With Christmas coming up, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to write about 5 of my favourite albums that I’ve bought this year and who knows, maybe I’ll inspire someone to buy one of them for a gift this Christmas! The following 5 albums weren’t necessarily released this year, I just found them this year. So, without further ado, here they are:
Captiva (Falling Up) – If you’re a fan of rock, pop or anything in between, then I can almost guarantee that there’ll be something you like on this album. I’ve never heard another album that has the same mix of catchy, powerful anthems and slow, beautiful ballads. A great mix of electric guitars and synths give this album its distinctive sound and it is also very different to any of the band’s other albums. In fact, those that came before have more emphasis on the guitar, whilst those afterwards use the synth element more. In many ways, that makes Captiva a transition album and for me, it has the best of both sounds. Front-man Jessy Ribordy has a voice that is very easy to listen to, neither harsh nor whiny, and it is well suited to both the high-octane numbers and the slower numbers. Of all the albums I listen to, this one will perhaps appeal to the most people because of its wide range of sounds.
Recommended song: Good Morning Planetarium – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56xTauQrwQY
Believer (Kutless) – This worship/rock album was released this year and as someone who has listened to every album from this band, I believe it is their best. They have taken the rock sound from their earliest albums and fused it with some elements from their later, more mainstream-worship orientated albums and the product is a passionate, at times heart-rending, collection of songs. This album will appeal to fans of worship leaders and musicians like Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin etc. It will also appeal to fans of bands like Casting Crowns. Furthermore, if you’ve listened to a Kutless album before, I’m sure that you’ll find this one to your liking. Another thing that I like in their album is the honesty of the lyrics, particularly in the song ‘Even If’ which concerns the situations in which God doesn’t seem to answer prayers. This is very much an album for anyone who likes worship or softer rock music.
Recommended song: Carry On – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mla0Yw781zs
Monster Monster (The Almost) – When I first heard that Aaron Gillespie had left Underoath and formed an alternative rock band, I was excited. Anyone who’s heard Underoath’s album, ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ will understand why I was so excited that Gillespie had gone down this route. His clean vocals for Underoath were brilliant, particularly in the songs ‘It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door’ and ‘Reinventing Your Exit’ and he carries his talent into alternative rock music with awesome results. ‘No I Don’t’ is now one of my favourite songs and I never get tired of listening to other songs like ‘Lonely Wheel’ and ‘Summer Summer’. I’d recommend this album for anyone who likes alternative rock, Christian or not; putting as much of my bias aside as I can, I would argue that this album, for its sound alone, regardless of religion etc, is one of the best alternative rock albums I’ve ever heard.
Recommended song: No I Don’t – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHxL2znEEII
Give Me Rest (Hands) – If you’re not into screaming/growling then be warned, but don’t ignore this album. I don’t know how many people have heard of Hands, but their talent is undeniable. The whole album blends slow, powerful music with low, growling vocals, shouting cries and steady clean vocals. This band was clearly not afraid to experiment with the metal genre and I would say that the experiment was successful. Granted, the band’s style takes a lot of getting used to, but it’s really worth it. I’m struggling to find things to say about this album because it’s so hard to describe. If nothing else, give the recommended song that I’m posting a link to below this and see what you think. They are a very rewarding band to listen to.
Recommended song: Here I Am – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu7JbodeKYg
Children of Fire (Oh, Sleeper) – Without a doubt, this is my favourite album that I have heard this year. I’ve already written a blog about it which you can find if you click on the ‘Music’ category at the top of the page. It is an incredible album. Oh, Sleeper aren’t everybody’s cup of tea (this album also comes with a scream warning) but they are definitely worth listening to. In Children Of Fire they grapple with tough topics in nearly every song, topics like the end of the world, salvation, fame and anarchy. The harsh screams of Micah Kinard are balanced perfectly by Shane Blay’s clean vocals, whilst the guitars and drums are rip-roaringly insane in the background. Even if this isn’t your normal style of music, give this album a chance and listen to it in its entirety, think about what the band are saying and remain open-minded and you might find that you actually like it. In my mind, this album is simply quality. Awesome stuff.
Recommended song: Hush Yael – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl0JrSbd6bY
There you have it, 5 of my favourite albums that I have heard this year. Give the recommended songs a listen and you never know, you might find something you like!