Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Good Stuff, Vol. 1

I've never been really "into" music. My family never really listened to music when I was going up, save at church and those Acappella tapes on long car trips (can I get an amen from the CofCers? :) ). But I think while I was in Japan I kind of changed. Music became my companion and my link to home and expression of thoughts I couldn't formulate. And I was surrounded by music lovers, which also helped.

I'm always very reluctant to buy new CDs, because a CD is a big investment (yeah, I'm cheap) for a lot of songs you're probably not sure of (since maybe 1 or 2 songs per CD gets on the radio). But over the years at times I have struck gold in CD investment, and there are some I just love and don't think I could live without.

It's hard to be a good CD! For me to be really happy with a CD, I only allow 1, ~maybe~ 2 mediocre songs. But I have realized lately that I've built up a treasury of good CDs.

This series will be my list of "good CDs" that I highly recommend. I've highlighted my favorite songs, but remember, they're pretty much all great!


For the first installment in this series, I want to start with the four artists whose entire treasury of work I love. :) But I'm going to slightly limit myself and recommend a few specific albums. But if you'd like to take my word for it and buy all of their stuff, go for it! ;) And note that all of these are singer/songwriters, so they're writing all their own music. I guess I have a soft spot for writers.

Chris Rice-- Have I mentioned on the blog that I like Chris Rice? :)

  • "Past the Edges"-- you've probably heard, "Smellin' Coffee" and "Cartoon Song" (yes, I heard the moan); lesser known gems, "Naive," "Thirsty," "Missin' You"
  • "Smell the Color 9"-- you've probably heard, "Smell the Color 9," "The Face of Christ"; lesser known gems, "Belong," "Coming Home Tonight," "My Prayer"
  • "Living Room Sessions"-- an instrumental CD of classic hymns in arrangements by Chris Rice, it's all fantastic
  • "Run the Earth, Watch the Sky"-- my favorite!; you've probably heard, "The Other Side of the Radio," "Come to Jesus,"; lesser known gems, "Everything's OK," "Wonder," "Smile," "My Cathedral"

Relient K-- Incredibly clever lyrics, managing to be both funny and poignant. And fun to rock out to now and then. :)

  • "Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, but Three Do"-- gems, "Getting Into You,", "Mood Rings," "Overthinking," "Am I Understood?"
  • "MmHmm"-- gems, "The One I'm Waiting For," "Let It All Out," "More Than Useless," "Be My Escape"

Derek Webb-- Modern day prophet, plain and simple.

  • "She Must and Shall Go Free"-- gems, "Lover," "Beloved," "Wedding Dress," "The Church"
  • "Mockingbird"-- gems, "A King and a Kingdom," "A New Law," "Rich Young Ruler"

Stephen Curtis Chapman-- Touching songs and one of the most beautiful voices in music.

  • "All About Love"-- gems, "How Do I Love Her?" "I Will Be Here," "I'm Gonna Be," "I'll Take Care of You," When Love Takes You In"
  • "Speechless"-- gems, "What I Really Want to Say," "The Invitation," "Speechless," "Great Expectations"


Any "amens" or "what are you thinkings"? :) Are there any artists you guys feel are worthy of buying the whole collection?


Josh K. said...

Sufjan Stevens' Illinois is the best thing I've listened to in the past 3 or 4 months.

Summer said...

Ann - I am usually not a fan of "Christian music" (whatever that means) because so much of it seems trite and empty to me. But these are among my favorite artists. I think they're really got it.

Chris Rice has always been a fave, ever since I went "past the edges" and performed, oh yes, an INTERPRETIVE DANCE to "And your praise goes on" at a church camp talent show. I'm not sure if that was the boldest commitment to God I've ever made, or maybe the stupidest (now that I've seen video) but my heart was in the right place! Let's just say Rice inspires us all, from the pew sitter to the junior in high school ballerina.

friend said...

I really like:

Matt Kearney's whole album
Jeremy Camp's whole worsship album
Coldplay's whole XY Album
U2 (of course) whole every album
Chris Tomlin's whole album is pretty amazing rock on!!!

I heard my first ever CofC acapella was at once refreshing and somewhat freaky...I was in choir in high school and appreciate acapella stuff...but to hear stuff that comes from a church where that is all it is, and all it can be...just freaked me out. Forgive my weakness, lameless, etc...but I thought this is cool cause:

1. IT breaks it down to just people and God.
2. It is simple and beautiful
3. THe lack of complexity was awesome (though the voices still had complexity.)

And then wierd cause the voices were doing the bass part and keyboards - and I was like...what's the diff? Tho I think I understand the CofC view...

the family of GOd is beautiful diverse...and weird. Myself included.