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MadeLoud Mix: Religious Rock and R&B

MadeLoud Mix: Religious Rock and R&B

With so much music and so many genres, a listener can have a difficult time knowing just where to jump in and begin listening. You could also try the ol' random browse, picking and listening based on your whims. That's all well and good, but we've decided to curate some of our favorite tracks from set genres and to compile a mix that we think serves our fans and artists.

Today we'll be wading into religious music - not necessarily all strictly Christian, but mostly - to listen to performances that range from upbeat praise anthems to soulful, quiet hymns. Here's our track by track guide to our first MadeLoud Mix: Religious Rock and R&B.

1. Christian Rap Artist David - “Cry”

Utilizing a stinging guitar sample and layered vocals, Christian Rap Artist David's track "Cry" is an empathetic ode to pain - one that imagines a world of prostitution, incarceration, drug use, and even suicide. However, David's lyrics offer both consolation "Imma cry with you brother/ Imma cry with you baby girl" and, though prayer, a remedy.

2. Play Ray - “I Can Dance”

A longtime MadeLoud favorite, Play Ray's "I Can Dance" is a tribute to the power of dance and worship both. "I'm glad that," he speaks before singing, "I can dance in the church that I go to." With a surprising turn of auto-tune on the vocals, Play Ray uses an arsenal of sounds and even a biblical allegory involving Jeremiah to make the case for church-stepping. The best argument, though, is in the beat. This is some funky, sweet praise.

3. Courtney Ballestero - “Just Fine”

Beginning with an isolated drum track, Courtney Ballestero's "Just Fine" soon expands with a big vocal track, saxophone, and even wah-wah guitar. "Just Fine" is an appropriate mantra, as this is a song that sounds both relaxed, poised, and confident.

4. Andrew Price - “Comeback”

This acoustic guitar led piece has Andrew Price adding piano and soft vocals to create a reflective mood for the song "Comeback." It's a nice change of pace if you're looking for something a little more quiet and folksy.

5. Scott Hinton - “Real Love”

Scott Hinton's "Real Love" is smooth, sultry R&B with more than a little bit of slow jam piano balladry thrown into the mix. With shades of Brian McKnight's approach, this track also has a spiritual and serious component to it that requires multiple listens to fully appreciate.

6. Todd Barrow - “I Will Sing”

Barrow's track "I Will Sing" is also piano-based, but it approaches something closer to an uplifting anthem than anything else. It's powerful, but doesn't overreach in the vocal or instrumental departments. Barrow lets spare arrangements and a vocal track say it all.

7. Mark Fallin - “Don’t You Want to Go?”

This track comes from this Georgia-based artist's Christian Ear Candy album. That amusing title says a great deal about this instrumental track, which neither takes itself too seriously but which also aspires to render honest praise and thanks.

8. Tommy Ross - “I’m On My Way To Heaven”

Our pal Tommy Ross is featured here with his track "I'm On My Way To Heaven." The upbeat track includes a great deal of electronic accompaniments paired with guitar and celebratory lyrics.

9. All in All - “New Life”

The Portland act All in All describe themselves as both Christian and Funk, and they adequately make that case with the track "New Life." Positing a religious based message - "New life / You have new life/ He has changed you in every way" - with an instrumental track that thumps and grooves, it's dance with a big theme.

10. The United Rhythm and Groove Exchange - “Call on Jesus”

This may be our playlist's most straightforward gospel track, featuring female lead vocals backed by a chorus of both men and women who provide harmonies throughout the track. "Call on Jesus" is also highlighted by drum machines, synthesizers, and piano.

11. Attila Jelinek - “The Angel”

This track from Attila Jelinek (pictured above) pairs heavenly female vocals with a skipping drum beat, soaring strings, and acoustic guitar. A very classical-sounding guitar solo appears midway through, followed by a turn at the synthesizer.

12. Dre-Lee On - “Dear Lord”

Over a skipping guitar sample, Houston's Dre-Lee admits that his "heart is hurtin'" but that he's trying to "live for a cause and purpose," expressing the struggle of doing good in a world that is often anything but.

13. Robson Galharde - “We Will Fly”

We end our playlist with Robson Galharde's ballad "We Will Fly," a song that begins with lighter percussion and piano before reaching a soaring chorus with a big guitar sound and an explosive vocal turn. It's an especially anthemic close to our mix, and an appropriate final track.

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