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  True Tunes 2000
Artist: Various Artists
Label: True Tunes Records
Time: 18 tracks/68:45 seconds

While some various-artist compilations succeed in including some underrated songs by a diverse assembly of artists, many accomplish nothing more than providing a collection of radio hits that everyone has heard many times before. Since many recent compilations have been nothing more than advertisements, True Tunes 2000 was a breathe of fresh air. It is genuinely a good piece of art.

True Tunes features seventeen little-known artists, most of whom I was unfamiliar with before purchasing the album. A few of the artists featured include veteran artists Bill Mallonee and Vigilantes of Love, worship leader Justin Fox, up-and-coming rock band Sundry, and Lynda Randle, the sister of dc Talk's Michael Tait.

Musically, this record is very diverse, featuring styles ranging from hard rock to gospel to folk. Wide Awake kicks off the album with a catchy, raw Southern- flavored rock song called "Hero." Justin Fox's "Take Me Over" is honest and worshipful, while Siler's Bald contributes the uplifting "Got Me Smiling." Other album highlights include Third Day's Mac Powell teaming up with Sundry for the rock/rap "Least of These" and the classic hymn "Solid Rock" performed by pop rock outfit Daniel's Window.

Granted, there are a few low points on the album. Lynda Randle's "He is God" misses the mark lyrically, and on Jason and the Gmen's take on the classic spiritual song "Here's One", the music does not really fit the lyrics very well. All in all, however, True Tunes 2000 is a good, diverse compilation disc, and a wonderful introduction to some talented artists that you may never have heard before.

Josh Hurst 4/14/2001

True Tunes 2000, the latest compilation album from True Tunes Records and Rhythm House Records, starts off with a solid alt-rocker entitled "Hero" by Wide Awake. Following is Bill Mallonee & V.O.L. with "She Walks on Roses" from their most recent effort and probably one of their strongest, Audible Sigh. This compilation from True Tunes and Rhythm House says a lot for the quality of artists these labels have embraced. While not all of the songs and artists featured here quite live up to the promise of the first two tracks, all around it is a very strong collection of music--not something that can often be said of label compilations.

The songs on this disc range from folk to alternative to pop rock. While True Tunes and Rhythm House don't offer the widest variety of musical styles, they have targeted a specific audience and for the most part,
deliver on their promise with the music they offer. While none of the music on this album would be considered ground-breaking, all of the songs are well-crafted and hold up considerably well in genre comparison.

The lyrical stylings are, of course as varied as the music, ranging from songs of worship to songs of reflection to fun songs of affirmation. Of course, being a compilation album, there is not much continuity between the
songs and a couple even feel a bit out of place amongst the rest.

If you are interested in Christian music outside of the mainstream, do yourself a favor and pick up this album. There is a large diversity in the Christian Music Market, and sometimes you just need to look in the right
places--such as this compilation album. Take a listen and see if any of these artists catch your attention. After all, isn't that what a compilation album is all about? One note about the packaging: whoever designed it was thoughtful enough to include lyrics to all the songs. While there are no songs here that one would need to consult a lyric sheet, it is very nice to have them handy, especially being a compilation album (I think they should be required to have lyrics).

 Darryl A. Armstrong 4/21/2001



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