And you thought I was all done with my silly year-end lists that probably interest me far more than anyone who may skim through this note. But what can I say? I love music and numbers. And you may have noticed a conspicuous lack of individual songs in my previous annual musical honor roll.
#10. “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat
No, there’s not really anything manly about liking this song, but hey, everyone should be allowed at least one yearly guilty pleasure. I also confess that I didn’t know how to correctly spell her name until I looked it up five minutes ago to download off iTunes.
#9. “Shoreline” by Deas Vail
My favorite debut artist of 2007 and their hauntingly soothing piano-led wonder.
#8. “Made to Love” by tobyMac
Toby gets his first contemporary Christian radio hit and cements his skills as a first-rate wanna-be hip-hop/rock/I-have-no-idea-but-he-sure-is-entertaining star. Fun stuff.
#7. “(*Fin)” by Anberlin
Don’t be put off by the fact that half of the title is made up of non-letters. This nine-minute epic ballad album closer depicts open questioning from a man who feels like “the patron saint of lost causes.” Anberlin’s best songwriting to date.
#6. “You Picked Me” by A Fine Frenzy
This indie-ish redhead delivers a charming love song: “Like an apple on a tree, hiding out behind the leaves / I was difficult to reach / but you picked me,” almost whispering the last three words with a purely delightful inflection.
Managing to pack vivid strings, pounding rhythms, and hollow echoes into a surprisingly intense four minutes with sprinkled sound effects, The Used fulfills the satisfying mini-epic that last year’s “…Black Parade” almost was.
#4. “Tonight the Stars Speak” by The Glorious Unseen
Ambient worship at its finest, the broken surrender of this song refocuses and refreshs the wandering and weary heart: “How long til your voice speaks clearly?/ How long til your arms envelop me?/ I cry, be my strength when I am weak / O Lord, have mercy on me please”
#3. “The Sound of Truth” by As I Lay Dying
The strongest track musically and lyrically on AILD’s frenetic double-bass-pounding, guitar-slaying metalfest, Tim Lambesis strips away our clouded motives and challenges, “For what use is there in praying/ If you will only hear what you want to hear?/ We have all heard what we wanted to hear / “Truth” that sounds right to our ears…” The intensity digs deep into the heart and the head.
#2. “Dashboard” by Modest Mouse
This bouncy single offers a refreshingly optimistic outlook on life in that amusingly poetic that only Modest Mouse can offer: “Well, it would’ve been, could’ve been worse than you would ever know/ The dashboard melted, but we still have the radio…/ the windshield was broken but I love the fresh air y’know…”
#1. “Deathbed” by Relient K
Several dozen instrumental tracks.
8 key changes.
9 tempo changes.
A complete story in the lyrics.
Lots of piano.
Guest singing by Jon Foreman.
What’s not to love?