mewithoutYou: it’s all crazy! it’s all false! it’s all a dream! it’s alright.
This is the first of my three huge anticipated releases this year (see Switchfoot, Mute Math), and extrapolating from my first impression I think I’m going to love it. Awesome poetic lyrics with rich metaphors and imagery about God and love and temptation and selflessness and forgiveness and redemption, and clever music with either driving rhythms or a folky saunter. Many have complained that this is less intense than the older mewithoutYou, but I don’t mind – I have a small but fond place in my heart for childlike storytelling songwriting, and Aaron Weiss makes it beautiful. Besides, there’s still plenty of stuff to make your head bob or foot tap – but mainly, to make your face smile 🙂
Mat Kearney: City Of Black & White
I love it when musicians I like get popular, but the marketable production of their subsequent releases tends to dampen my enthusiasm for their craft (see Anberlin, The Fray). Here Mat Kearney sings over a big sound with a reverberating kick drum and guitars that sound like they’re bellowing across a stadium; this is not the coffeehouse acoustic-guitar Mat Kearney, and while I still love his voice, I miss that rap or “spoken word” thing that helped make him so unique and interesting. And, come on, dude, with three years to write songs between albums you had to settle for a song that uses pretty much the same piano chords and vocal melody (and same key!) as “In The Middle”? I hope this grows on me, but I’m afraid it will be no match for his original exquisite confluence of pop balladry and acoustic poetic word-rap.
Family Force 5: Dance Or Die With A Vengeance
Silly dance music remixed for more fun… at first I was going to buy this right away. When I heard a few tracks on MySpace I thought, eh, I don’t know. JesusFreakHideout’s review pretty much confirmed that I didn’t really need it. Seems to be not terribly different from the original Dance or Die album from last year, which I wasn’t crazy about anyway (although it’s not bad).
Ian McIntosh: Alive
Still one of the most underrated and underexposed modern worship leaders (although I’ve finally ran into my first person who already knew about him), Ian McIntosh released his second album today. From the five tracks on his MySpace it seems to be pretty much in the same vein as the first, but his formula (piano, layered keys, some electronic looping, and the occasional falsetto vocals) is still so much different from most of today’s worship (see Michael W. Smith), and it radiates with such a simple joy in God’s goodness and faithfulness, that I anticipate buying this one in the near future.