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Friday, December 23, 2011

Top Music of the Year

I listen to a lot of music and it often guides my moods and vice versa. This doesn't make me unique, I know. If you threatened to hit my hand hand with a hammer if I didn't tell you my favorite music this year, this is what I would say:

Top 5 Records of the Year

5. Ghosts Upon the Earth by Gungor
I got to see Gungor with John Mark McMillan and David Crowder*Band at Regency Ballroom in San Francisco last month and they blew my mind. I had heard "Beautiful Things" a bunch of times in the past and I enjoyed the song, but I never really paid much attention to them until their newest record. It has an ethereal feel to it and they use a ton of instruments and funky arrangements without sounding forced. The singer, Michael Gungor, has a great blog too. I love this record!

Standout song: "When Death Dies"

4. Young Love by Mat Kearney
I have listened to Mat for a long time and have seen him live several times. His last record, City of Black and White, disappointed quite a bit in my opinion. Luckily, he went back to his roots with this record. The songs are catchy and have a hip-hop feel to them like the stuff off his first record, Bullet. I love how raw it is and am happy to see him return to form.

Standout songs: "Ships in the Night," "Down," and "You Can Count On Me"

3. Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra
This record is about everything from infidelity and drinking to love and God. It's a concept record where the singer, Andy Hull, has a conversation with God and his wife...sort of. The songs flow really well together and there are some epic moments. The title track is among my favorite songs of the year and I love how much this band has progressed. Manchester is among my favorite bands so I am a bit biased, but I would have loved this record even if it was the first thing I heard from them.

Standout songs: "Simple Math" and "Pensacola"

2. Vice Verses by Switchfoot
Trendy, cool me would love to include obscure bands on this list that only I have heard of like Goateater and The Way I Type (I made those up). However, the bands I love and have loved for a long time keep putting out great stuff. Vice Verses is an amazing Switchfoot record. Jon Foreman is my favorite song writer and I love the way this record moves lyrically. Songs about justice, hope, pain and sorrow fill the songs with a sense of authenticity. I got to see them in November and they were amazing.

Standout songs: "Vice Verses," "Restless," and "Where I Belong"

1. The Reckoning by NEEDTOBREATHE
This was a pretty easy choice for me as I have been listening to this band non-stop this year. I started listening to them shortly before this record game out. Their previous record, The Outsiders, has quickly become one of my favorites ever. Although this one doesn't quite match its predecessor, The Reckoning is still incredible. I listen to it while I run and while I drive. The songs touch on topics such as revenge and God's grace. It's a Southern rock record complete with banjo and electric guitar. I seriously love it. I get to see them in March at The Fillmore with Mel-Bo and I cannot wait.

Standout songs: "Able," "The Reckoning," "White Fences," "Slumber"

Top 10 Songs of the Year
10. "We Were Made For You" - Aaron Gillespie
9. "Restless" - Switchfoot
8. "Hope Still Flies" - Five Iron Frenzy
7. "Ships in the Night" - Mat Kearney
6. "Shadows" - David Crowder Band (feat. Lecrae)
5. "Perth" - Bon Iver
4. "Slumber" - NEEDTOBREATHE
3. "Let Me Feel You Shine" - David Crowder*Band
2. "Simple Math" - Manchester Orchestra
1. "The Reckoning" - NEEDTOBREATHE

Artist of the Year
As previously stated, I cannot get enough of this band. Check out their new record and their last record. So stinkin' good.

I realized that almost everything on my lists have a "Christiany" feel this year. As Michael Gungor stated in the blog post I linked, talented and creative musicians should exist regardless of genre. I feel like a lot of the bands I chose love God, but are also dedicated to making amazing music. They use their God-given talents to produce creative art.

Most Anticipate Music of 2012 (in no particular order)

  • Relient K - I love Forget and Not Slow Down.
  • fun. - Seeing them in March. Yay.
  • House of Heroes - I hope it's more The End is Not the End than Suburba.
  • David Crowder*Band - Their final record is out January 10. It is with bittersweet anticipation that I look forward to this one.

New life!

Hello blog.
I have neglected you and I am sorry. It's just that you sort of got boring and became one of those digital picture frames. You no longer were an avenue of creativity for me. You simply became a place to post baby pictures and now you have been replaced. Facebook now serves that purpose. However, I am here to tell you that I plan on revisiting you from time to time. My primary animus will be to post movie reviews. I see a lot of movies and, like a nerd, keep track of each movie I see in a Google doc. I am here today to let you know that I will soon be posting my top movies and music from 2011 and will continue to post movies as I see them. Excited? I thought so. I saw The Artist today. Did it crack my top 10? You will have to wait and see! Talk to you soon.