A plethora of great music is emerging from the world as of late, and I cannot help but wonder if it's a direct result of the death of the CD. We live in a world of down-loadable singles, and unless each and every song on an album is good, we won't buy it. That works for me, because I hate wasting $15 on a CD that only has two good songs on it. I am thankful those days are gone. Aside from my favorite artists still producing quality stuff, there are some new (to me) artist I've discovered that are also keeping up with the big dogs.
Jason Gray's All the Lovely Losers .While this is straight-up power pop, which is not usually my thing, the thoughtfulness of the lyrics grabbed me from the beginning. From the song This Far:
It’s hard for me to walk by faith in the face of all that I can see
Sometimes I fear I’m just a fool for my belief
But then I feel You come and move in me
And I hear You whisper in my ear and for a moment I can see
This is how You brought me here
I don’t believe You brought me this far to give up
So everyday I keep on fighting for it
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m faithful
Or a fool to believe You’re still leading me
It's easy for me to relate to this song at this point in my life, with a decision about seminary looming in front of me, and all the doubts that plague me at the same time. The rest of the album seems to branch off from this song - about the journey we take to become more like Christ, the ups and downs, the pruning and the growth.
Switchfoot's Oh Gravity!. I've been a fan since the days of The Legend of Chin, so I go way back with these guys. (I even remember the store where I bought my first CD of theirs). Oh! Gravity is a great follow-up to their crossover success This Beautiful Mess. They've stepped up their musicianship in a big way, and their lyrics remain as thoughtful as they were in Mess
John McLaughlin's Indiana. I discovered John on MySpace and from the moment you hear the opening bars of Industry, the first song on the record, you just know it's going to be good. And it is. All of it. He's a great mixture of Paul McCartney and Billy Joel with a ton of extra energy thrown in. Aside from outstanding musicianship, the lyrics are also very thought-provoking. Check out Beautiful Disaster on youtube.
Sara Groves' Add to the Beauty. This album came out in 2005, but I've only recently purchased it. Several friends would rave on and on about Groves' music, and I never got into it. Her musical style was what turned me off, and there are still some songs that just don't do anything for me. But she is, without a doubt, one of the best lyricists in Christian music today. I always feel like she's on a journey that doesn't stop and wants to take me with her.
Brandon Heath's Don't Get Comfortable. More power-pop, and a little brighter than Jason Gray's, with lots of good hooks and memorable tunes. My post on Sunday, and the video are from this album and there is plenty more where that come from. Here are some lyrics from the title track:
You've been looking for a sign all this time
If you seek you'll find me every time
I am going show you what I mean
I'm gonna love like you've never seen
You are going live like you used to dream
This is your new song
This is a great reminder that when we allow God to work in our lives, and we are willing to go along for the ride, we will be changed in a way we'd never expect.
Our God Reigns, also a song worth a mention, is a track that would work as a contemporary worship song in most church settings, and is one of the better worship songs I've heard lately.
Deserving a mention as well is Mute Math, whose song Typical rocks my world on many levels. Their music may be thrash, but their lead singer is Sting all the way.
So much music, so little time. What's a girl to do?