocks in at just under 43 minutes. On the upside, the album is beautifully produced, thematically tight, and nearly flawlessly sequenced. Quieter instances alternate with big corporate worship singalongs. Even when things get more amplified, Story’s gentle, thoughtful spirit remains. This is particularly evidenced on tracks 5 and 6 where Story refashions classic hymns. On “For the Love of My King,” she revisits “My Jesus, I Love Thee” adding her own chorus. Next, “Awake My Soul (A 1000 Tongues)”, written with Matt Maher, Matt Redman, and Jonas Myrin, borrows the first verse of the Wesley hymn “O’ For a Thousand Tongues,” using Wesley’s words as a launching pad into their own words of praise. The blending of classic and modern is successful in each case, and I’d dare to say that even Charles Wesley himself would approve!

I love the lush yet measured production of “Whisper” where Story’s poignant piano-base is given just enough accompanying bells and whistles to lend the necessary mystery and majesty as her waiting heart listens for the Holy Spirit’s whispered voice. Strong album sequencing continues,  with “Every Word You Breathe” carrying on the message of waiting and trusting. Meanwhile, on “Majesty”, Story has crafted a stunning melody around which to sing of God’s grace.

Just as Open Hands began with two big songs, it closes in similar fashion. “Extraordinary” is a gem of a pop-worship song, and though I usually try to avoid comparisons, here I can’t help but recall Amy Grant at the height of her success. Giving pause to contemplate the pain and suffering with which we are surrounded, the quietly gorgeous “Grace Abounds” will strike a welcome chord with listeners who loved Story’s hit song “Blessings”. As Open Hands comes to a close, the message Story leaves her listener with is this: “When it feels like hope cannot be found, grace abounds.” Now that’s a reason for hope!

— Dawn Teresa


4.5 Hearts - CD - DVD

4.5 of 5 Hearts. Laura Story’s Latest: An Outstanding Album about the Beauty of Letting Go.

On Open Hands, Laura Story has written about surrender, faith, and trust, while leaving plenty of space for worship. After all, when we stop holding onto our worries, burdens, and struggles, and approach the Lord with empty hands, He rewards us by filling those open hands with blessings.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of Open Hands in exchange for this review and post.”

Music Video: “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin ft. Pat Barrett

“We all have a picture of who we think God is. When we get down to the foundation of what we believe, the truth is that God is exactly who He says He is – a good, good Father.”


Click thru below to download at iTunes.

“Good Good Father”

(Written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown)



Win a trip to see Chris Tomlin at Worship Night in America!

Click on the photo below for details!

Win a Flyaway to see Chris Tomlin at Worship Night In America

See Chris and Pat share the story behind the song.

More about Chris Tomlin


More about Pat Barrett

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The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning February 15, 2016


Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:


Christian Chapters: The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

4.5 of 5 Hearts. Enjoyable and Edifying. A Literary Field Trip Turned Journey of the Soul.

Come along with Lucy and Helen as they fly to London and traipse through literary landscapes, examining history and their own lives. Katherine Reay uses her own realistically imperfect characters, and draws on inspiration from some of her literary favorites, to shape The Brontë Plot into an engrossing and thoroughly satisfying journey of heart and soul.

[Read the full review]



Christian Chapters: Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould

4.5 of 5 Hearts. A Lesson About Deep Faith, True Love, and What Both Really Mean.

Amish Sweethearts tells the complicated story of what happens when two people from very different worlds fall in love. Though unsure whether God’s plan for their futures has them together or apart, each sets forth on his/her own path, trusting in Him to guide their steps.

[Read the full review]





Christian Chapters: The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston

4 of 5 Hearts. A Story as Sweet and Satisfying as Veronica’s Raspberry Pie.

With The Forgotten Recipe, Amy Clipston begins her new Amish Heirloom series by introducing Veronica Fisher and Jason Huyard. If their sugary-sweet romance is any indication, readers will be as eager for the next installment as Veronica’s customers are for another yummy slice of her raspberry pie!

[Read the full review]




DVD Review – When Calls The Heart: Complete Season 2 (Collector’s Edition)

5 of 5 Hearts. Television For All Ages: Hope Valley Continues To Make Viewers Feel Like Family.

There is nothing on modern television like When Calls the Heart. It’s high quality storytelling, with a host of talent, both in front of and behind the camera. That’s why as the show moves forward, fan engagement continues to grow — so much so that Forbes magazine recently published a piece about the formidable influence of the combined voice of the enthusiastic viewers (#Hearties)!

[Read the full review]




CD Review: Winter In Hope Valley by WordHarmonic

4 of 5 Hearts. Music That Brings the Peace of the Valley Home.

Winter In Hope Valley may not transport you physically to the Canadian west of the early 1900s, but it will bring the peace of that wonderful little wilderness town to you.

[Read the full review]




That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

CD Review: Winter In Hope Valley by WordHarmonic

Music That Brings the Peace of the Valley Home

Winter In Hope Valley
by WordHarmonic

Release Date: October 13, 2015
Label: Word Entertainment; Hallmark
Length: 45:45

Related Links:

When Calls the Heart at Hallmark

Word Entertainment Website

DVD Review: WCTH: Complete Season 2 (Collector’s Edition)


Track Listing

1. Until the Bluebirds     (4:10)
2. Hope Valley Sunday     (3:04)
3. Icicle Prisms     (1:10)
4. A Wintry Dream     (3:56)
5. Abigail Spins Memories by the Fire     (4:14)
6. Canadian Noel     (:46)
7. Fireside Lullaby     (2:39)
8. Ms. Thatcher     (2:56)
9. Entering Hamilton Harbor     (2:21)
10. Eventides at Lake Ontario     (1:35)
11. Country Inns     (2:47)
12. Rosemary Left in Winter     (4:30)
13. Dancing Snow Flurries     (1:00)
14. Julie’s Auburn Tresses     (4:29)
15. Evening Watch (Suite)     (6:01)

My Review

Along with many other enjoyable extras, the When Calls the Heart: Complete Season 2 box set includes a CD entitled Winter In Hope Valley. This instrumental album is attributed to WordHarmonic, a (revolving, one suspects) group of house musicians for Word Entertainment. Over the years, Word has released dozens of records under the WordHarmonic name in a number of musical forms, including instrumental, acoustic, and a capella, in genres like jazz, Celtic, Christmas, salsa, hymns, and so on. Befitting the generally gentle quality of the TV show, and especially the lovely scenery surrounding the town of Hope Valley, this CD features soothing melodies, by turns wistful, contemplative, cheering, or simply serene. As you can see by the track listing, the songs are mostly full-length tunes, and though this is not a soundtrack as such, it conjures up images of the people, the town, and the winter season — with help from an imagination inspired by the titles!

A variety of instruments are in play on the disc — piano, violin, cello, pipes, whistle, keyboards, among others. The quality of the recording is excellent and the production is just right; nothing is overblown or indistinct, and the ambience of the CD as a whole is consistent. Several of the songs have a pleasant Celtic feel to them, but you’ll not find pounding drums or pulsating rhythms that make you want to dance. Instead, the music is an ideal backdrop to reading, writing, daydreaming, or simply watching the snow fall or the winter moon rise.

— Jennifer Michelle


4 Hearts - CD - DVD

4 of 5 Hearts. Music That Brings the Peace of the Valley Home.

Winter In Hope Valley may not transport you physically to the Canadian west of the early 1900s, but it will bring the peace of that wonderful little wilderness town to you.

(Unfortunately, as of this writing the CD is only available in the 10 DVD When Calls the Heart: Complete Season 2 (Collector’s Edition) box set. [There are actually 9 DVDs and this CD.] One hopes that Word and Hallmark will eventually decide to release it separately, as well as other music related to the series.)

*Disclosure of Material Connection: ReadLove received the above CD, as part of the DVD box set, for free from Edify Media in the hope that we would give it an impartial review on our blog. We am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

CD Review and Giveaway: Salvation’s Tide Is Rising by Passion

Passion’s Newest Recording is Studio Worship Gold

Passion CD coverSalvation’s Tide Is Rising
by Passion

Release Date: January 29, 2016
Label: sixstepsrecords
Length: 50 minutes, 46 seconds


Passion Website
sixstepsrecords Website



1. Salvation’s Tide  (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
2. My Victory  (feat. Crowder)
3. Remember  (feat. Brett Younker & Melodie Malone)
4. God & God Alone  (feat. Chris Tomlin)
5. Simple Pursuit  (feat. Melodie Malone)
6. I Turn to Christ  (feat. Matt Redman)
7. Your Grace Amazes Me  (feat. Christy Nockels)
8. All We Sinners  (feat. Crowder)
9. Surrender  (feat. Jimi Cravity)
10. Good Good Father  (feat. Kristian Stanfill)

About Passion albums:
Since the first release in 1998, Passion albums have sold over 1.3 million units while introducing the church to worship songs like “Our God”, “Holy Is The Lord”, “How Great Is Our God”, and “God Of This City”. Passion is coming off its best charting radio success in 5 years with the single “Even So Come”, which went Top 5.

About The Passion Movement:
The Passion Movement and the messages of founder Louis Giglio have marked the lives of millions of people around the globe, calling people everywhere to live for the glory of God. From its inception, the movement of Passion has birthed new anthems of worship, influencing countless churches and helping to define the current worship climate and establish artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and others. Louie Giglio is the pastor and founder of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA.


My Review

Recently, Passion’s song “Even So Come” was their biggest success at radio in 5 years. If early digital sales of their new studio project Salvation’s Tide Is Rising are any indication, they’ve got another smash hit record on their hands.

Kristian Stanfill sets the tone with his anthemic “Salvation’s Tide”, a song about revival which likens the growing church to salvation’s rising tide. Singing about Jesus’ successful rescue mission, Crowder is up next with “My Victory”, proclaiming “a cross meant to kill is my victory”. The voices of Brett Younker and Melodie Malone mesh well on “Remember” whose chorus delivers an oath: “I’ll remember the empty grave.”

Next up are two songs that focus on God’s supreme authority as the only one worthy of our praise. First approaching the throne is Chris Tomlin with “God and God Alone”. This signature Tomlin melody will have you feeling you’ve heard the song before. Not that that’s a bad thing! When Melodie Malone delivers “Simple Pursuit”, you’ll be absolutely astonished at the beauty, simplicity, and purity of her voice. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering where and how you can hear it some more. Malone’s performance is hands down the most remarkable and moving moment on the album. You’ll freely pour out your heart to our Savior alongside Melodie as she sings, “Nothing and no one comes close to You / Nothing could ever come close.”

Matt Redman finds the ideal balance between earnestness and energy as he continues the thoughtful worship with “I Turn to Christ”, professing, “I turn, I turn to Christ alone / I surrender all, I surrender.” On”Your Grace Amazes Me” we return to glorifying God and celebrating His grace with Christy Nockels. Like Malone, Nockels has a striking voice that communicates tenderness, vulnerability, and utter sincerity. She’ll help you remain centered on worship — and likely move you to tears — as you contemplate the profundity of Jesus’ grace.

Not allowing the women to steal the stage, Crowder returns to burst forth with a timeless Americana roots-inspired “All We Sinners.” With its percussive accompaniment, the earthy track bears resemblance to a Civil War era battle hymn. Next to Malone’s solo turn at the mic, this is my favorite moment on the record.

“Surrender”, featuring Jimi Cravity, who sounds eerily like Aaron Shust, may be the album’s only hiccup. Of course, that’s likely in large part due to the fact that Crowder’s gem is a tough act to follow.

Kristian Stanfill returns to close out the project with “Good Good Father”, a comforting number which reminds that God is a good, loving Father and we are His beloved children. Like “Surrender”, this is a heartfelt, pleasing song. Following Crowder, however, both songs feel anticlimactic. “All We Sinners” would have been the better closer. Still, it makes sense to end with a reminder of who He is and who we are. And that’s really what this newest Passion project is all about.

— Dawn Teresa


4.5 Hearts - CD - DVD

4.5 of 5 Hearts. Passion’s Newest Recording is Studio Worship Gold.

Passion Worship Band’s 2016 offering, Salvation’s Tide Is Rising is a solid set of ten songs centered on the cross and Jesus as Savior and Risen King. As a whole, these tracks will encourage you to stand tall, committed to your faith while you bow down in worship. As such, it’s a perfect January release and a wonderful kick-off to the new year.

Top Tracks (in order of appearance): “Salvation’s Tide”, “Simple Pursuit”, “I Turn To Christ”, “Your Grace Amazes Me”, “All We Sinners”




Passion CD cover

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a CD for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a digital review copy in exchange for this review and post.

Giveaway Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

CD Single Review: Whenever Not Ever by Scott Moffatt

Scott Moffatt Shares His Creative Energy

Whenever Not Ever
by Scott Moffatt

Release Date: May 31, 2015
Label: Independent Release

Scott Moffatt on the Web:





Support Scott’s IndieGogo Campaign

My Review

You might know Scott Moffatt as one quarter of the Canadian pop-rock brother band The Moffatts. They were big in Canada, even bigger in Europe (particularly Germany), and HUGE in South East Asia.  And before they were teen popstars, the fellas had a career singing country music.

A performer from the age of four, Scott has lived, toured, and worked all over of the world. When The Moffatts split in 2001, he first spent time as part of Canadian indie-rock outfit The Boston Post before moving to Los Angeles. There he single-handedly wrote, recorded, and produced his own solo project, Allegory of the City, which he released in 2006. That record led to Scott making his mark as an in-house producer in Thailand — first for SONY-BMG Thailand, and later for GMM Grammy. Scott’s production work earned him Producer of the Year at both the 2007 Seed Awards and the Thai Headbanger Awards in 2008.

In recent years, Scott has split his time between Calgary and Nashville, working as an independent producer, studio musician, and songwriter. He has experience in many genres and styles, with other artists and with the songs he’s written for his own solo shows. For a while, it looked as though Scott, like his brothers Clint and Bob (now working in Nashville as country duo Like Strangers), had come full circle and returned to country music.

I’ve been a fan of Scott Moffatt and his brothers since the late 90s. So when Scott reached out to folks on Facebook for help promoting his new single, “Whenever Not Ever”, from his upcoming independent EP (which he’s crowd-funding at IndieGogo), I jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad I did!

Much of the music I’ve heard from Scott over the last few years has been acoustic, leaning more towards country or folk rather than rock or pop. With “Whenever Not Ever”, it’s safe to say that he’s landed on the sound he wants to focus on right now, and it’s decidedly pop! It’s also thoroughly modern, current, creative, and completely engaging, and that, in a nutshell, also describes Scott Moffatt!

On “Whenever Not Ever,” it feels as if Scott has drawn from many of his pop-rock influences and found his own sound. The beat is influenced by 80s new-wave, but comes across as contemporary. The tune is melodic and bouncy with a frenetic energy that makes it impossible to listen to without jumping up and dancing madly. Lyrics have always been a strong suit for Scott, and with lines like “I don’t know why we fight so much, maybe it’s cause you’re nuts”, he shows he’s not lost his touch.

When it releases on May 31st, I wholeheartedly recommend that you RUN, not walk, to Amazon or iTunes to download “Whenever Not Ever”. Don’t worry — I’ll be back to provide links later!

— Dawn Teresa



5 of 5 Hearts.  Scott Moffatt Shares His Creative Energy On “Whenever Not Ever”.

Whether you enjoy electronic pop music from world-class superstars like Kylie Minogue, or you’re listening to stuff like Zedd’s “I Want You To Know” featuring Selena Gomez, or Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance,” with lyrically clever melodies worthy of Taylor Swift, Scott Moffatt’s new single is guaranteed to make you put on your dancing shoes and party!

Scott Moffatt

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Scott Moffatt for providing me with a link to listen to Whenever Not Ever in exchange for this review and post.”

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