Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Top Albums (150-146)- some days this takes too long

150. The Man Who- Travis (before Coldplay- and Keane and every other one of those bands- there was Travis. If you have not heard them think "Toad the Wet Sprocket meets Radiohead." This album should have put them on America's radar screen, but it didn't. It was a huge hit in Britain and is very much mainsteam pop rock which should have found American listeners. But, we were too busy listening to Creed and Limp Bizkit to notice. Many critics use words such as a "sad classic" or melancholy to describe the material on this album, especially Writing to Reach You and Why Does It Always Rain On Me?- both beautifully sad songs.)
149. Eye of the Hurricane- the Alarm (besides a couple of classical CDs my mom bought me, this was my first CD. I was working at a record store when I bought my first CD player and got sick of teenagers coming in to buy the latest by Expose. A reviewer called them "Acoustic Clash" and a "poor man's U2." Being a notch below those bands is a credit to any musicians. That still puts a band leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of popular music. They are most definitely the only Welsh band on my list and make it twice for anthems of a Christian spirituality I could not understand until studying Celtic and European versions of the faith.)
148. Chase the Kangaroo- The Choir (although one of two The Choir albums on my list, there easily could be four. One of the most original bands to ever grace the stage of a Christian concert venue, The Choir stood in the middle ground between The Cure and The Smashing Pumpkins with a smattering of Spaceman 3 psychedelica. Honesty and sadness were not common virtues in Christian music when this album was released in 1988. Sad Eyes, about a miscarriage and Consider are mournfully beautiful meditations on loss and perspective in the midst of loss. This is yet another band that should not have relegated to the Christian ghetto. Had they started mainstream, The Choir, and this release, would have been huge on the college scene.)
147. Grace Shaker- LSU (as you will continue to see, many "Christian" albums were unintentionally lumped together in this batch of albums. However, each of these albums stretches the boundaries of what had been considered "Christian" to that point in the genre. This album, with images of alcoholism, death and disease was not particularly popular with the masses- but, how often is honesty and great art popular? However, the songs Double and Grace are sublime expressions of God's grace revealing a dependence upon God the sermons of today's "great" preachers could only hope to express. And, even those songs do not prepare the listener for the divine elegance of Jesus Saves, one of the greatest songs of Christian spirituality and faith ever conceived or given to recording.) click on the song titles to read the lyrics
146. Sixpence None the Richer- Sixpence None the Richer (while I love this band, they do not merit other album listings on the Top 200, unless Divine Discontent, which is too young, eventually makes it. This album was huge and become synonymous with radio and movie soundtracks, so there is little to say- except that the band deserved the accolades and the lush production makes for a easy listen which satisfies the brain.)

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