Danny Gokey, “Hope in Front of Me”

Former American Idol finalist and country singer Danny Gokey has released his sophomore single, Hope in Front of Me, last February, and the single is now Top 10 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart. The similarly titled album debuted last week at number one on the Christian Albums chart, which indicates that Christian radio is clearly open to Danny Gokey’s entrance into CCM. While Gokey’s country roots are still firmly planted, his newest release is geared for crossover into the Contemporary Christian arena, and it appears it is here where Gokey’s newest release has found its biggest success to date.

Which brings us to Hope in Front of Me. Man, this song is set for Christian AC. An anthemic chorus, inspirational lyrics, and, of course, Gokey’s golden voice, make a compelling argument for the message of the song: that after a season of trouble, there will be better days ahead. Radio is responding, and people are responding, which bodes well for Gokey’s mid-term career prospects. Clearly, there is hope in front of Danny Gokey.

HOPE IN FRONT OF ME Lyrics
Danny Gokey

I’ve been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I’ve seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a place at the end of the storm
You finally find
Where the hurt and the tears and the pain
All fall behind

You open up your eyes and up ahead
There’s a big sun shining
Right then and there you realize
You’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a hope still burning
I can feel it rising trough the night
And my world’s still turning
I can feel your love here by my side

You’re my hope
You’re the light, I still see it
Your hands are holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I’ve got to believe
I still have hope
You are my hope

Jason Castro, “Rise To You”

Former American Idol finalist and now Contemporary Christian singer Jason Castro has released Rise to You, the second single off his debut Contemporary Christian release, Only a Mountain. Rise to You is decidedly more mature and heartfelt than the lighter-than-air Only a Mountain, and Christian AC is already warming up to the midtempo ballad. Likeable vocals and an accessible melody, plus an official video that shows how down to earth this humble young artist is, should considerably widen his increasingly solid fan base. An equally solid effort from a rising young star.

RISE TO YOU Lyrics after the jump.

Continue reading “Jason Castro, “Rise To You””

Colton Dixon, “Never Gone”

American Idol season eleven finalist Colton Dixon, who signed a record deal with Christian label Sparrow Records a few months back, has released his first single, Never Gone, to radio, even as first Christian radio single You Are is primed for an October 19 release. The seventh-place Dixon turned heads with his performance of Lifehouse’s Everything, which was arguably one of the most moving rock performances in Idol history.

“(Never Gone) song sums up my American Idol experience,” Dixon says. “There were times when I felt like I was by myself, or just felt unplugged from reality. There were even times when I asked God if He was still there…. He always answered with, “I never left you.” I hope that you can be encouraged by this song as I am. You are not alone. God is with you. His answer is and will always be, “I never left you.” He can see us even when we can’t see Him through our own lack of faith through the hard times. We just need to realize that God is standing with arms open right where we left Him. He never left.”

On my end, I think Never Gone is a catchy mid-tempo piano-driven alt-rock ballad that shows off Dixon’s incredible range. While the passion for God clearly shows in his magnificent voice, the highlight is the encouraging lyrics – the chorus is particularly powerful – and I’m sure Never Gone won’t have trouble finding a home at Christian CHR and Christian rock. Hopefully, Christian AC will also pick up, and Dixon’s career trajectory will follow that of fellow ‘Idol’ also-ran Mandisa, who transitioned her ninth-place elimination in season five to a very successful career in Contemporary Christian music. Her new label-mate Dixon shouldn’t have much of a problem with Never Gone.

NEVER GONE Lyrics
Colton Dixon

Lights off, a shot in the dark
We get lost when we’re playing a part
We lay blame like we know what’s best
It’s a shame

We break when we fall too hard
Lose faith when we’re torn apart
Don’t say you’re too far gone
It’s a shame
It’s a shame

I’m still standing here
No I didn’t disappear
Now the lights are on
See I was never gone
I let go of your hand
To help you understand
With you all along
Oh, I was never gone

There’s space between our lives
Hard to face, but I know we try
To revive, bring it back to life
Don’t walk away
Don’t walk away

I’m still standing here
No I didn’t disappear
Now the lights are on
See I was never gone
I let go of your hand
To help you understand
With you all along
Yeah, I was never gone

I never ever left you
Never ever left you, no
He said I never ever left you
Never ever left you, no
Jesus never ever left you
Never ever left you, no
He sees us even in the darkness
Now you know you’re not alone

I’m still standing here
No I didn’t disappear
Now the lights are on
See I was never gone
I let go of your hand
To help you understand
With you all along
Yeah, I was never gone

I’m still standing here
No I didn’t disappear
Now the lights are on
See I was never gone
I let go of your hand
To help you understand
With you all along
Yeah, I was never gone

Elliott Yamin, “Three Words”

American Idol Season Five finalist Elliott Yamin, who scored a #3 hit in 2007 with Wait For You, has released Three Words, the carrier single of his third CD, Let’s Get To What’s Real. After tasting mainstream success with Wait For You on independent label Hickory Records, Yamin is back on Koch Records – labelmates include Brian McKnight – and ready to make the kind of music he wants to make.

Let’s Get To What’s Real, according to Koch press releases, is Yamin’s most inspired and distinctive collection of music yet, thanks to its honesty and sonic intimacy. Yamin’s faithfulness to the old-school sound of artists like Donny Hathaway guarantees a sound fresh from the synthesized computer-generated music currently making the rounds at Top 40.

So where does that leave 3 Words? Yamin sounds as good as he always has; there was never any doubt the brother can sing. I also like the quality of the production, and the song is easily singable, although it isn’t as instantly catchy as Yamin’s first carrier single, or many of the other tracks on his debut release. Still, it’s very radio-friendly, and in another place and another time, when radio programmers were more open to playing artists attempting to get back into their good graces, 3 Words would have easily made Top 40. Whether it will hit now, however, depends on how much Koch can generate buzz for Yamin, who has remained relatively quiet since Fight For Love, his sophomore release, failed to catch fire at Top 40. Clearly, Three Words is Yamin’s best bet for relevance after tripping over the sophomore jinx, and it’s a strong and solid attempt.

The 3 Words video, by the way, is certainly, um, different. Your thoughts on it?

THREE WORDS Lyrics
Elliott Yamin

Every story has an ending
Ours is just the same
We can’t run away
Where’s the glory in holding onto something
We can’t change
Ooh
There’s a distance between the things you say
And what you do
Let’s just tell the truth
And the resistance
Pretending that our love is bulletproof
When it’s all over
Say it’s all over

You pulled me in and shut me out
But that’s no way to say you need me
You lift me up and let me down
Apologise and say you love me
We need more than 3 words to take us backwards
It’s almost like we’re tryna find another way to say it’s over
To say it’s over

Do you remember the mystery in how it used to be
Or is that just me
Ohh
The feeling lingers
But never long enough to make me believe
That it’s not over
It’s really over

You pulled me in and shut me out
But that’s no way to say you need me
You lift me up and let me down
Apologise and say you love me
We need more than 3 words to take us backwards
It’s almost like we’re tryna find another way to say it’s over
To say it’s over

Tonight we’ll see the last of us
The final scene
Tonight
Tonight
You pulled me in and shut me out
But that’s no way to say you need me

You lift me up and let me down
Apologise and say you love me
We need more than 3 words to take us backwards
It’s almost like we’re tryna find another way to say it’s over
To say it’s over
To say it’s over
To say it’s over
Every story has an ending
Ours is just the same

Kris Allen, “The Vision of Love”

American Idol winner Kris Allen has released The Vision of Love, the carrier single of his yet-untitled sophomore album. In The Vision of Love, Allen takes on the daunting task of encouraging people to learn to love one another, even as the powerful video of The Vision of Love showcases teenage bullying and introversion, two very real, very important topics that are not usually addressed by mainstream stars of American music to keep the music safe. (But yeah, sure, let’s sing songs about sex.)

I’ve always admired Kris Allen. He was the first American Idol who I supported from Day One, and I am so pleased that he is using his influence to speak up for such an important topic. Out of the gate, The Vision of Love may not as catchy as his debut single No Boundaries or its follow-up Live Like We’re Dying, but what this song lacks in instant radio friendliness, it makes up for in earnest delivery and heart. Methinks it may be a slow burn song that will eventually pick up.

THE VISION OF LOVE Lyrics
Kris Allen

Wake up if you believe
Love is not a fading dream
Tell me I’m not the only one
Who feels this way right now

Lonely needs a friend
Ask him where he’s been
You could be the Light that comes
And turns his world around

I don’t wanna run, I don’t wanna hide
When someone needs somebody
I don’t wanna say, I don’t got the time
When someone needs somebody
With a little faith and a little soul
We can’t go wrong
We can’t go wrong

When a heart breaks
And the world shakes
Will we stand for the vision of love?
When a tear falls
And the fear crawls
Will we stand for the vision of love?
Will we stand for the vision of love?

Singing
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Make-up hides her face
Cos she feels out of place
musicjuzz.blogspot.com
She cries
Come on someone tell this girl she’s beautiful
We don’t gotta run, we don’t gotta hide

When someone needs somebody
We don’t need to say, we don’t got the time
When someone needs somebody
With a little faith and a little soul
We can’t go wrong
We can’t go wrong
When a heart breaks
And the world shakes
Will we stand for the vision of love?
When a tear falls
And the fear crawls
Will we stand for the vision of love?
Will we stand for the vision of love?

Singing
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
(C’mon)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Let’s stand up
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh)
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Let’s stand
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh)
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Let’s stand for the vision
Stand for the vision of love

Wake up
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh)
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Wake up
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh)
(Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Wake up if you believe

When a heart breaks
And the world shakes
Will we stand for the vision of love?
Will we stand for the vision of love?

Carrie Underwood, “Good Girl”

Country superstar and former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood is back with a hot new single titled Good Girl. Released to country radio yesterday, February 23, Good Girl follows in the tradition of Carrie’s bread-and-butter “message to bad boys,” warning female listeners to be wary of that boy. There’s never been any question that Underwood’s vocals are fantastic, and this is clearly going to go to #1 on Billboard’s country charts, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, but yeah, Good Girl, written by Underwood with Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano (the same team that co-wrote previous Underwood singles Don’t Forget to Remember Me and All-American Girl), is an absolute smash waiting to happen.

Good Girl is the carrier single off Carrie’s upcoming fourth studio album, currently untitled, but due for release on May 1st. It comes on the heels of the platinum-selling Play On; sales from that set, together with Underwood’s debut album, Some Hearts (2005) and the sophomore release Carnival Ride (2007), have topped over 14 million copies.

GOOD GIRL Lyrics
Carrie Underwood

Hey, good girl
With your head in the clouds
I bet you I can tell you
What you’re thinkin’ about
You’ll see a good boy
Gonna give you the world
But he’s gonna leave you cryin’
With your heart in the dirt

His lips are dropping honey
But he’ll sting you like a bee
So lock up all your loving
Go and throw away the key

Hey good girl
Get out while you can
I know you think you got a good man

Why
Why you gotta be so blind?
Won’t you open your eyes?
It’s just a matter of time ’till you find
He’s no good, girl
No good for you
You better get to getting on your goodbye shoes and
Go go go
Better listen to me
He’s
Low low low

Hey, good girl
You got a heart of gold
You want a white wedding
And a hand you can hold
Just like you should, girl
Like every good girl does
Want a fairytale ending, somebody to love

But he’s really good at lying
Yeah, he’ll leave you in the dust
‘Cause when he says forever
Well, it don’t mean much
Hey good girl
So good for him
Better back away honey
You don’t know where he’s been

Why
Why you gotta be so blind?
Won’t you open your eyes?
It’s just a matter of time ’till you find
He’s no good, girl
No good for you
You better get to getting on your goodbye shoes and
Go go go
Yeah yeah yeah
He’s low
Yeah yeah yeah

Oh
He’s no good, girl
Why can’t you see?
He’ll take your heart and break it
Listen to me, yeah

Why
Why you gotta be so blind?
Won’t you open your eyes?
It’s just a matter of time ’till you find
He’s no good
He’s no good
Won’t you open up your eyes?
It’s just a matter of time ’till you find
He’s no good, girl
No good for you
You better get to getting on your goodbye shoes

David Cook, “The Last Goodbye”

American Idol Season Seven winner David Cook is back with a brand-new single titled The Last Goodbye. Yes, I know this isn’t a Christian single, but I’m a David Cook fan, all the way down to my copying his goatee and awesome hair, and The Last Goodbye is a great carrier for a sophomore post-Idol CD. Taking into consideration that the folks at 19 Entertainment don’t generally know what they’re doing with the winners – how many of the past nine or ten season winners are still musically relevant? – The Last Goodbye is a fresh, singable romp of a pop-rock song. I’m not sure how well The Last Goodbye will perform at modern rock radio, but this should easily cross over onto Top 40 and AC formats. DC was never as poppy as his runner-up, David Archuleta, and The Last Goodbye is a radio-friendly paean that should get Cook back into the good graces of radio, considering he’d been away for a long, long time.

Co-written with hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who has scored hits with his own band OneRepublic as well as acts like Jordin Sparks, Leona Lewis, Rihanna, Timbaland, Charice, and Whitney Houston, among a slew of other acts, The Last Goodbye sold 22,000 copies after his performance of the track at last week’s American Idol show, enough to get the track to debut in Billboard’s Bubbling Under singles chart (#5). Its lyrics read as a strong send-off to a relationship that isn’t quite panning out the way the singer wants it to; the strong riffs underscore the somewhat positive mindset the singer has with his send-off to the “last goodbye,” so to speak. The Last Goodbye is the carrier single of This Loud Morning, dropping June 28 across the globe.


Here’s David Cook’s The Last Goodbye as performed on American Idol.


Here’s David Cook’s The Last Goodbye as performed on Ellen.

THE LAST GOODBYE Lyrics
David Cook

If you hear this on the radio
Then we’ve already said our last goodbye
I won’t be there when you get home
By now there’s someone else that hears you cry

I wonder if he holds you like I did
I hope that he can love you better
Cause we were everything that’s right at the wrong time

I didn’t want to lose you
Leave you with a broken heart
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye
Oh, I didn’t want to let you go
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye

We were almost beautiful
A broken piece of art put on display
But we were never possible
Another perfect moment thrown away

I know somebody out there will love you
They’ll be the forever we never were
Cause we were everything that’s right at the wrong time

I didn’t want to lose you
Leave you with a broken heart
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye
Oh, I didn’t want to let you go
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye

Whoa
Whoa
Whoa

If you hear this on the radio
Then we’ve already said our last goodbye
Our last goodbye

I didn’t want to lose you
Leave you with a broken heart
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye
Oh, I didn’t want to let you go
But wherever we are, we’re miles apart
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye
The last goodbye
I know that we tried, but this is the last goodbye

Kris Allen post-concert thoughts

The Kris Allen/Boyce Avenue/Jabbawockeez concert was OFF THE HOOK. Here are ten post-concert thoughts:

1. It was the first major open-air concert I’d ever attended. Ang daming tao! (There were so many people.) There were naysayers who said Kris wouldn’t be able to attract a crowd, but boy, those naysayers should’ve been there. Praise God it didn’t rain.

2. The crowd seemed strangely subdued. After each number of any of the featured artists, there would be wild applause, but they died down pretty quickly. I’ll bet that won’t happen at Super Junior. Those fans are crazy. (Don’t worry, kasama ako jan.)

3. Alejandro Manzano of Boyce Avenue has a truly terrific voice. It held well, especially during the sing-alongs. My wife crushed on every single member of the band. Except the fourth dude who drummed, because the camera didn’t get him well. I’ll bet if it did, she’d probably crush on him too.

4. Throwing teddy bears into the crowd. Nice touch, Boyce Avenue.

5. Jabbawockeez. HOT HOT HOT. My body was aching just watching them dance. Favorite routine of the night: Masculinity skit and romance segment with lady of the night.

6. Lady of the night = noona. No, wait, ahjumma. Tsk tsk. I guess the Jabbas can’t see very well with those masks on.

7. Channel [V] VJs generally good. Did their best to warm up the crowd. Georgina is so beautiful. I would’ve screamed her name, but my wife was beside me and she knows kung fu (and a lot of other oriental words).

8. “Audience participation” featured professional singer Chris Cayzer. Namangha ang buong audience sa galing ng boses at sa cuteness ng mukha.

9. I love Kris Allen. I really, really do. His audience rapport is terrific, and he just glows with such energy. Terrific job on Red Guitar, Live Like We’re Dying, Before We Come Undone, The truth, Heartless, and, of course, Ain’t No Sunshine. Worth every centavo we didn’t pay for. (Thanks again, Ro!)

10. I was really happy for this girl who flew in from Malaysia. She sang Live Like We’re Dying and won a free signed CD from Kris. She was then selected later on to dance with him onstage, and before she left the stage, she asked for a hug and got it. Some people have all the luck.

Once again, praise God for blessings. I got Silver tickets from a dear friend. Let’s believe for Backstreet Boys tickets next, shall we? :D