Monday, December 01, 2008

Soundtrack of 2008

As the end of the year approaches, it seems appropriate to list my ‘songs of the year’. These are not (necessarily) my favourite songs at the moment (though most of them are), but they are songs that I have been very into this year, songs that have in some way shaped the year for me. And they’re all songs I didn’t know before about a year ago.

Click on the links to listen to the songs - they're all on Youtube, so some are official videos and some are fan made. Sorry for the awful ones - just close your eyes and enjoy the music.

I discovered Anberlin in the summer via my sister, and was addicted to their 3rd album, Cities within about a day. (Fin) is the final track, a many-layered epic masterpiece, full of stories, honesty and truth. Immense.

Barlow Girl are very average, but their version of the worship song Enough has the most amazing 3-part harmonies I’ve ever heard, that start on entry to the first chorus and continue for much of the song. Beautiful stuff.
I’ve really got into Bloc Party this year, and went through a phase of absolutely loving Kreuzberg. There’s just something about the way it builds, with the guitar and vocal parts, that I love. Especially while driving.
On each of their albums, BSP produce one stand-out track, one true all-time great song. Waving Flags is the latest of these, including everything that is great about BSP – truly inspiring music and wonderfully odd lyrics.

Casting Crowns are often described as ‘prophetic’, and Stained Glass Masquerade is the most insightful of all their songs. It’s one of those songs I think every Christian should hear, and then take a really good look at themselves. Very challenging stuff.
Coldplay have produced another very good all-round album, but Viva la Vida is the stand-out track. Just the ability to produce such a driving rhythm without a drum kit is pretty special, and then there’s that insanely addictive riff.
I only have two David Crowder Band songs, but The Glory of it All is rapidly heading towards my top few songs of all time. It’s a complete worship experience which links us into God’s story in a wonderful way that we should think about a lot more.
Delirious just keep producing brilliant songs. God is Smiling is an immensely positive song, capturing so much of what is great about knowing God. The music and lyrics are each Delirious at their best.

Editors always make great music, but Weight of the World has their best lyrics too. It’s one of those songs that contains so much truth, I suspect unintentionally. A very emotionally intense song, and awesome live.

The Kissaway Trail are a bit weird, and the bizzarely titled Smother + Evil = Hurt is probably their most normal song. The music has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it addictive to listen to, and the lyrics, especially in the verses, are enchanting.

Easier to be is the latest example of Lifehouse’s lyrical brilliance. It’s not an outstanding song at first, but its message is so uniquely beautiful, it's an idea I've never heard in a song before, and it’s become a very important song to me.

Live are as unique as, and better than, RHCP, and Run to the Water is nothing less than genius. The music subtly draws you in and then explodes in your face, and the lyrics are just as enticing and powerful. The combination of the two is majestic.

Rock’n’Roll Worship Circus – Blessed Tune (sorry, couldn't find a video)
You wouldn’t think that the beatitudes put to music would be so amazing, but Blessed Tune by RnRWS proves that it can be. Soothing music, very nice and remarkably honest lyrics, and a simultaneously comforting and terrifying message.

Stellastarr produce the best rock I’ve heard for a long time, probably since Muse made it big. Lost in Time is a powerful and potentially painful song, with fantastic musicianship and vocals, and lyrics that really make you stop and listen.

Strangeday are the least well-known band on this list, but many of their songs, especially Fogpilot, are actually amazing. The openness and honesty here is refreshing, and the music is completely without weakness. And the middle eight is huge.

1 comment:

Joe 50 said...

Listened to some RnRWC in South Africa and loved them, you must introduce me to more material. Also liking this Anberlin malarky.