As 2009 draws to a close, I wanted to do a post discussing my favorite albums of the year. They are (in no particular order):
Derek Webb- Stockholm Syndrome
With Derek Webb’s newest release, he successfully shed his image as an acoustic singer/songwriter. Stockholm Syndrome is Derek’s venture into electronic pop music and the results are phenomenal. Co produced by fellow Caedmon’s Call Alum Josh Moore, the sound of Stockholm Syndrome combines retro hip hop samples with modern beats. Yet lyrically the album brings the same hard hitting lyrics that have caused him to refer to himself as a “modern day protest singer.” As someone who aspires to produce, this album floored me from the first song to the last.
Sandra McCracken – Live Under Lights and Wires
Ok, there is a particular order to this one. I wanted to put Derek’s wife, Sandra, next to him. Sandra is a fantastic singer/songwriter (and a Belmont Alum by the way). This album is a great way to introduce yourself Sandra if you are not familiar with her work. Recorded in December of last year, Sandra and Derek had Belmont’s Reformed University Fellowship over to their house for an intimate evening of music. The album is 14 songs of Sandra and Derek performing acoustically, and their off stage relationship leads to a fantastic musical performance. If I ever need to feel better about life, I put on this record and any problem is soothed.
Parachute – Losing Sleep
You know how you can associate a song with a particular season of life? John Mayer’s “Heavier Things” will always make me think of my junior year of high school. Every song from that album is associated with the new high school I was attending, the girl I was dating, and even the fall weather. Parachute’s “Losing Sleep” will forever take me to my first summer of camps with Carl Cartee. I did a previous post about this album already, so I don’t have too much else to say about it. The songs are absolutely awesome, so if you haven’t checked this band out yet, you should.
Lorien – Esque
I admit that it’s difficult for me to remember what albums came out in the first half of 2009. Most of the albums on this list came out this summer or later. Maybe the fact that this album is the only one from the first half of the year on the list attests to its greatness. Lorien is a Belmont band, and a great one at that. This album is incredibly well written and well produced. Not only that, but they put on a killer live show. Their drummer Thomas Doeve is incredibly talented as a drummer and producer and will be making a living in Nashville for quite some time. Check out my favorite track “Make the Deadeye Miss.”
NEEDTOBREATHE – The Outsiders
This album was actually purchased on a whim. I had no real knowledge of the band, but heard good things and downloaded it. I am so glad I did because this album is fantastic. Apparently it was a great departure from their older albums so many fans didn’t like it. I however am a huge fan. The album is full of great melodies, a great voice, great lyrics, and great group vocals. Every time I think I’ve picked a favorite song from this album the next song comes on and it’s my favorite.