Oct 6, 2009

From the Desk

by Amanda Baker

I don’t know about you, but music is a huge part of my life. This makes it a huge weakness when it comes to my budget, especially since a large influx of CDs has been released over the past couple of months. My sister and I generally split the cost of these CDs to take the pressure off both our wallets and let us enjoy our newly acquired music without experiencing excessive buyer’s remorse.

I love anything from country to rock, secular to Christian, but only if it meets my standards of quality. There is some Christian music that, in my opinion, should never be produced. But on the flip side, there is a lot of low-quality mainstream music out there, too. It takes a discerning mind to sift through the top hits, indie albums and breakout talent to find the music that really stands out and deserves attention.

Here are a few of the top albums that have been dominating my iPod for the majority of the fall semester. I would be interested to see what you, the reader, would add or detract from this list. I might even publish your thoughts if they are interesting enough.

This week’s genre: rock.

Thousand Foot Krutch, “Welcome to the Masquerade” –
“Take off your masks/and let’s let it all out/Release what’s undercover/’til the truth comes out,” Trevor McNevan, frontman for TFK, sings on the title track of the album. I appreciate the raw honesty of the rock album’s tracks, which comes alongside Christians who want to shed the mask of perfection and be real with themselves and those around them. Other songs that warrant recognition are “Bring Me to Life,” “E for Extinction” “Fire It Up” and “Smack Down,” although there is not one song on this CD that I would suggest skipping over. Grade: A

Muse, “The Resistance” – The fifth album from this British three-man band has received incredible reviews since it dropped in September. Currently touring with U2, Muse brings a fresh perspective to the rock genre by mixing in symphonic harmonies and a variety of different instruments, including violin, cello and piano. The track “United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage” serves as a tribute to the English rock band Queen, and is based on “Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Op.9 No. 2” by classical composer Chopin. Another notable track include “Uprising,” which calls for a revolution against the greed and lies that enslave society. Grade: A

Skillet, “Awake” – “Hero” and “Monster,” the two singles that were released before the final cut of the album dropped, gave me high hopes for the rest of the songs. However, with the exception of the aforementioned songs, the rest of the album felt like a carbon-copy sequel of “Comatose,” Skillet’s previous album. This is not necessarily a bad thing – the songs all feature awesome guitar riffs and lead singer John Cooper’s signature scratchy rock voice, but I was expecting something a little more evolved. However, I was more impressed than disappointed. Other notable tracks include “Awake and Alive” and “It’s Not Me It’s You.” Grade: B

Contact Amanda Baker at ambaker2@liberty.edu.

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