Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Top CDs From 2010



The Year The Music Died
Musically speaking 2010 was a rough year for me.  Two of my favorite bands broke up:  Copeland and Mae.  News of the band Copeland’s breakup bummed me in the early months of 2010. Their last CD had been so strong.  I’m grateful to have spent my birthday at their farewell concert.

Then Mae announced they were calling it quits too.  I felt like a chapter in my life was closing.  Mae’s departure left me asking “what bands that I closely follow are left?”

Bands come and go.  There’s no point in hinging too much of my life on a group of people.  People are temporal.  God’s word is eternal.

The Year of Mae
The band Mae closed their career on a high note.  They released three EPs titled Morning, Afternoon and Evening.  I first purchased the Afternoon EP and enveloped myself in the songs “In Pieces”, “The Fight Song” and “Communication”.

I was proud of what Mae accomplished with Afternoon.  The songs were strong in melody, rhythm and lyrical content.  Lead vocalist Dave Elkins opened himself up more than ever in the autobiographical song “Communication”.  It was a project I was glad to share with friends.

The Morning EP hit me just as hard.  “The Fisherman Song” knocked my socks off.  I had that song on repeat for weeks.  The tempo changes, style changes and storyline gripped me.  I paraded that song before friends and family.

Rend Collective Experiment
The Irish worship band Rend Collective Experiment gave the worship genre a fresh twist with their album Organic Family Hymnal.

Church songs often contain similar phrases and language.  With the Organic Family Hymnal the band clearly abandoned many of those phrases for unique descriptions of the Christian experience.  (Example: they say “God let Your dreams come true through us” instead of the oft-used “have Your way in me”.)

Brooke Fraser - “Flags”
The strength of Brooke’s last CD, Albertine, practically demanded my loyalty.  I don’t enjoy her new cd, Flags, as much as that earlier release.  Still I greatly enjoy the songs “Coachella”, “Who Are We Fooling” and “Ice On Her Lashes”.

Katy Perry Comeback
After hearing her first hit (I Kissed A Girl)  I hoped Katy Perry would be a one hit wonder.  I thought she needed shock value to cover up her lack of talent.

Then I heard the song “California Gurls” at a wedding.  The solid musicianship and production forced me to reevaluate Katy.  That song is catchy and fun.  It’s strong groove marks a comeback for the 70s disco feel over the typical “club” dance music.

The song “Teenage Dream” also exemplifies quality production.  I haven’t bought the rest of her CD but those two songs force me to reevaluate Katy Perry.

Maroon 5 deserves an honorable mention.  I got their CD, Hands All Over, for Christmas and am still sifting through it.  It’s good and I respect Mutt Lange’s production.  I especially like “Just A Feeling”.

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