Thursday, January 2, 2014

Music of 2013

Happy New Year!!!  Of course, that is what everyone is saying this time of year.  Rightfully so.  Each new year bring the hope of new and better things.  A chance to refresh, set again or push the restart button.  Many not only restart, but they also set resolutions.  Not only do many start a new, but the start by setting goals to help achieve their perceived utopia.  Sadly, by the time the calendars flip to February, these goals fall by the way side and some have already had their entire year ruined by life events.  Not for me!  Nope, no resolutions, no lofty goals, no hopes for a year without challenges or anything else that could destroy my optimism.  Simply stated, I'm gonna let the cards fall where they may and trust the God has everything under control.

I figured what better way to bring in the new year than to recap a few of my favorite albums of 2013.  I thought about going with the Top 10, but everybody has a Top 10.  From David Letterman to Sports Center, Top 10 lists are a plenty and I didn't want to copy everyone.  So, I'm doing a Top 6 list.  Yeah, cutting a list in half seemed cheap and unimaginative...and I like to be a little different. 

The list will comprise of some many people would not expect from me (especially since I listen to mostly Christian based music).  However, as a person who prides in liking music of mostly any genre, I figured why not include music from multiple genres.  Along with the albums, I'll provide a little quip or two about the albums.  And, if you're like me, I trust you'll enjoy the picks and take a listen to the albums.  Now, to the list and in no particular order.

1. Five For Fighting - Bookmarks
    I've not been a huge fan of FFF's music but have respect for what they have done - especially honoring hockey through their name.  But, in September I read a great article from John Ondrasik regarding this album.  Then, I went and listened to it.  BLOWN AWAY!  In particular, "What If" and "Rebel" stand out to me.

2. Righteous Vendetta - The Fire Inside
    I'm a huge fan of hardcore.  I've seen these guys live a few times and have always loved their music.  Then, back in August they show up in Cheyenne for a last minute add to a concert.  WOW! They KILLED IT!!!  This album solidified their presence in the hardcore music scene and proved to the world that they weren't playing around.  In particular, "Defiance" and "Fire Inside" get my blood moving.  Now I just need to upload these to my gym music and I'm good to go.  A great way to start 2013.  Another bonus with the RV boys, they are from Wyoming and I consider them friends.  Any band from Wyoming that brings it like these guys do get moved near the top of my list.

3.  Icon For Hire - "Icon For Hire"
     This self titled album was on my list of must haves.  Sure, some of you may question my sanity...or my age (considering it is a female fronted power pop rock group), but one listen to this album and you will understand why.  I really liked their first album with hits like "Make a Move" and "Get Well."  Upon hearing they were coming out with another album on Tooth & Nail I figured they would pull off a couple more mega hits.  YES!!! I was right!  Not only did they live up to my expectations, but they topped the expectations.  Indeed it is still power pop rock sounding, but Ariel and boys mixed in a little early Red Hot Chili Peppers sound as well with her fantastic semi rapping/talking in the middle of songs like "Cynics & Critics."  Simply put, this album was a great way to end 2013.

4. Love and Death - Between Here & Lost
    Fronted by former/now reunited Korn member, Brian "Head" Welch, this was an album I was gifted.  It pays to have friends in the industry, and this album was one of those blessings from someone in the industry.  Head shows his musical abilities are more than just playing guitar.  His vocals are pretty darn sweet too.  Anytime someone begins an album the way he does on "The Abondoning" should be recognized for genius.  By the way, if you do not like loud obnoxious music first thing on a Sunday morning, do not listen to this album.  Oh, and "I W8 4 U" is another great song.  One thing is for sure, Head does NOT hesitate to share his life or his faith.

5. Andy Mineo - Heroes for Sale
    I'm also a huge fan of rap.  Having a list of albums that included Lecrae seems a bit simplistic.  Yes, Lecrae usually lands on any list I could think of.  Adding somebody else to this list was a must, again just to be different.  Andy Mineo is the benefactor of being different.  If you have never heard Andy Mineo, you need to.  This whole album is pure lyrical genius.  As with any rap album, there are a lot of guest appearances (Lecrae, KB and Trip Lee to name a few).  Favorite songs so far on this album are "Uno Uno Seis" as he give props to the 116 Clique, and "Wild Things" providing a challenge to live where you aren't comfortable (and to share Christ to everyone no matter their social standing).

6. Foreverlin - Long Lost
    Their freshman album on Red Cord Records not only put them on a label, but has garnered them some serious national attention.  From regular rotation on Air 1 radio to playing in front of Thousand Foot Krutch at Lifest this past summer, or opening for Disciple, these four young men are primed for a huge 2014.  Their college rock sound resonated with everyone that heard the title track "Long Lost."  If you haven't heard of these guys, you need to.  Such great guys and some great talent.  Oh, and did I mention that if your band hails from Wyoming you get moved to the top of my list?  Yeah, these guys are from Cheyenne and Laramie and are personal friends over so many years. 

Well, that is all for now.  I look forward to more great music in 2014.  If you desire, hit me up with some of your favorite music of 2013.  If you do, please make sure you DO NOT include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga or Robin Thicke.  You might get moved to the bottom of music friends list. 

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