monthly guides, music

April 2011 Monthly Music Guide #13

This Patch of Sky - The Immortal, The Invisible - Album Cover

Artist: This Patch of Sky
Album: The Immortal, The Invisible (February 14, 2011)
Style: Fully-structured instrumental post-rock

If Thrice took their style from Artist In The Ambulance and polished the edges a bit to make a new album without any lyrics, that’s a little bit of what this would sound like. If a heavier act like As I Lay Dying or Underoath took one of their soothing instrumental interludes and stretched it over twenty minutes, that’s a little bit of what this would sound like. If Explosions In The Sky took their infectious delayed guitar riffs and used them as “verses” to mix in with some more dissonant “choruses,” that’s a little bit of what this would sound like. OK, so maybe those comparisons are all pretty lame, but the point is this EP is an instrumental act that advances with the interesting song structures you expect from lyrical music. You know all those times when you wanted a background sound with all the interesting, exciting energy of your favorite bands but without the distraction of all the words? This is what you’ve been waiting for.

STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: thispatchofsky.bandcamp.com

Seven Swans Reimagined - Album Cover
Artist:
(Various)
Album: Seven Swans Reimagined (March 29, 2011)
Style: A wide spectrum of indie talents

What a brilliant concept! Get a cornucopia of indie musicians to pay tribute to a classic album (Seven Swans) from one of the most classic indie musicians (Sufjan Stevens) of… all-time? (Get ready for parentheses!) Some of the remakes are more layered than the originals (although Joshua James’s “To Be Alone With You” is charmingly reserved, trading the guitar for a piano and a dash of cello). But it’s a real treat to hear Sufjan’s influences expressed through the nuances of the indie world, from the simple picking of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy to the percussion party of The Gregory Brothers (yes, the AutotuneTheNews guys) to the reverbed instrumentation of Derek Webb to the reckless vocals of Half-Handed Cloud. (Personally I think there’s a gorgeous amount of piano on these covers.) After a lovely journey of somewhat-known and mostly-unknown musicians (I haven’t even mentioned some of the most delightful surprises), the subtle yet distinct voice of David Crowder welcomes us to “The Transfiguration” (is that a harp?), brilliantly transforming through a horn arrangement and a cascade of electronic loops (the violin from A Collision – which also featured a Sufjan cover – also makes an appearance). If I still haven’t convinced you to buy one of the most exciting releases of the year (15 tracks for $10!), the proceeds are going to breast cancer research.

Standout Lyric: I can see a lot of life in you
In Case It Interests You: Many of the artists involved in this project are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: onjoyfulwings.bandcamp.com
If You Only Have 5 Minutes: “The Transfiguration” by David Crowder Band


Continue reading “April 2011 Monthly Music Guide #13”

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monthly guides, music

March 2011 Monthly Music Guide #12

Wow, I’ve kept at this thing for a whole year now! Not too bad. Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Hawk Nelson - Crazy Love
Artist:
Hawk Nelson
Album: Crazy Love (February 8, 2011)
Style: Energetic pop punk

Hawk Nelson is one of those kinda cheesy bands I feel like I outgrew a long time ago, so when I decided to give their new album a chance I was surprised by how much I liked it. Right from the get-go with “Tally-Ho” it’s full of energy, speed and classic Hawk bass lines. The title track tries to follow the Newsboys into modern synth-pop-rock, but it’s mostly good ol’ MxPx-FMStatic-channeled pop punk. “My Next Breath” is a classic Hawk ballad harking back to the days of “From Underneath” or “Everything You Ever Wanted.” Strong, catchy melodies overshadow the occasionally trite lyrics, which are pretty upfront and spiritual (“Your Love Is A Mystery”) when they’re not charmingly pining for love (“Joanna”) or expressing a distaste for airports (“LAX”). There’s a few surprises scattered throughout, and if you stick around for the extra acoustic tracks, you’ll hear a Glee-like a cappella rendition of the old hit “California.”

Standout Lyric: They say it sounds insane
We say that we’ve been changed by the power of crazy love…
We’re the ones gonna put it all in reverse
Gonna die to ourselves, gonna live to serve
In Case It Interests You: The members of Hawk Nelson are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/hawknelson

Hillsong United - Aftermath - Cover
Artist:
Hillsong United
Album: Aftermath (February 15, 2011)
Style: Post-rock worship

Everyone knows that Hillsong United churns out boring cliché worship power ballads year after year, right? Wrong! Aftermath is the New Zealand group’s second non-live release, and the well-built tracks are less power-chord Jesus chants and more patiently developed grooves following the road of Explosions In The Sky or The Ember Days – but still with that electric United youth-group-ready oomph. It starts off full of delayed guitar picking, rat-a-tat snares, deep toms, and layers of vocals, strings, and experimental atmospheres – relaxing and/or driving worship at its finest, although the whole album isn’t quite that delicate. The multiple talents of the likes of Joel Houston, Marty Sampson, and Brooke Fraser continue to find fresh lyrics to express hearts crying out in surrender and devotion, and this may be the act’s best release since 2006’s All of the Above.

Standout Lyric: And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love, love, love
In Case It Interests You: The musicians that make up Hillsong United are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/hillsongunited Continue reading “March 2011 Monthly Music Guide #12”

monthly guides, music

February 2011 Monthly Music Guide #11

Looking for something new? There’s a lot of music coming out already this year and I’m trying to keep up. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Esperanza Spalding - Chamber Music Society
Artist:
Esperanza Spalding
Album: Chamber Music Society (August 17, 2010)
Style: Wailing jazz

When she won New Artist of the Year last week at the Grammy’s, this prodigy managed to anger millions of Bieber fans while catapulting her album sales into record territory for contemporary jazz, but just who is she? Even though most of us had never heard of her before, she’s been becoming quite a sensation in the high-brow jazz community, playing at Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies and the like (Thanks, Wikipedia). And you’ll sure feel cultured listening to this group explore their jazzy rhythms (Esperanza herself rocks the upright bass). Esperanza’s vocals dance with the strings over a shifting foundation of piano and percussion – sometimes light and feathery, sometimes rhythmic and rousing. Her occasional warbling high notes may be disjointing for the uninitiated, but there are also plenty of accessible, relaxing, chill jazz numbers. So give this a stream and pretend like you’re hanging out with dignitaries or cleaning your mansion.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/esperanzaspalding

Continue reading “February 2011 Monthly Music Guide #11”

monthly guides, music

January 2011 Monthly Music Guide #10

Looking for something new? There’s been a lot of new music in 2011 already but first I’ve been catching up on what I missed in 2010. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Andy Hunter - Collide EP - Album Art
Artist:
Andy Hunter
Album: Collide (December 6, 2010)
Style: Techno and stuff

Andy Hunter, maybe the only not-completely-underground guy doing Christian techno stuff, released some new music last month for the first time in years, and it was better than I was expecting. The various sounds skitter across the five tracks as the synths and beats come to life (I’m a sucker for random piano riffs), and the thirty-five minute EP leaves you wanting more rather than mushing your brain with mind-numbing bass. Every now and then a lyrical phrase bubbles forth to add to the atmosphere, but for the most part this is just well-crafted electronica.

Standout Lyric: Heaven and earth collide, a beautiful alliance / together two worlds are tied, a powerful presence
Standout Lyric II: Smash it, break it, shake it… Annihilate
In Case It Interests You: Andy Hunter is known as a Christian
STREAM THE WHOLE EP: myspace.com/andyhunter (last 5 songs on the main page player… from “Raining Sunshine” to “Collide”)

Brooke Fraser - Flags - Album Art
Artist:
Brooke Fraser
Album: Flags (October 12, 2010)
Style: Bouncy female indie pop

Brooke Fraser is mostly known for her soothing contributions to the Hillsong United worship repertoire, but the New Zealand star’s third solo release is a full-fledged indie pop album in the vein of A Fine Frenzy or Feist with a dash of Imogen Heap. We have a bouncy love song dripping with catchiness, a mournful ballad about a struggling, committed relationship, and several songs telling stories or offering encouragement to a variety of characters. “Crows + Locusts” depicts our spiritual needs through a brutal metaphor of a bleak and plagued harvest, while the title track references both Ecclesiastes and the Beatitudes in a sweeping saga that can’t explain worldly injustices but soars on promised hope. It’s all tied together with Fraser’s strong and soothing vocals, and she calls on driving percussion, vocal choruses, horns, strings, or whatever else is necessary to accompany the guiding guitar or piano. It may be everything you’d expect from an indie pop album, but it’s strongly executed with solid production, backed by deep, clever songwriting, and every time through I like it more.

Standout Lyric: You got your secrets / You’ve got your regrets / Darling, we all do.
Standout Lyric II: This beautiful tangle that’s bruising us blue / Is the beautiful knot that we just can’t undo… Real love is hard love.
In Case It Interests You: Brooke Fraser is known as a Christian.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: brookefraser.com

Continue reading “January 2011 Monthly Music Guide #10”

monthly guides, music

November 2010 Monthly Music Guide #9

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Josh Ehrmann - Stone's Throw
Artist:
Josh Ehrmann
Album: Stone’s Throw (November 20, 2010)
Style: Reflective indie-rock songwriter

This young musician sounds perfectly at home with his acoustic guitar in this small collection of simply crafted songs. Offering honest reflections on surrender, silence, and unity, Josh writes with a wisdom more in line with his influences than his peers, whether he’s singing softly or shouting passionately. His sound is most reminiscent of the softer side of As Cities Burn (whose Cody and Aaron helped produce the album, and they make a few musical appearances). Timbre’s harp and harmonies provide additional aural beauty. It’s a shame some of the songs are so short, and sometimes I wish he’d let the precious grooves linger, but the humble songwriter is fast growing in experience and confidence. This is his first official release, and I hope it’s not the last.

Standout Lyric: I see so many words on blank pages
I hear the most when no one speaks
And all the noise that I fill my days with
It’s getting old. I love the silence in between…
Oh, God, if I ever say too much, just cut me off
Standout Lyric II: Well I wasted all my energy just staring at a computer screen
And now I’d love to fall asleep in my bed so I can dream
of doing all the things I should have done while I was awake…
So would you take all of my apathy and turn it into unending passion
In Case It Interests You: Josh Ehrmann is known as a Christian.
STREAM SOME TRACKS: myspace.com/joshsounds
If You Only Have 3 Minutes: Check out “Twenty

The Chariot - Long Live
Artist:
The Chariot
Album: Long Live (November 23, 2010)
Style: Experimental hardcore

Despite switching labels as the latest band to abandon their T&N roots, Long Live picks up right where Wars And Rumors Of Wars left off with The Chariot’s unique brand of controlled chaos. There’s no such thing as a verse or chorus here: guitars feedback in harmony or conspire with the pounding drums and crashing cymbals to weave in and out of Josh Scogin’s emotive vocal delivery of his lines of grace and revolution. The rushing rhythms abruptly break over each other like colossal waves, periodically pausing on the intervening outbreaks of a harp (yep, Timbre again), accordion, beat poetry, or a rousing choral expression. Some of the tracks are randomly named for devoted fans – just another example of The Chariot’s expectedly unexpected creativity and community spirit. If you can get past the abrasive edges, don’t neglect to dive into this inspirational intensity.

Standout Lyric: They can take away one man / And they can take away his mic
But they cannot take us all /
No, they can’t dig a hole the right size to fit all of our dreams /
…Oh we stand hand in hand we walk without fear /
This is a revolution!
In Case It Interests You: The members of The Chariot are known as Christians.
LISTEN TO MOST OF THE ALBUM: myspace.com/thechariot
If You Only Have 6 Minutes: Check out the “David De La Hoz” music video – shot in one take

Continue reading “November 2010 Monthly Music Guide #9”

monthly guides, music

October 2010 Monthly Music Guide #8

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Jars of Clay Presents The Shelter
Artist:
Jars of Clay
Album: The Shelter (October 5, 2010)
Style: Encouraging anthemic pop rock ballads about community

The latest addition to Jars of Clay’s legacy is a more worshipful project focused on community that involves collaborations with other artists on (almost) every song. We are treated to more pleasant anthems of The Long Fall variety, with those clean guitar strums and bright piano melodies. The lyrical theme is evident from the get-go as the singers exclaim, “We will never walk alone again.” Meanwhile, the bells and crazy vocal interweaving sound like they were lifted off a Sufjan record. The collaborations are remarkably subtle (well, except for Mac Powell’s drawl), often hiding in harmonies that you don’t discover until the third or fourth listen. Even with an exciting array of vocal choirs there’s only so much you can do with clean-driving anthemic-pop-rock, and my intense excitement for at least the first three tracks tends to turn into mild ambivalence by the end. Still, it’s some of the most enjoyable stuff (for me) coming out of the strict CCM market these days.

Standout Lyric: I’ll go when You call me, I run when You tell me where to go /
We are desert walkers under shady clouds…
Let our idols fail, vanity subside
Standout Lyric II: It’s a well worn path so how on earth can we feel alone?
…Look around / Lay it down.
In Case It Interests You: The members of Jars of Clay are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/jarsofclay

Destroy Nate Allen - Until My Ankle's Better
Artist:
Destroy Nate Allen
Album: Until My Ankle’s Better (August 2010)
Style: Sing-along folk-punk

After kicking off with an a capella gospel homage from Nate’s mother, Until My Ankle’s Better quickly delves into the duo’s trademark quirky acoustic jams full of passion, vulnerability, and joy. You’re going to be disappointed if you listen to these tracks expecting something aesthetically beautiful or mindblowingly original, but if these songs of life and love don’t make you smile, you’re probably missing the point, as the short tracks are really just trying to become the grown-up version of your favorite childhood sing-alongs. Their faith is a combination of the traditional and not-so-traditional, but it’s always seasoned with understanding and sincerity. Tessa adds tambourine and affectionate harmony to Nate’s acoustic guitar and bleating vocals. Instruments like kazoos and organs dot the landscape along with the vocal oh‘s and doot-doo‘s. By the time the album closes, you almost feel like you’ve gotten to know this simple, charming couple who travels the country playing basement shows and trusting in God’s provision.

Standout Lyric: I need to take the trash out / from the middle of the floor /
cuz when the trash is taken out / it won’t smell no more
Standout Lyric II: Put your head on my shoulder, and we’ll wake up one day older,
just you and I, you and I
In Case It Interests You: Nate and Tessa Allen are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: destroynateallen.bandcamp.com

Continue reading “October 2010 Monthly Music Guide #8”

monthly guides, music

September 2010 Monthly Music Guide #7

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Anberlin - Dark Is The Way Light Is A Place - Album Cover
Artist:
Anberlin
Album: Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place (September 7, 2010)
Style: Moody, anthemic rock

Anberlin is back with a vengeance, and from the opening guitar riffs you know they’re knocking the socks off of anyone who thought New Surrender was boring. Overall the music is strong and dark with lots of driving guitar (think Cities) and even a smattering of piano, organ, and acoustic riffs. Stephen Christian’s voice resonates clearly, but unfortunately it’s mostly just resonating angst. New Surrender showed some attempts at broader songwriting, but pretty much every song here is an emotional pity-party begging her to stay or scowling at her for leaving – does the world really need another song with lyrics like “who needs enemies when we’ve got friends like you”? Ultimately, this is another solid album from Anberlin that is sure to satisfy old fans. But as much as I respect Christian and his craft – see this great interview – the lyrics here are too much for me to recommend.

Standout Lyric:Because of you, I’ll never write another love song. /
Was I the greatest in your arsenal? /
Or just the latest in your art of war?
In Case It Interests You: The members of Anberlin are generally known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/anberlin

Lakes - The Agreement - Album Cover
Artist:
Lakes
Album: The Agreement (September 3, 2010)
Style: Soft acoustic pop with nice instrumentation

Lakes carries a Snow Patrol vibe that’s maybe a little bouncier with an abundant use of keys and even some organ and a bit of accordion, not to mention the acoustic picking that I’m pretty sure is a banjo. If somebody put them in a movie soundtrack, “Oh Lovely” would go in the fireworks part of the relationship, while “The Feeling” would fit perfectly in the part where everything starts to break. Some of the slower anthems are both lush and rough, punctuated by the occasional minor chord that might be what Thrice would sound like if they wrote pop ballads (“Lifting Me Up” is like a 3/4 Jeremy Camp single with less gruff vocals). Sometimes the resonating drum pounding and vocalizing sound more like a Phil-Collins-African-jungle-ride (especially on “When We Were Younger”). Regardless, Lakes keeps things fresh and interesting from beginning to end, and they’re a pleasant surprise waiting just for you.

Standout Lyric: We could go out / We could stay in /
We’ve got this beautiful day /
We could just sing / We could just dance /
We’ve got this beautiful day /
In Case It Interests You: As far as I know the members of Lakes are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: absolutepunk.net/lakes Continue reading “September 2010 Monthly Music Guide #7”

monthly guides, music

August 2010 Monthly Music Guide #6

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Newsboys - Born Again - album cover
Artist: Newsboys
Album: Born Again (July 13, 2010)
Style: Modern power pop rock swagger

Calling the band’s current lineup “newsboys” is about as legitimate as saying Paul McCartney’s latest album was by “The Beatles,” but Michael Tait replaces iconic bald man Furler (who was the only remaining original member) for the band’s fourteenth studio album, boldly marching deeper into modern pop territory. This is not your quirky lite-pop 90’s Newsboys. These are tobyMac grooves with Red guitars, Black Eyed Peas beats, and Capital Lights melodies. These are Casting Crowns power ballad chord progressions with Lifehouse power ballad vocals and a little bit of Taylor Swift power ballad country guitar. This is everything that is pop in the new millennium, from the layered synth beats and autotune dance sessions to the softer cell-phone-waving sing-along choruses and everything between. I’m not sure if you’ll like it – hey, I’m not sure if I like it – but I am sure it’s not what you’re expecting – musically, that is; you won’t find many original rhyme schemes here. But there must be some reason the first-week album sales were the highest for the “band” in their 22-year career…

Standout Lyric: Oh the way we build our empires /
Hoping to impress our friends /
We’ve forgotten how to inspire /
Those who fall to rise again
In Case It Interests You: The members of Newsboys are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/newsboys

Lecrae - Rebel - album cover
Artist:
Lecrae
Album: Rebel (September 30, 2008)
Style: Fast-flowing hip-hop beats with solid, challenging lyrics

I indulged in the Top 40 hip-hop scene for a little while once before I got sick of the destructive lyrics and mind-numbing beats. Lecrae fils that void and then some. His lyrics aren’t just non-destructive; they’re a powerful, uncompromising, and inspiring challenge to surrender your life completely to Christ, whether in mocking the gangsta’ obsession with money (“Got Paper”), encouraging imperfect Christians to be patient with other imperfect Christians (“The Bride”), or resisting the devastation of temptation (“Indwelling Sin”). The musical production is top-notch as well; cheesy Christian rap this is not. The beats wind and flow under the music as the layers give and take in an exquisite fashion, rarely making it through any of the long verses without tinkering with something to keep the sound fresh. There’s a lot of featuring, response, and background vocals, including some females, and it’s not uncommon to have three vocal tracks running through at the same time. There’s enough variety to keep this non-hip-hop fan engaged for the hour-long experience, from the slower-rolling Li’l John crunk stuff to the Matisyahu-esque guitar riffing to the ridiculously fast double-bass-supported lyrical flow of I don’t know who. Lecrae wields the name of Jesus in a way that might be over-the-top for some, but that’s precisely his point: without Him, nothing else matters.

Standout Lyric: Money! Dough! Cash! Paper! /
If it was a woman I promise I used to date her /
Now that we broke up, she be callin’ ya boy a hater /
Cause all I do is use her for glorifying my Maker /
…You got money / You got paper /
You got money / You got paper /
… So what? Who cares?
Standout Lyric II: People living life for a job / make a lil money start living for a car
get em a house a wife kids and a dog / when they retire they living high on the hog
but guess what they didn’t ever really live at all / to live is Christ yeah that’s Paul I recall
to die is gain so for Christ we give it all / he is the treasure you’ll never find in a mall
Your money, your singleness, marriage, talent and time
they were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
that’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes / That’s why it’s Christ all the time
my whole world is built around him / He’s the life in my lines
In Case It Interests You: If you can’t tell Lecrae is known as a Christian you’re not paying attention.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/lecrae

Continue reading “August 2010 Monthly Music Guide #6”

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July 2010 Monthly Music Guide #5

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Children 18:3 album cover for Rain's A Comin'
Artist:
Children 18:3
Album: Rain’s A’ Comin’ (June 29, 2010)
Style: Energetic power-punk-rock-pop

It’s been over two years since Children 18:3 took the punk world by storm with their Tooth & Nail debut, but their follow-up is not a disappointment. Besides the blistering “Cover Your Eyes,” the album doesn’t feel as fast or energetic as the first one, downshifting just a notch into brisk rock numbers with big intense sounds, but it’s full of catchy sing-along heartwarming choruses, loads of homeschooled talent, and of course the trademark vocal tradeoff between siblings David and Lee Marie. The album’s shorter than we’d have liked, but it tries some new things and assures us that Children 18:3 is in it for the long haul as they admonish us to stand our ground and remain courageous in the face of uncertainty… cuz Rain’s A Comin’!

Standout Lyric: Oh honestly, if you try to find a problem here, you probably will… /
I don’t have the big plan, just small glances /
And every now and then I’m still unsure /
Standout Lyric II: I just want to go home and tell my teddy bear, “I failed, I failed!” /
I turned around the corner just to hear my daddy say /
Oh bravo, You’re the best / You’re my only one
Oh bravo / That will always be enough
In Case It Interests You: The members of Children 18:3 are known as Christians and consider their band to be a ministry.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/children183

Brooke Waggoner - Fresh Pair Of Eyes - album cover
Artist:
Brooke Waggoner
Album: Fresh Pair Of Eyes (July 3, 2007)
Style: Singing-songwriting piano gal’s indie pop with a classical foundation

Brooke Waggoner reminds me of everything I used to like about the nearly-extinct Christian radio female songwriters of a decade ago – all of the enchanting melodies and soothing strings with none of the flashy power pop beats. Waggoner’s classical piano background guides her well, and just because a song starts softly doesn’t mean it won’t suddenly crescendo and pick up the tempo before the coda. With six songs that cover twenty-seven minutes of play, this is no skimpy EP, and with lyrics that express confidence in spite of insecurity and contentment in spite of want, it’s delightful enough that I’m looking forward to getting her full-length albums from 2008 and 2009.

Standout Lyric: I tried my best alone /
But it got me nowhere /
And I can’t do it on my own
Standout Lyric II: He helped me unload my piano /
And then I played him oh a favorite concerto /
He yelled profundo while I played allegro /
And then he tip-tap-toed through my accelerandos /
In Case It Interests You: As far as I know Brooke Waggoner is known as a Christian.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/brookewaggoner

Continue reading “July 2010 Monthly Music Guide #5”

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June 2010 Monthly Music Guide #4

Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Artist: Josh Ritter
Album: So Runs the World Away (April 23, 2010)
Style: Songwriter guy?

Yes, here’s that genre I’ve found rather irresistible these days… somewhere between folk and indie and rock, it’s that quiet guitar picking that slowly layers instruments as it carefully builds a soothing sonic groove that bobs your head as it calms your soul… as long as it’s tied together with a memorable melody and lasting lyrics, it’s guaranteed gold. And with many fans hailing Mr. Ritter as one of the greatest songwriters of the decade, what else should I expect but lyrical storytelling that spans massive maritime travels and small town communities alike (and… a mummy/archaelologist love story…?). The album could do with a little more of the eulogic and hymn-like (despite its name) “Folk Bloodbath” and a little less of the angry ranting “Rattling Locks,” but for the most part it’s an engaging excursion that’s sure to satisfy with smiles, borrowing spiritual language at times but mostly telling stories of simple folk seeking their ways in a weary world.

Standout Lyric: I am assured yes I am assured yes /
I am assured that peace will come to me /
A peace that can yes surpass the speed yes /
Of my understanding and my need
Standout Lyric II:Where the thistles eat the thorns, and the roses have no chance /
and it ain’t no wonder that the babies come out crying in advance… /
I’ll need light from my lantern, light from my lantern tonight /
Be the light of my lantern, light of my lantern tonight
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: joshritter.com

The Skies Revolt - Plastic Revolution
Artist:
The Skies Revolt
Album: Plastic Revolution (June 2010)
Style: Dance-core with gang vocals

A few minutes into this rowdy album you get the impression that it’s more fitting for a live show (good thing the band signed up for no less than six slots at Cornerstone next week), but after acquiring a taste, the disc is enjoyable on its own. For the most part, this is a straight-forward but unique two-layer cake: synthesized keys and banging drums on the bottom, and group vocals on the top. This dancing and yelling probably isn’t for everyone – something like the flavor of Jonezetta meets the mischievousness of Five Iron Frenzy meets the raucousness of The Chariot – but it offers some fun if you give it a chance. The lyrics reach interesting depths, and even when they veer cryptically you feel like there’s opaque meaning lurking somewhere in the tangential current.

Standout Lyric: My lips are sore from the healing process. /
I’m not considered a whore because I ask forgiveness… /
Take my soul and perforate it like paper /
for quicker detachment later
In Case It Interests You: Based on their lyrics and associates I would assume the members of The Skies Revolt are known as Christians, but I don’t personally know what they profess.
FREELY DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ALBUM: theskiesrevolt.bandcamp.com

Continue reading “June 2010 Monthly Music Guide #4”