Monday, April 2, 2012

Hoy de la Música

Music that has caught my attention over the past few months, to the point where I bought the albums, whether on CD or direct from iTunes:

Fly From Here This is the first studio album from Yes in over a decade, and it's creative and ambitious, but avoids the trap of self-indulgence that prog-rock can tend towards. Although it's strange to not hear Jon Anderson singing, it's a treat to have guitarist Steve Howe back with long-time bassist Chris Squire. Highlights would include the entire Fly From Here multi-track composition, as well as The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be.

Move Third Day has been one of my favorite southern rock Christian bands ever since I heard their first album back in 1996. Third Day was a breath of fresh air way back then (as was Jars of Clay's first album), and their newest album continues in that fine tradition. Songs that I really enjoyed in particular include Lift Up Your Face, Surrender, Follow Me There, and Don't Give Up Hope.

Wrecking Ball Usually, my preferred Springsteen albums were recorded with the E Street Band, but Wrecking Ball breaks that tradition. Arguably Bruce's best album since The Rising (although I really liked Magic as well), the fusion of roots-oriented music with Bruce's classic rock sound works really well. Good tunes: We Take Care of Our Own, Shackled & Drawn, Jack of All Trades, Death to My Hometown and a great studio version of Land of Hope and Dreams.

Back to the Rock Petra's classic line-up from the early 80's has reunited and re-recorded some of their best work from that era. I've always been a fan of Petra's original bass player, Mark Kelly, and it's great to hear his voice and his instrument back with Greg X. Volz, Bob Hartman, John Lawry and Louie Weaver. A blast from the past that I am thoroughly enjoying in the present. Standouts include Clean, Second Wind, Adonai and Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows.

Re:Creation The acoustic-rock versions of some of Steven Curtis Chapman's best music over the years are refreshingly well done. For those who grew up enjoying Chapman, or new listeners like me, this is an album definitely worth checking out. Highlights: Do Everything, Long Way Home, Great Adventure, Meant To Be and Magnificent Obsession.

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