Hey guys, it’s me, Christy. I see that it’s been a while since my last blog. If you’re wondering where I’ve been, the answer is that I’ve been living under a rock — the rock of everything Accounting. Since my last blog, I have started and completed a master’s degree, tacked on a few more international travel destinations to the list (sorry for not blogging about those travels — it was mostly school anyways), become 75% of a CPA (still working on that last 25%), and completed a year-long internship with the company that I’ll be starting full-time with in January! So I’ve been busy. However, now that I have some time on my hands again, I’m really hoping to get back to blogging at least a few times a year. It’s such a great outlet for me to express my faith, share stories about traveling, or just writing about something else I enjoy. In order to get back to it, I have compiled my annual list of my top 10 favorite albums of the year! I have gone one step further and even created a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite songs from each album that you can listen to here. (Adele is popular enough to not put her whole album on Spotify, so the only song you get from her is “Hello.” A couple other favorites include “I Miss You” and “River Lea.”)
1. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface…I’ve been listening to this constantly since I discovered it back in May. Also fantastic is TOP’s previous album, Vessel. What I didn’t know about this duo was that they’re actually Christians. Their lyrics indicate that they are fully aware of the brokenness of mankind and the battle for the soul that is constantly raging. An interesting blog about it can be found here. I also had the chance to see them perform live for the first time this year (after almost going to all the Nashville shows they’ve had for the past three years). They killed it. It was probably my favorite concert I’ve ever been to. The guys were so creative putting together their set and making visual representations of their lyrics. Not only that, it was way hype!
2. Justin Bieber – Purpose…You might be asking yourself, “Self, how did Justin Bieber make it all the way to number 2 on Christy’s top 10 albums of the year list?” I would’ve been asking myself the same thing last year. But it seems that the Biebs has made an attempt to turn around his life. If you ever watched his documentary from a while back, Never Say Never, he claims to have been raised Christian. Based on the things his mother said in the documentary, I believe it. This year, Bieber has attempted to go back to his Christian roots to get his life back together. Apparently he even spent a little while living with a pastor in New York by his own choice to help this process. I think his change is genuine, and I think it’s apparent in this album. Songs like “Life is Worth Living” and “Purpose,” are just two on the album that I feel demonstrate this.
3. Ellie Goulding – Delirium…According to one of Ellie’s emails to her fan group, she released this album in honor of her best friend and the times they were “delirious” together. If I had a best friend who was an internationally known pop sensation, I know I would be feeling pretty darn awesome if she released an album entirely based on our relationship. What follows from it is, of course, super catchy songs that just make you want to get up and dance your heart out with your BFF.
4. Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors…Soundtrack of my winter. I must say I didn’t fully appreciate Imagine Dragons’ talent until this album came out. I thought they might’ve been a one-hit-wonder for their song “Radioactive,” but, alas, they released a killer album after that. I’ve really grown to love their sound, and I think they would probably be incredible live! (Shoutout to school for making me miss their last concert in Nashville — you stink.)
5. Adele – 25…Oh how I missed Adele. After going on a five year hiatus to do stuff like get married and have a kid, Adele is back! Whereas this album has gotten some flak for not being as good as her previous album, 21, I’m just so thrilled to have new Adele material again. My car singing got to be at a whole new level when 25 was released, but unfortunately, I don’t think my voice will ever have that awesome, strong, raspy sound that comes out of Adele’s mouth so effortlessly.
6. Zella Day – Kicker…I probably went to way too many Live on the Green’s (a music festival held on Thursday nights in the fall in Nashville that very well might be why I’m only 75% of a CPA) this year, but discovering Zella Day was definitely a perk of my heavy attendance. I would put her in the category of singer-songwriter with a sound somewhat similar to Lorde’s, and you guys know how I feel about Lorde. If you don’t, see my previous two years of top 10 albums. Kicker is Day’s debut album, and I would say that it does, indeed “kick” you know where. The chick is a lil’ weird and is a wannabe hippie I think, but she’s excellent at songwriting.
7. Bethel Music – Without Words: Synesthesia…Synesthesia is when you see certain colors when you hear certain sounds, for example. Whether you have this condition or not (it is a very real neurological condition), this album has a way of making you have it. They have a few videos out for some of the songs of a ballet dancer throwing different colors of powder along with certain sounds. It’s pretty cool — you can watch one here. Regardless of the meaning of the name, this album is probably one of the most beautiful sounding things that has ever come out of my speakers. Just as the title suggests, there are no words; it is simply the music behind many of Bethel Music’s songs.
8. Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands…Jon Foreman (lead singer of Switchfoot) did a thing this year where he played 24 hours of music straight to raise money for charity. As part of this event, he periodically released a series of four albums to make up The Wonderlands: Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn. To elaborate, each album is a collection of songs representative of that phase during a 24 hour period. Pretty creative, huh?
9. X Ambassadors – VHS…X Ambassadors pretty much took alternative radio by storm this year with their hit, “Renegades.” It also didn’t hurt that Jeep now has a car called the Renegade, and an ad campaign was created out of it. Not too shabby for a way to get your first single out there! The band now has a second song off VHS playing on the radio called “Unsteady,” and that’s when I was like, “Man, I gotta listen to the rest of this album!”
10. Brick + Mortar – Dropped…This was the band’s second 7-song album they’ve released in their tenure. I discovered them rather recently, and I certainly like what I’m hearing so far! If you’re looking for a good song to run to, “Train” works fabulously as such.
And there you have it! Another year coming to an end, another 10 albums worthy of making it on my list. And if you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving another year – may you see the end of many more!
Happy New Year!
“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody! Awake my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!”