lists, music

My Favorite Albums of 2011

I am honored to have my musical “Best of” list featured on IndieVisionMusic for the second year. Personally I like to call it my “favorites” list since “best” is kind of subjective and I’m always changing my mind about my old lists as I discover more music from that year that I initially missed. Anyway, I thought I would use my personal blog to go through my list with a little more detail and some links. Hope you enjoy! (It looks like a lot of these albums are on sale right now for $4.99 on Amazon MP3… so get them soon if you’re interested! – I finally picked up HANDS and Dominic Balli just yesterday!)

Honorable Mentions

JJ Heller – Deeper; Sleeping Giant – Kingdom Days In An Evil Age; A Plea For Purging – The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging; August Burns Red – Leveler

30. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Fun rock album that makes me feel like I’m playing Guitar Hero or something. Most of the album is pretty standard but the message and passion of the closing track alone is enough for it to make my list.

Favorite Track: “Walk”
I’m on my knees / I’m praying for a sign / Forever, whenever / I never wanna die / I never wanna die…. I’m dancing on my grave / I’m running through the fire / Forever, whatever / I never wanna die….
Release Date: April 8, 2011
US Sales Info: 640,000 so far; 1st #1 album with 235,000 first-week sales
Amazon Link | Wiki Link

29. Weird Al – Alpocalypse

The King of Parody does it again with his first full album in five years. It’s hit and miss, but the hits are fantastic, from a ruthless Gaga mockery to the technology-minded original “Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.”

Favorite Track: “Party In the CIA”
Yeah, we’ve got our black ops all over the world / from Kazakhstan to Bombay / Payin’ the bribes like yeah / pluggin’ the leaks like yeah
Release Date: June 20, 2011
US Sales Info: #9 debut (best ever) with 44,000 first-week sales
Amazon Link | Wiki Link

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lists, music

My Favorite Records of 2010

My Favorite EPs
I felt like I heard more EPs this year than in all my previous years combined, due to both the dwindling resources within the music industry and my continued personal trending toward less established musicians. But, seriously, man, everyone from hardcore The Devil Wears Prada to electronica Andy Hunter put out an EP this year. I also listened to a lot of music from the non-profit, ministry-minded Come&Live, whose artists come up with their own resources through fans. I will always prefer the length and completeness of the album format, and I hope it doesn’t go away, but frankly, four or five song recordings are way easier, quicker, and cheaper than full albums, and as long as record sales continue to plummet, I think the EP is here to stay.
Honorable Mentions: Bradley Hathaway – A Thousand Angry Panthers, Andy Hunter – Collide

5. Oh Brother – The Death of Day
Moving progressive post-rock or whatever

4. Josh Ehrmann – Stone’s Throw
Reflective indie songwriter

3. Enlou – Body of Water, Body of Friends
Indie rock or whatever

2. Lovelite – Nearness
Euro-synth-pop lounge worship
My full review for Nearness

The Ember Days - Finger Painting EP - Album Cover
1. The Ember Days – Finger Painting
Fantastic worship disguised as a lush, ambient, soft pillow that is mostly instrumental. This EP would be top 10 if I mixed it in with the full albums. With a strong execution of Explosions-In-The-Sky-type guitars topped with strings and light vocals, every second of its thirty-one minutes is ripe for quiet worship, prayer, or simple rest and refreshment. And it’s free off, although it’s totally worth a donation.
My full review for Finger Painting

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lists, music

My Favorite Songs of 2010

2010 was an interesting year for music. I didn’t buy as many albums as last year’s 40-50, but I still found a lot of enjoyable stuff from a variety of styles. I joined the staff of reviewing albums, and I get to have my top albums list posted on there sometime in the coming days. For now, though, here’s a little teaser with my 10 favorite songs of the year:

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