Favorite Music (2014)

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I’m not a hipster at all. And when it comes to music, despite the generally terrible musicianship as well as lyrics, I mostly listen to worship music. This is not because I don’t think Christians should listen to “secular” music – I don’t think this at all. Anyway, I don’t follow worship music as closely anymore as I used to when I led worship, but I’m still aware of pretty much all the major releases. 2014 wasn’t a great year for new worship music; whereas my 2013 new music playlist had around 400 tracks, my 2014 has 195 tracks comprising 18 albums. Below are my two favorite albums of the year and two miscellaneous favorite songs.

Favorite Albums

All Sons & Daughters – All Sons & Daughters

Though I’m not a hipster, I’d like to say that I loved All Sons & Daughters before they were cool, when no one had heard of them. Season One is still one of my favorite Christian albums. And while I don’t like their self-titled release as much, it still was one of my favorite releases of 2014. My favorite tracks on this album are “You Will Remain” and “We Give Thanks.”

O Happy Fault – Audrey Assad

Because most worship music is male-led and guitar driven, I’ve always taken extra notice to female-led, keys-driven worship music. I didn’t really like Audrey Assad until 2013, when her lyrics seemed to take a turn from being more implicit to being more explicitly worshipful.  I love O Happy Fault not just because it came out after this seeming shift, but also because it’s an acoustic album (I’ve always loved acoustic music; I think a lot of my stylistic preferences reflect my BC music preferences) with just her on keys. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite track on this album because they’re all so good; and it’s an EP, so it’s short. And none of these are new songs (most appeared on her 2013 release Fortunate Fall), but I still count it as one of my favorite albums of the year because of the musical style. If you like mellow, contemplative worship music, I highly recommend listening to this EP. If I have to pick one favorite track, it would be “I Shall Not Want.” Earlier last year I posted a live video and a chord chart here. My second favorite would be “You Speak.”

Miscellaneous Favs

“Fix My Eyes” by Kings Kaleidoscope from their EP Live in Color is one of my favorite songs of the year. I like the style of their music to begin with, but what made this song really resonate with me is that the lyrics are real and raw. Christian music tends to be so saccharine and fake and rarely explores the painful, difficult parts of the journey of faith. I don’t need more “happy dappy, everything is awesome” music; I need music for those moments when nothing makes sense and everything falls apart and I feel I can’t go on. It’s in those moments that I’m most tempted to go back to the music of my BC days that would allow me to wallow in my misery; but there’s no hope in those lyrics. I need music that will meet my pain with the hope of the God who is holding on to me and will never let go. It is for similar reasons that I love “It Is Well” by Bethel from the album You Make Me Brave.

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9 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Thanks Jennifer, very appreciative!!

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  2. Was blessed by the songs this evening…or shall I say morning

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  3. rgbrao

     /  January 15, 2015

    Wow – I guess I am opp of you. Apart from Sunday morning – I quite literally, quite zero do not listen to anything Xtn. And the stuff you’ve mentioned, I mean with the exception of a lecrae tweet once, I am unfamiliar with it all. I’m going to look into the Kaliedescope stuff tho.

    Hmmmm… Hey… Here is a thought: check it out – at sem where there are a lot of internationals you will be introduced to this thing called K-Pop and stuff. Give it a go. I really think you will like it. Really.

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    • Raj, what style of music do you like? There are all different kinds of Christian music, even though the stuff you hear on the radio are all the same….Christian death metal,even 😀

      When I first became a Christian I couldn’t stand the music. But over time some of the mainstream stuff grew on me, but I also discovered better music, stuff with a more indie sound.

      And re k-pop, you must be joking….

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  4. rgbrao

     /  January 16, 2015

    Usually I let the worship leader at the church that I am attending set the pace for what I listen to during the week. However at my current church a lot of the worship is from a old hymnal and I prefer more recent stuff. (At my church I think 10,000 reasons is new for many.) Yeah… this is an area of lack in my life and I need to improve. Thanks for the above.

    Um… Left to myself, I listen to … ugh I hate the word but… Electronica. Most recently I picked up – go figure! – a little J-pop from youtube because I follow the work of artists and animators from Japan. But all this is just not the some as worship music.

    And… as K-pop …. Hullooeeeee? I am all over K-pop. How can a nud like you – and that too an NT nerd – charge me with joking around? Quoi?

    K-pop is of course Koine pop. Just this morning I was humming an oldie but goodie. I am sure you are familiar with it ~~> Hagios hagios haaaaaaaagios!

    Oye! LOL! God Bless!
    ~ Raj
    Aside: funny how geek humor can actually promote learning.

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    • I love hymns! There’s been an awesome “new hymn” movement going on,of both artists covering old hymns as is, as well as writing new tunes to old hymn lyrics, and completely new songs that emulate the best of hymnody.

      hahaha, if you want to stay caught up with the best of worship music, well, I’m the person for you. i keep a playlist of all the new music each year….i can send you some of my favorite recent worship music sometime…are you on Spotify?

      WHEW!! I thought you were referring to Korean pop. even though i hate pop, I’d be willing to give Koine pop a try! btw, have you seen an old youtube video called “All Things Are Better in Koine?” If not, look it up. I still find it funny after many years.

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  5. rgbrao

     /  January 16, 2015

    Yes. I am now on Spotify. Can you send me a playlist? Thanks!

    And I found that video and will soon look at it.

    Um. JIC – I was joking about the koine-pop. Haha. However it is a good exercise to try to re-write some of these in koine. Hmmm…

    Holy holy holy! Lord God Almighty ~~~> Hagios Hagios Hagios! Kyrios ho Theos ho Pantokratōr! ~~drop the article~~> Hagios Hagios Hagios! Kyrios Theos Pantokratōr!

    ~ Yeech. Doesn’t quite work does it? Yes. I guess you can sing it but still… ehhh…

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  6. rgbrao

     /  January 16, 2015

    Got it… I found one w/ 86 songs and another Hillsong one. Thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

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