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October 24, 2008

Open music thread

Trebleclef2 CDs I've been listening to lately:

Linda Eder, The Other Side of Me. Good songs, mostly (except for the saccharine "They Are the Roses"), but with a bitter aftertaste. When you're used to a singer releasing albums full of happy love songs, it's kind of a downer when she releases an album about her divorce. These things happen, of course, but it's sad, even when she takes the triumphant I-will-survive kind of approach. Perhaps especially when she does.

I haven't yet listened to all of Kenny Chesney's Lucky Old Sun, which I bought for my mom, but it's got something of the same vibe going on, according to the Washington Post review. I do get a chuckle out of the buoyant "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," though. Title aside, it's not exactly what you'd call a Christian song -- but it's honest in a way that Christian songs don't always manage to be.

Finally, I recently picked up Kristin Chenoweth's A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas, even though, as the salesman remarked, it's a little early for Christmas music. (One of those salesmen who couldn't sell a life preserver to a drowning man, I'm guessing.) The obvious problem with pop Christmas albums is that they're all drawing from more or less the same well, and after a while, it gets old. I could go the rest of my life without hearing "Silver Bells" again, in any form, and be a happy woman. The good news here is that Chenoweth manages to throw in enough lesser-known songs to keep things from going stale. "Come On Ring Those Bells" is particularly nice.

Your turn. What are you listening to these days that you'd recommend (or not)?

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Well, I'm loving Brandon Heath's new song, Give Me Your Eyes, and Jennifer Hudson's new cd. =) Also, really love, love, love Jon McLaughlin's newest cd. I think it's called Ok. He's got such a great voice and writes honest, compelling music. The fact that he's easy on the eyes and a Christian only add to his charms.


I just recently downloaded Bart Millard's "Hymned Again". I LOVE it! It's full of lots of old gospel hymns (the ones I grew up on but never get to sing in church anymore) but with, in my opinion, a really fresh approach. There's a sort of New Orleans zydeco feel to alot of the songs. It makes me happy and makes me want to dance!

I also downloaded Brooke Fraser's 2nd album "Albertine" because I heard the single "Shadowfeet" on the radio and loved the sound. Now that I have the entire album I'm really enjoying it. The sound is terrific - she's got a great, engaging voice. And, the lyrics are equally terrific. "C.S. Lewis Song" is beautiful and poignant, "Hosea's Wife" speaks for itself.


For Christmas music, I love Go Fish's "More Than A Story", and Rescue's "The First Christmas". (If you can hear Rescue's version of "Mary Did You Know" and not choke up, I fear for your soul.)

I could listen to Go Fish's "Silent Night" until my ears fall off.

Preview some tracks here:

I grabbed the Cool Springs Jazz Quartet's "Jazz Meets Christmas" out of a bargain bin on a lark, and was *very* pleasantly surprised. But then, I have no aversion to updating the classics in radically different ways so one hears them afresh; YMMV.


Steve (SBK)

I agree with Beth. Brooke Fraser's "Albertine" was a serendipitous find for me, and it is enjoyable both musically and lyrically.

Samuel X

My musical tastes tend to be extremely eclectic (on an axis of soft, serious, loud, and funny the extrema are Mozart, Jars of Clay, Nightwish, and Weird Al) but the top of my playlist for quite some time has been the songs from the Lord Of The Rings musical and Jars of Clay's "Good Monsters" and "Redemption Songs" albums.

If you're not already familiar with it, though, I cannot recommend Pandora enough as a way to add to your musical collection. The so-called "Music Genome Project" stores a database of songs and an analytical breakdown of the techniques and effects used in each, and uses an initial song or artist as a seed to find more songs like it; you rate the selections that appear on a simple + or - scale to trim the algorithm and help isolate the elements of the song that you appreciate most. It becomes VERY good at identifying new songs.



Alison Krauss and Union Station, right now. Also, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady (old folk). Rich Mullins and Mark Heard. Lessee, that covers the seventies, eighties and nineties, right up to now, doesn't it?

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