The Best of 2008 Continued–Best Albums of the Year (secular or Christian)

Posted: December 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

guns-n-roses1. Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy.  Say what you will, “It ain’t GNR without Slash” (even though he wasn’t an original member or even one of the classic GNR’s chief songwriters) or “its just an Axl solo album” (forget the fact that Axl and Izzy wrote most of the classic GNR songs by themselves) or that “it ain’t Appetite for Destruction” (how many great bands get more than one of those and should multi-millionaires make believe they are street punks, which is what made AFD such a great album?).  If you can divorce your prejudice and just give it an honest listen, the album is a truly great rock & roll album.  It has it all: straight ahead rock (“Chinese Democracy”, “Scraped”, “Sorry” and “Prostitute”), R&B (“If the World”), a retro power ballad (“Street of Dreams”), a couple of really catchy pop songs(“Better” and “There was a Time”), a classic rock ballad (“This I Love”), a creepy Beatle-esque ballad (“Catcher in the Rye”), an epic Use Your Illusion-esque track (“Madagascar”) and, what I can only describe as disco metal (“Shackler’s Revenge” and “Rhiad and the Bedouins”).  I think its all awesome!

2. Metallica Death Magnetic.  Rick Rubin worked his magic and brought Metallica back from their wussy, self-indulgent phase captured on the documentary “Some Kind of Monster” back to making straight ahead classic metal.  It ain’t “Master of Puppets” to be sure but its good to have the classic Metallica back in action.

3. Jon Foreman Limb and Branches. The best of his 4 EPs (“Fall”, “Winter”, “Spring” and “Summer”) finds the Switchfoot frontman exploring new ground as a songwriter and hitting paydirt. Depth and emotion pervade every track.  If you are a Christian that enjoys acoustic music then pick it up NOW.

4. Downhere Ending is the Beginning.  I discovered these guys by accident on Youtube and I am glad that I did. Good alt. pop/straight ahead rock with strong lyrics.  The latter has alway been my beef with Christian music and, frankly, so many good lyricists make wimpy music (aka Nicole Nordeman…okay, she is a chick but still).  “Bleed for this Love”, written from the perspective of God, is my favorite.  Check it out.

5. Anberlin New Surrender.  The first time I listened to this CD I yawned and thought “its okay.” But it really grew on me and now I play it from beginning to end at least once a week.  From the slow building “The Resistance” to the anthemic “Breathe” to the epic “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)”, New Surrender makes a strong case that Anberlin is to Christian music what Coldplay is to secular pop.

More later.  Until then, grace and peace.

  1. First of all let me say that I love that ACDC is number one and we’re number 4. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a list before! Thanks for the honor!

    • rivercityrevolution says:

      Actually its Guns N’ Roses that’s #1 and Metallica #2 but AC/DC’s new one would make honorable mention. Great album and God bless!

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