Today, not as brain fried however I think my trend of “Five Things” will continue if only because I’m swamped with meetings this week. I feel like being positive, so here are Five Albums That Rock My Socks Off. Or something else nerdy like that.
1. Number one on the list is the newest album on here. It’s currently the only thing I listen to on my iPod (because I’m a dork.)
Anberlin – Cities
This record is more like a cerebral experience than twelve songs burned to a CD. It’s also quite a bit more than a talented producer grabbing a hold of it. I find that if I put the iPod on shuffle, I don’t get the same feel from the CD…
I love Anberlin for many reasons but foremost are their lyrics and the complexity of the melodies. This album gives you not only that but also some unexpected cadence changes and expiriments (like using a synthesizer) that actually really work. When I heard the second song which follows a very interesting prelude I thought “oh, this is going to be like any other Anberlin album.” The guitar was exactly the same as the catchy songs on the last two albums. After that, it was like listening to a totally new band. Possibly the only reason that riff is in there is to remind you that yes, you do own the other two and yes, you recognize this. The lyrics currently stuck in my head: “with downcast eyes, there’s more to living than being alive.”
2. Falling Up – Dawn Escapes
When I first listened to this album I turned to my husband and said “do you think it would offend a Christian band if I admited this music makes me horny?”
While I tend to listen to Falling Up’s remix album, Exit Lights, more often this one is definitely my favorite by them. Exit Lights is more techno and hip-hop oriented and is my favorite car listening. It’s far superior in it’s ability to scare co-workers while driving through the parking lot. “Hey, look at that girl in the sensible black Honda Accord blasting techno. Wait a minute, she has tattoos and two-tone hair. It all makes sense now…” I keep fantisizing about last week when I drove through the parking lot blasting track 6 (Hondas have great sound systems, btw) and startled a co-worker. However, this coworker has full sleeve tats, a shaved head, and 4 earrings in each ear. I thought that was amazing. He looked at me like “whoa, she is much cooler than I thought.” But then I realize I’m deluding myself because I drive by little white kids at the mall blasting PDiddy or some crap in their Jettas with their windows rolled down and hats turned sideways. My thought is always “who are they kidding?” I guess Falling Up just frees me to be a dork.
Anyways, Dawn Escapes is most definitely my number two favorite. The piano intro is amazing and the band continues to use the same sound throughout the album while introducing a jazz mood behind the expected rock core. There are also touches of industrial techno that I adore.
The lyrics contain a theme of water and that lends a cohesiveness to the album while the songs switch it up. I’m listening to each album on my iPod as I write this, trying to remind myself of all the greatness. This one’s greatness is this: I don’t want to turn it off and go to the next album. Current memorable lyric: “kiss the truth goodbye now, the breaking of your dawn. It’s time to say goodbyes, it’s time to light your fears, it’s time to open up.”
3. The Classic Crime – The Fight
This is the Classic Crime’s freshman album and it’s totally amazing. I loved it the instant I heard it on Tooth and Nail’s sample CD “You Can’t Handle the Tooth.” It starts rocking and doesn’t stop. It’s really hard to write about this album because as soon as I turn it on, I’m geeked up.
It’s really a good thing I work for a dotcom. Most people don’t even look when I’m chair dancing or headbanging in my cubicle. For a first album, this band’s cohesiveness is amazing. They are definitely skilled musicians and every part flows just right. Other albums from comparable artists have crappy production, depending only on skill. This band does not – every track is leveled perfectly and even though every instrument is heard clearly you can still hear and understand the lyrics.
Lyrics: “I’ll take my heart back and set the people free. I’ll leave the dead to die and take whose coming with me.” Did I mention that I love the lyrics? They are dark but hopeful and just seem really human. This is exactly the same thing I love about Anberlin – I don’t like mushy “everyone is happy, let’s have a hugfest” lyrics but I also don’t like secular lyrics that talk about sex and violence. Those just make me uncomfortable like if they got stuck in my head and I was singing in the bathroom at work, I may get in serious trouble. These lyrics, you just need an affinity for poetry to understand.
4. Emery – The Question
I’ll start off by saying that I hate every other album by Emery. I don’t like rampant screaming. I like screaming when there’s a point to it, but I don’t like to hear mostly “BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!”
This album is more lyrically sound and cohesive. I seem to like that word, cohesive. Cohesive, cohesive, cohesive. Not only should it be cohesive, it should be complex and this one definitely is. Their screamer actually screams lyrics that actually bring another spectrum to the main melody. “It’s like a pencil with erasers at both ends. I’ve won it all but we’re dealing in percents. And these activities that you’ve engaged in. This is the politics of seeing you dance with him. We begin with concluding remarks. Pick up the pieces and examine the parts. Your words always cut when they’re cliche, but here’s my knife because I came for the buffet.”
5. Red – The End of Silence
Lyrically and musically, this band kicks serious bootie. I keep looking for a band that rivals Linkin Park, and while this band has the same kind of complexity, their sound is completely their own. There are almost hints of orchestral quality musicianship in the background. Think about what would happen if Evanescence and Skillet had an illegitimate male love child who idolized Linkin Park. (On the other hand, isn’t a Honda Element simply the love child of a Hummer and a Neon?) Lyrics: “You never go. You’re always here suffocating me. Under my skin, I cannot run away. Fading. Slowly. I give it all to you, letting go all night, reaching as I fall. I know it’s already over now.”
I’m not even going to mention Switchfoot because I’d go on for days. Also, their albums don’t near the quality I need – their individual songs are what get me. They tend to leave out the word “cohesive.”
5 bands that nearly made the list:
1. Lucerin Blue
3. Hyperstatic Union
4. Day of Fire
Cohesive, cohesive, cohesive.