My five favorite cd’s of the year
Every year about this time people put out their best of lists. Usually those lists are filled with things that I’ve never heard of. It’s also usually full of ten things too but I don’t have 10. I have five.
People who know me well, know that music is one of the things I love the most. This year I heard some pretty amazing music. Below are my five favorite cd’s that I heard this year for the first time. In descending order
5) Until We Have Faces- Red
I first heard this band about 4-5 years ago and while I liked them, I didn’t love them. Let me say this: their latest CD rocks!!! Red is one of those bands that has a fairly unique sound, in that the heavy guitar laden songs are mixed with a string section that plays with equal intensity and is both haunting and beautiful. The band is a Christian band and although their songs ring with the truth of the gospel, they don’t try to preach Christianity. In fact, their songs are mostly about finding God in the midst of pain and desolation. If you love hard rock/emo music you should definitely check this CD out
4) Sigh No More- Mumford and Sons
This CD is very different than the last and although it was technically released in 2010, i just started listening to the CD within the last 6 months. Sigh No More is definitely an acquired taste but is is easily one of the best CD’s I have ever owned. The CD is full of what can only be described as Irish folk music with banjo added in. The lyrics are written with care and are full of wisdom way beyond the years of the vocalists singing them. The CD has some of the best vocal harmonies you will ever hear and the richness of the vocals is worth buying the CD for by itself. The Cd has elements of spirituality in it but it can also be profane at times. If you don’t like the “F bomb” in your music then you will not like the song “Little Lion Boy”. It is the only song with profanity. What makes the CD different is that it’s not about sexual innuendo and meeting people in bars. There are songs on this CD that talk about a person’s character. I highly recommend this.
3) Vice Verses- Switchfoot
To this day Switchfoot has my favorite CD of all time. When Beautiful Letdown was released I didn’t think it could be outdone. It has. Vice Verses marks the return of a band that many thought had broken up. This is easily their best effort to date. The CD mixes blaring guitar riffs with motivational lyrics that encourage the listener to live life to the fullest. However, there are also songs on the CD that talk about the struggle people face when trying to be a good person but failing. “The War Inside”, the third track on the recording, is the best song they have ever recorded. Other highlights on the CD include “afterlife”‘a song about not waiting to the afterlife to come alive and “dark horses” which asks the listeners to not count the band out. Great music with a great message
2) All At Once- Airborne Toxic Event
Although this CD has been in my player more than any other this year, I was not able to say it was the best of the year. I love, love, love this CD!!! And honestly, it had to grow on me. The band’s first single off the CD,” changing”, is really one of the best songs of the year and is about a relationship that goes bad when a significant other is always expecting change out of their partner but doesn’t see the effort put into the relationship. The CD shows a diversity that not all bands are capable of showing. The CD starts off with two songs that have an 80’s new wave feel to them that keeps your toes tapping and singing along with the CD. It slows down throughout the CD and almost has an Irish folk music sound to it in parts. For all the parents out there, the fifth song on the CD drops an “F Bomb” but it’s quick and almost unrecognizable. One of the best ways to enjoy their music is to watch them perform it. There are many different performances on YouTube and each is very impressive. This is an excellent CD
1) Wasting Light- Foo Fighters
When Nirvana existed, I couldn’t have cared less about Dave Grohl as a drummer. Nirvana was always one of the most overrated, talentless bands of the90’s, in my opinion. However, when Nirvana broke up due to Curt Cobain’s suicide, the Foo Fighters formed. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a huge fan but this CD has changed my mind. Why? There are a couple reasons. The first reason is that while the songs on the CD are pop oriented with an edge, they don’t rely on cheap synthesized gimmicks to hook their listeners. Pop music these days is too packaged, smooth and polished to showcase any real raw talent. Not the case here. A second reason I’m more than just intrigued by this CD is how it was recorded. Digital recording has become the standard of the recording industry. And, although digital may provide a clearer sound, it can sometimes sacrifice the rawness of the recording and take away it’s edge. Wasting Light was recorded analog and only converted to digital to get it on the discs. It is is edgy, high octane music at it’s best!!! The lyrical and musical writing is superb and there isn’t a bad song on the CD. If you like hard rock guitars with pop sensibilities you should rush out and buy this cd. It has been nominated for 6 grammy’s this year. It deserves all of them.