When 2009 ended, I did a blog post on my favorite albums of the year. Though it is hard to believe, 2010 is coming to a close now, so it is time to present my favorite albums of the year (presented in order of release).
The Co – The Co
You may not be familiar with The Co, but you should be. Laura and I have been very fortunate to be in a community group with The Co’s lead singer, Collin Brace, and his wife Katie. They are amazing people, and both great musicians. The Co had a show in Nashville a few weeks before Laura and I got married, so we decided to go support Collin. As soon as the show was over, I went home and bought this CD on iTunes. It is great songwriting, and just great pop-rock music. The standout track is “Keep It Together,” though they are all great. Be on the lookout for more new music from The Co as well. They’re currently in the studio recording some of my favorite songs from their live show.
Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
I admit, I was not a Mumford and Sons fan at first. I heard the hype about them, so I went and listened to the song previews on iTunes. Almost all of the songs on this album start out small and then pick up. Unfortunately, all of the iTunes previews played only the small parts. It seemed boring so I passed. Then one day, our friend Nicole posted the music video for their song “Little Lion Man” on twitter. I was sold immediately. This album is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard. The way it’s mixed, combined with the songs, the instrumentation, and the voices themselves are just hauntingly beautiful. And to top it all off, several of the songs remind me of pirates. What could be better?
Sandra McCracken – In Feast or Fallow
This is Sandra’s second year on my list. Last year’s Live Under Lights and Wires was a live acoustic album of some of her greatest hits. In Feast or Fallow is an album of new hymns written by McCracken and friends, or unknown treasures from hundreds of years ago. The beautiful, Biblical truths, McCracken’s melodies, and Derek Webb’s production make an amazing combination. This album is also very important to me because Laura and I used the title track as special music in our wedding. We wanted to declare the words of the chorus “In the harvest feast or the fallow ground, my certain hope is in Jesus found” over our new marriage. Now whenever I hear that song, I am reminded of that day.
Brooke Fraser – Flags
I purchased this album on the recommendation of many friends. I needed some new music to listen to while traveling to and from the wedding, and on the honeymoon. I made the right selection. This album is full of catchy melodies, soul stirring stories, and other challenging lyrics. The production is much more stripped down than what I know of her previous work, but it perfectly accents the songs. The standout track (though it really is hard to pick just one) is a duet with Aqualung called “Who are we Fooling?” It speaks from both sides of a marriage in peril, but with a biblical perspective on it, acknowledging that they are committed to each other for better or worse. It may tear your heart out, but you have to hear this song and record.
Taylor Swift – Speak Now
If you had told me last year that a Taylor Swift album would be on my list this year, I would have slapped you in the face. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I would have been shocked. Yet here we are. When Swift first came on the scene, she drove me crazy, and I would change the radio station as soon as the first note of one of her songs played. Yet slowly she has come around for me. When the first single for this album, “Mine,” was released, I knew I was hooked. Swift has truly become a brilliant songwriter. So when this album was one of Amazon’s $3.99 deals of the day, I knew I had to buy it. I have not been disappointed. This really is just a great album. Once again, it is hard to choose my favorite songs, but if I had to, they would be “Sparks Fly” and “Mean.” If you have been anti-Taylor, it’s time to let go and go pick up this album.
So that’s my list. Let me know what you think of my list, or what your list is. I’d love to hear.