Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Definitely not a theological post -- but whatever

I've never been in the mindset that we should only listen to "Christian" CD's. Frankly, I've never been much for the CCM scene. Prompted by R. T., here are the top discs in my collection:

The Beatles, Abbey Road - I don't know if this qualifies as a theme album, but it just fits. It's incredibly innovative, with the final several songs all blending together into one long track.

The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness - The Victorian artwork fits this double album perfectly. There is more summertime sweetness, more raw vocals, more textured guitars on this album than any other. A beautiful work. Their previous work, Siamese Dream, is close behind.

Anathallo, Holiday at the Sea EP and Sparrows - No one, and I mean no one, tops Anathallo (Greek for "renewal"). Guitar, xylophone, drums galore, clapping, horns, piano, and even scissors and chains--ya just can't ask for more. Only you do get more, like tremendous builds and crescendoes, songs in Japanese, and perceptive my-deceptive-heart-is-cut-open-and-my-sin-is-bleeding-out-so-I-surrender lyrics make these guys the best. Their live shows must be witnessed. Props to having lyrics based upon the greatest essay of all time, C. S. Lewis' The Weight of Glory. These guys know the Old Testament.

Radiohead, OK Computer - This is when they made it out of their already-good Brit rock days and into the bigtime with their innovate, post-apocalyptic tones.

Dispatch, Silent Steeples and Who Are We Living For? - These New Englanders redefine musical talent. Beautiful harmonies, rich hand percussion, and haunting lyrics make these two the most listened-to discs in my collection. Pick the former for their older, acoustic sound, and the latter for something electrified.

Guster, Goldfly - Forget Pedro the Lion; these are the guys who first took downcast lyrics and merged them with upbeat, poppy music. Songs about consciously manipulating others and the like create an odd lyrical content that makes up the Somerville, Mass., trio's first two discs. Plus Brian "Thundergod" Rosenworcel is the best hand percussionist around, hands-down.

Jars of Clay, Who We Are Instead - I would've said their self-titled debut was their best, but there is a something about their fifth studio album that leaves me in tears. Dan Haseltine sings from the perspective--an honest and personal one, from what I believe--of a man who's seen his sin, lived low in it, but has found hope in the faithfulness and bloody grace of his Savior. "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" cannot help but move someone -- it was based on an audio recording they heard of a homeless man singing this simple line to himself for hours as he fell asleep on the streets. This disc echoes of Johnny Cash. Their second LP, Much Afraid, is well worth a listen if you want to be broken of your sin and be left weeping before God.

Honorable mention: Pearl Jam, Vitalogy; Weezer, Weezer (blue album); R. E. M., Document; U2, The Best of 1980-1990; Blue Merle, Blue Merle; anything by Dan Tyminski.

1 comment:

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