2010 End Of The Year Lists: Rock, Pop, and Metal

Most music websites like ours publish end of the year lists (most times before the year is over), but we see this as a time to truly celebrate what God is doing through art and music. For the next few weeks we will be posting our lists of the best recordings in 2010, divided by genres and categories. This all leads up to our final presentation of our Essential 25 Recordings of 2010 post on the last week of January.  This is our joyous recounting of all that amazed us in 2010.
*click on the name of the artist to find out more about them, click on the album title to listen to samples and purchase*

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Rock Album Of The Year: My Epic- YET

Abel-Lesser Men
A Hope For Home-Realis
Children 18:3-Rain’s A Comin
Gaslight Anthem-American Slang
Flatfoot 56-Black Thorn
The Reign Of Kindo-This Is What Happens
Same As Sunday-Earn Your Stripes
Shapes Stars Make-These Mountains Are Safe
Wovenhand-The Threshingfloor

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Pop Album Of The Year: Brooke Fraser-Flags

An Epic, No Less-We Are The Echo Of Love
Charmaine-Love Reality
Gileah Taylor-What Kind of Fool
Heath McNease-Shine On
Joy Ike-Rumors
Queens Club-Young Giant
Tal & Acacia-Wake Me
Tidewater-The Seas We Sail
Joy Williams-We Mapped the World

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Metal/Hardcore Album Of The Year: The Chariot-Long Live

A Plea For Purging-The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell
Close Your Eyes-We Will Overcome
Divide The Sea-MAN
For Today-Breaker
In The Midst Of Lions-The Heart Of Man
Living Sacrifice-The Infinite Order
MyChildren MyBride-Lost Boy
Norma Jean-Meridional
Underoath-Ø (Disambiguation)

Check back with us next week for our favorite albums from Folk, Country, Worship, and Indie.

The One21 Best Of 2009 Pt.2

2009 is almost over, and in the world of music, that means one thing, Best Of lists! At One21, we wanted to wait a little bit to post ours; because to me posting a “Best Of” list before Thanksgiving is kinda like nominating Avatar for Best Drama the week before it is screened for critics.

Wait, yea, that happened….

Anyways, we consider these albums to be the cream of what was released this year. we aren’t going to do a count down though, so in no particular order, here are the last 12 albums that made 2009 great:

Album of the year

manchester orchestra mean everything to nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra

Why we picked it: When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, progressive indie, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Best of the rest

michelle_shocked soul of my soul
Soul Of My Soul
Michelle Shocked
Why we picked it:
Another tour de force featuring musical styles and sharp lyrics, Soul of My Soul is another Michelle Shocked masterpiece. She employs many musical styles from folk to reggae to rock to gospel on this fifth album since she converted to Christianity. Joy, sadness and anger permeate this record about relationships, her faith and the world we face. Another brilliant offering from one of rock’s most respected artists.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

fiction family
Fiction Family
Fiction Family

Why we picked it: This side project from Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins sounds like anything but. Beautiful clear melodies, strong production and mostly acoustic instrumentation enable the songs soar. Hopefully, not a one time side project, Fiction Family could challenge Wilco for the title as top purveyor of middle period Beatles style music.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

To Tell The Story Kelly Parks
To Tell The Story
Kelly Parks
Why we picked it:
One of the Christian scene’s truly great underground artists, Kelly (Jones) Parks returned in 2009 after a 7 year absence from the recording studio. To Tell The Story was worth it. Bouncy songs delivered in Parks crystal clear will have you embarrassing yourself in traffic as you sing along with her direct lyrics about our faith, out joy and our challenges.

melinda doolittle coming back to you
Coming Back To You
Melinda Doolittle

Why we picked it: If you like your soul music circa 1969; strong, direct without embellishment; then welcome home. This former American Idol third place finisher has delivered the best, least effected, record ever by any AI contestant. She has the pipes so she does not try to impress with histrionics, which is great. That allows us to enjoy these songs about faith and relationships without needing to push aside auto tuners or annoying vocal runs. A fantastic soul record.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

cas metah guest room
Guest Room
Cas Metah

Why we picked it: If there are any emcees reading this right now, I want to ask you to do something this year; listen to Guest Room and take notes. Every track on this album is quality, each one lending something to the others: there are enough fun, chill songs to balance out the more serious, darker tracks. On top of that Cas Metah is a great emcee, and on top of that he has attracted an amazing line up to guest on each song (hence why it is called Guest Room). All of this and you got some really interesting beats to make it all come together. This is what hip-hop should be; Christian, Underground, East or West Coast, whatever. Like I said, take notes…
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

paper route absence
Paper Route

Why we picked it: Paper Route continues to amaze with a striking blend of electronic indie rock music. Layer upon layer of sounds create a collage of music and soundscapes for the love songs of joy and pain. “Are We All Forgotten” is one of the most beautiful songs of 2009.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Awake O' Sleeper- Lisa Heinrichs
Awake O’ Sleeper
Lisa Heinrichs

Why we picked it: This little known, in the States, folk, country singer from Canada delivered a marvelous debut album in 2009. Lisa Heinrichs has a striking, clear voice, a sense of humor and a sense of purpose. Her combination of faith based songs and political statements will make you think and dance, all at the same time.
Buy:Amazon MP3, iTunes

josh garrels lost animals
Lost Animals
Josh Garrels
Why we picked it:
Another treasure chest of beatbox, stream of consciousness theology from our favorite hippie troubadour. Listening to Garrels you will surely dance. You will also pull out your Bible, pray and contemplate your theology and your relationship with God. You will have a good time at it all.
Buy: iTunes

advent naked and cold
Naked And Cold

Why we picked it: Advent IS spirit-filled hardcore. Naked And Cold IS Advent. There simply isn’t anybody doing this particular brand of abrasive metal-core anymore, and I’m starting to think that it may be because it might kill lesser men. Not Advent though, this is the type of music played to start revolutions and break down walls. Unlike their Black Flag predecessors, Advent is trying to start a revolution of the heart, a re-emergence of people proud to call Christ their Savior, and willing to die for His name. Some people might call that a revival, and I think that’s what Naked And Cold might be all about.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Cheaters & Thieves

Why we picked it: Put Cheaters & Thieves in a mix tomorrow with any of the big names in rock today, and I guarantee that you ears will perk up every time one of the tracks shuffles in. There is something very dark and painful happening here, and there are many times you actually feel like you are witnessing vocalist Andy trying to sing away his demons. Slow, trudging progressions allow this album to breathe the way it should; it’s as if they went any faster the songs might shatter. This is the kind of music that sticks with you long after you stop listening, and Dignan might be the best at it.
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

bosque brown baby
Bosque Brown

Why we picked it: Now for something completely different than anything you have heard in the Christian or secular scene this year. Mara Lee Miller, the heart and soul and voice of Bosque Brown, sounds as if Tom Waits and Patsy Cline had a child gave her a collection of Kris Kristofferen and Joy Division records and left in a trailer in the desert. This record is a haunting mix of minimalist, indie folk, classic country. We have been mesmerized all year.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright mewithoutyou
It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright

Why we picked it: Perhaps one of the more debated albums of the year, the latest installment in the mewithoutYou saga sees the band fully embrace their indie folk influences. All the aggression from past albums is replaced with a joyful celebration of instruments and voices. We are getting to see a different side of a band that has always marched to their own drum. The ironic part is that in the age of Sufjan Stevens, Panda Bear, and The Avett Brothers, this may be mewithoutYou‘s trendiest album yet. Funnier still is that this album may be one of the best in that era.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

The One21 Best Of 2009 Pt.1

2009 is almost over, and in the world of music, that means one thing, Best Of lists! At One21, we wanted to wait a little bit to post ours; because to me posting a “Best Of” list before Thanksgiving is kinda like nominating Avatar for Best Drama the week before it is screened for critics.

Wait, yea, that happened….

This list is simply our celebration of the amazing music that came out in 2009. We understand that many may disagree with us on the albums we picked (or didn’t pick), but we completely believe that this is the best of what came out this year. In 6 months we will do a retrospective list for 2009, so it will be interesting to see what makes it onto that list. Feel free to leave your thoughts…

In no real particular order, here are the first 12 albums that made 2009 great:

Album of the year

manchester orchestra mean everything to nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra

Why we picked it: When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, progressive indie, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Best of the rest

thrice beggars

Why we picked it: Coming off their incredibly diverse and profound Alchemy Index project, Thrice once again has proved that they may be the American band of this generation. Once again, Dustin Kensrue and the boys dug deep and came out with a collection of soulful, passionate songs that play to all their strengths. Every member of the band shines bright on Beggars, so there is a lot of radiating going on. With another album full of gems under their belt, Thrice pushes on and continues to remind us what true rock looks like.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

a mouth full of dust bradley hathaway
A Mouth Full Of Dust
Bradley Hathaway

Why we picked it: This may be the most joyfully depressing album you will ever listen to. Channeling Bob Dylan, mewithoutYou, and Daniel Jonhston, the one time poet in Bradley Hathaway fully bloomed into a indie folk genius with A Mouth Full of Dust. Deeply personal, every song attempts to create the sound of Bradley’s emotional state, ranging from sweetly content to painfully chaotic. Never relying on over-musicianship, A Mouth Full Of Dust is simple enough to be called folk or lo-fi, but has so many twists and turns you won’t know how to describe it when the last note rings out. You will be a little out of breath though.
Buy:Amazon MP3

the red baron my first love
My First Love
The Red Baron
Why we picked it:
The hardcore movement was supposed to be about having heart, and The Red Baron have plenty to pass around. Every track on this blistering, fast paced album just kicks you in the chest, and at the same time is able to hit an emotional chord. The term “blood, sweat, and tears” may have been coined a band like this, the music is an all-encompassing mesh of ticked off punk and old school hardcore. On top of that, the lyrics are more theologically honest than most worship songs, making My First Love the perfect (and I mean perfect) Christ-centered hardcore album.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

ok bear jeremy enigk
OK Bear
Jeremy Enigk

Why we picked it: Enigk‘s work has been legendary for almost a decade and a half now (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft), and OK Bear seems to be a return to more simple times. Not to say that Jeremy Enigk‘s work is by any means simplistic now, but in terms of an album, this seems to be the first time his solo work has been able to focus his genius. The songs have a more straight forward feel to them (similar to Sunny Day), but somehow Enigk is able to make the simplest of structures somehow very unique. Drenching every song with his deep, introspective lyrics, and then letting his soulful and painful vocal style do the rest of the work, OK Bear is the album that every underground band wishes they could write.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

my brightest diamond shark remixes vol 2 son lux
Shark Remixes Vol.2:Son Lux
My Brightest Diamond

Why we picked it: In 2008, solo songstress Shara Worden, under her moniker My Brightest Diamond, released her latest dark pop masterpiece, A Thousand Sharks Teeth. In 2009, she allowed several electronic artist to remix the album, resulting in several interesting volumes of The Shark Remixes. The most profound of all these was the collaboration with trip-hop genius Son Lux, who took My Brightest Diamond‘s sound and twisted it into something very different. In addition to Shara’s uniquely operatic vocals, distorted jazz horns, fuzzy base lines, and creepy backing effects made Son Lux and My Brightest Diamond‘s collaboration a match made in dark electronic heaven.
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

pink limousine rootbeer
Pink Limousine EP

Why we picked it: Want to have some good clean fun? The boys in Rootbeer got ya covered. The latest collaboration between LA Symphony alum Flynn Adam, and Pigeon John has proved you can have a lot of fun being better than most everybody in the hip-hop club scene. Each song is created to get the party started, and is chalked full of Flynn and John‘s unique sense of humor (heck, we have been hearing about this pink limo since the very first LA Symphony single). I dare you to listen to this EP and not be a little happier afterward. Go ahead….try. See? Not possible…
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Wars And Rumors Of Wars
The Chariot

Why we picked it: There is simply not any band quite like The Chariot. They combine noise rock with metalcore, chaos with genius, and some how always come up with music that is easily better than 90% of the music put out in the metal/hardcore scene. On their last album, we saw The Chariot go experimental; on Wars And Rumors of Wars, we see them light everything on fire. Then they throw firecrackers at it. Vocalist Josh Scogin’s lyrics are top notch; the crazy parts are crazier, the heavy parts are heavier, the experimental parts are more….well you get the picture. The Chariot is on a rampage, and Wars And Rumors Of Wars is the warning siren.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

derek webb stockholm syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome
Derek Webb

Why we picked it: Out of all the albums that came out this year in the Christian music scene, this may have been the most talked about by far. Once again sparking controversy with the song “What Matters More”, Derek Webb once again reinvented himself in both his lyrics, and in musical style. No longer content with folk music supplying the background to his messages, Webb instead harnessed a Thom Yorke-esque electronic sound with incredible results. With so much of today’s music being released with no real meaning or depth, Derek Webb was able to pave new trails for artistic musicians, be the music sacred or secular. Is this album and it’s messages for everybody? No. Is Stockholm Syndrome important? Without hesitation, yes.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

ascend the hill
Ascend The Hill
Ascend The Hill
Why we picked it:
Ascend The Hill should be the new benchmark for worship music. Deeply theological, heart-breakingly honest, and unrelenting; Ascend The Hill is able to capture their passion for the Lord on their self-titled debut. This is the kind of music that God can use to knock down walls, to change lives, and renew hearts. Ascend The Hill‘s music isn’t a gimmick, a routine, or a performance. It is an expression of a heart truly and completely in love with God.
Buy: iTunes

hands creator

Why we picked it: Hands hit the music scene this year like a freight train. Their ability to weave together the brutal nature of progressive metal and earnest Christian theology could have so easily turned into a cheap parody. Thankfully for us, it didn’t, because Hands approached their music like a lion tearing apart its meal. Every song has layer upon layer of creativity and aggression, while at all times acting as a 10 song prayer. If the music was acoustic, this would be some really deep Christ centered folk/worship; if the lyrics weren’t about Christ, then these guys would be one of the most brutal progressive bands on the planet. Creator is neither, and it is both. Creator is a totally unique album from beginning to end, one we will be talking about for a long time.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

So Long Forgotten the things we can see and the things we cannot
The Things We Can See & The Things We Cannot
So Long Forgotten
Why we picked it:
So Long Forgotten is yet another band testing the limits of the term progressive rock. Strange tempo changes, tons of stark guitar sounds, horns, and the cathartic lyrical style make this one you need to listen a few times before you truly grasp what is going on. What is going on is that Things We Can See And The Things We Cannot is a powerhouse of an album that is sure to satisfy an underground rock fan. The honesty in the lyrics make this a stand out on its own, but every song evolves in a singular way so that the listener will be left with something truly profound and beautiful with every track.

maylene and the sons of disaster III
Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster

Why we picked it: The kings of southern metal-core proudly display why they were the first and they may be the last. All the grit and rawness from previous albums are here, but III just kicks it up 10 notches. No holds a bar rock guitar solos, banjos, monster ballads amidst the scream vocals, and of course plenty of metal pound at you track after track. This is the CD you will listen to when all your windows are down, and you are driving just a little too fast down the highway. Can’t wait for IV.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

check back tomorrow to see the rest of our list!!

Top 5 Music Videos For July

So for those of you who read this site often, you know that when a month is about to close we take a little time and reflect. On music videos that is. There were quite a few this month, so obviously these may not be YOUR favorite, but then again you can always leave a comment and tell us what you think.

5. John Reuben-Town Folk

buy this track on AmazonMP3 and iTunes>
John is one of those guys in the Christian hip-hop scene that seems to want to surprise people at every turn. His quirky video for his latest single is no different.

4. August Burns Red- Meddler

buy this track on AmazonMP3 and iTunes
August Burns Red are one of the most solid bands in the heavy scene today. With their third Solid State Records release, Constellations, people are starting to take notice in a real way. The videos keep getting better and better, and the band keeps evolving.

3. Derek Webb- What Matters More

you can’t buy this one because it hasnt been released yet.
Yes, I know, Im posting this song AGAIN. The ubber-controversial song from the Caedmon’s Call member has already been the center of hot debate on this site and many others since this video hit the web. The song is pretty good, and the video is cool as well, which is why it is on the list. However, I would like to once again open the floor to any comments or perspectives on this track.
WARNING: This song does contain a bit of profanity.

2. Bobby Bishop- Please

buy this track on AmazonMP3 and iTunes
I am really liking this trend of having the lyrics pop up in hip-hop videos. Bobby Bishop‘s plead against gang violence makes for a truly stunning and beautiful video that is watchable over and over and over….

1.Owl City-Fireflies

buy this track on AmazonMP3 and iTunes
This is just a cool song, from a new up and comer calling himself Owl City. The video is way cool, which makes for a generally enjoyable experience. If you like the song, AmazonMP3 there has it for free (as of 7/31/09), so go and grab it.

We had a pretty good group this month, but I would like to say something before we go. Over the last few months, I am noticing more  and more labels and bands making music videos that cannot be embedded.  The latest being my REAL number one video for Maylene and The Sons Of Disaster‘s latest single “Step (Im On It)”.  While I understand that you dont want your music to be stolen, a video is at its core an advertisment for the band and the album from which the song comes from. Why would you not want that to be spread all over the place, so the everybody can enjoy your product and in turn maybe buy music in response? Just asking….

Top 5 Music Videos For June

Its that time again, we wade through the videos that debuted this month and bring you the best ones.  You may very well think our list is terrible, but then again, you arnt writing this blog, are you? Enjoy:

5. Dominic Balli-Warrior

Reggae and I have a uneasy history. I tend to like it in small doses, but Dominic Balli‘s release Public Announcement brings out the qualities of the genre that I love, without the elements I don’t. This is such a well done video, and despite some of the heavier subjects dealt within, the video is just so stinkin’ happy.

buy this song on Dominic Balli - Public Announcement - Warrior

4.Flynn Adam-Adios

I dont know Flynn Adam. I mean, I have met him, and we did an interview, but I dont KNOW him. However, in my short time with him, I can safely say that the best part about the video for “Adios” is that it is SOOOO Flynn. I mean from the retro look to the laid back atmosphere, Flynn most melodic single I have ever seen him do just seems so natural.

buy this song on Flynn Adam - Adios - EP - Adios

3.Son Lux-Wither

This is an ultra artsy video, but if you have ever listened to Son Lux‘s trippy progressive electronic music, you know it works. This video very much reminds me of the older Nine Inch Nails stuff, which, lets be honest, were some of the most visual stunning videos ever created. This comes close, so it is our #3.

buy this song on Son Lux - At War With Walls and Mazes - Wither

2. mewithoutYou- The Fox, The Crow, The Cookie

So you may notice that there is no video for our #2. That’s because for some stupid reason, the video is ONLY available on Entertainment Weekly’s website. Does that not seem strange to anybody else? The sad part is that its such a cool video. The band performs a stage show that go along with the fable told in the song. I have watched it like 8 times, its that cool. To bad I cant show it to you..

1.Holding Onto Hope-We Are The Beacons

This video is simply gorgeous. It perfectly captures and exemplifies the essence and message of this heartfelt and passionate song. Even if you don’t like heavier music, watch the video. It gave me chills the first, second, and third time I watched it. This is one of those videos that can change people. Great work Mr.Lawler (the director) this is a masterpiece.

buy this song on Holding Onto Hope - Of the Sea - We Are the Beacons

The(ONE)21 Best Albums Of 2009: So Far…

So we are half way through 2009 (as of today in fact), and that means there has been six months of great Christian music hitting the stores.  We try to keep you up to date every week, but it is always good to look back and pick out the essentials from the year so far.  By the end of 2009, some of these albums may not be on the list, and most likely you will see a lot of new titles added to this list. As of today though, these are the fifteen albums we think you should defiantly have in your collection.

In no particular order…

The Best Christian Music Albums Of 2009 So Far

Bosque Brown- Baby Bosque Brown - Baby
Simple, eerie, and profound. A sound scape of dark blues and folk created from a mind struggling to reconcile the fire and brimstone teachings of her childhood, and find God’s true face through musical confession. Bosque Brown have created a haunting sound wrapped around a hopeful message.
For fans of: The Doors, Doug Burr, Nick Cave
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Bradley Hathaway- A Mouth Full of Dust Bradley Hathaway - A Mouth Full of Dust
Intelligent, diverse, and a masterpiece. Bradley Hathaway has combined all of his many talents to create a true expression of a man after God’s heart as well as an album that covers the spectrum of folk, indie, and progressive rock. A rare album that shines so bright, you wont mind the dust.
For fans of: mewithoutYou, Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Johnston
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Fiction Family Fiction Family - Fiction Family
Strong melodies, multi-instrumentation and plaintive vocals create distinctive a Pop, Americana sound with strong undertones of the best British pop.   The duo of Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins modernizes the sound with liberal use of sound and musical effects.  The debut has a creative freedom to it that results in a loose, joyful sound, that makes listening to Fiction Family very much like listening to the Beatle’s Revolver or Rubber Soul.
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Impending Doom- The Serpent Servant Impending Doom - The Serpent Servant
Brutal, unrelenting, and a true display of modern extreme metal talent. The second offering from Impending Doom‘s combines the best of death metal, moshcore, doom, and even a little nu-metal to balance things out. Hang with the big guys? Impending Doom ARE the big guys..
For fans of: Whitechapel, The Red Chord, Slipknot
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Jeremy Enigk- OK Bear Jeremy Enigk - OK Bear
Beautiful, skillful, and undeniable. Jeremy Enigk returns with an album, more like his days in Sunny Day Real Estate, and proves why he is an underground legend. OK Bear is in a class all it’s own.
For fans of: Manchester Orchestra, Cool Hand Luke, Further Seems Forever
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Melinda Doolittle- Coming Back to You Melinda Doolittle - Coming Back to You
The quiet, unassuming, technically brilliant Christian music artist from American Idol Season 5 explodes on the scene with a collection old soul R&B. Melinda Doolittle’s debut is the best classic soul album in a decade. Think Roberta Flack meets Gladys Knight meets Candi Stanton. In keeping with her persona from American Idol, there are no crazy vocal histronics here, but there are deep soulful sentiments sung with matrurity, confidence and subtle power. She doesn’t show off so we can listen to the songs, but hearing her sing, you know she can.
Category: The Light (whats this?)

mewithoutYou- It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright Me Without You - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright
Hopeful, interesting, and a interesting new chapter for a band who can’t do wrong. Rant/scream vocals and aggressive guitars have been replaced with whimsical, childlike lyrics and a near orchestra of new instrumentation on mewithoutYou‘s fourth full-length, and we love it. A truly unique and wonderful ride.
For fans of: Danielson, Polyphonic Spree, Bradley Hathaway
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Molly Jenson- Maybe Tomorrow Molly Jenson - Maybe Tomorrow
Smart, fun, soulful. Combining the best elements of soulful singer/songwriter and pop has paid off for Molly Jenson, and Maybe Tomorrow is an album people should really be paying attention to. A pop gem among many pieces of coal.
For fans of: Fionna Apple, Dido, Michelle Branch
Category: The Light (whats this?)

My Brightest Diamond- Shark Remixes Vol. 2: Son Lux My Brightest Diamond - Shark Remixes, Vol. 2: Son Lux - EP
Shocking, surprising, and so much fun. When two amazing artists can create a completely new vision of something that already exists, then the new vision becomes the complete focus. What the term “remix” should sound like every time.
For fans of: Portishead, Tricky, Thom Yorke
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Preson Phillips- The Observant & The Anawim…
Delicate, passionate, authentic worship. Preson Phillip‘s songs have a tendency to cause you want to close your eyes and breathe deeper as his folk meets indie take of worship music washes over you no matter where you hear it (its also free if you click on the title above). A triumph in modern worship music.
For fans of: Jason Morant, David Crowder, Shane & Shane
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Rootbeer- Pink Limousine EP Rootbeer - Pink Limousine (feat. Pigeon John & Flynn Adam) - EP
Creative, fun, and quirky. Two of the founding members of LA Symphony break off and create some good clean fun. Proof that you don’t have to sacrifice intelligence for accessibility.
For fans of: Gym Class Heroes, Jurassic 5, Lupe Fiasco
Category: The Light (whats this?)

The Chariot- Wars and Rumors of Wars The Chariot - Wars and Rumors of Wars
Chaotic, raw, and brilliant. 2009 has brought The Chariot‘s most accessible collection songs showcasing their ability to do “everything wrong”, and yet be more relevant than 90% of what is being pushed out in the world of heavy music. An album to take notes to.
For fans of: Converge, Norma Jean, Gallows
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Paper Route- Absence Paper Route - Absence (Bonus Track Version)

The Red Baron- My First Love The Red Baron - My First Love
Real, spirit-filled, hardcore. The Red Baron have brought an aspect back to the punk/hardcore scene that has been missing too long, the spirit of worship through movement. An unforgettable collections of amazing songs.
For fans of: Comeback Kid, This Is Hell, New Found Glory
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Don’t like our list? Educate us, what is your best of 2009 so far?

The(ONE)21 Music’s Best Albums Of 2008:Retrospective

We do indeed understand that it has been a long time since we should have posted our favorite albums of 2008. Sometimes though, hindsight makes you love certain CDs you hadn’t really listened to in a while. So we though it would be fitting, as how we are almost half way through 2009, to suggest and recommend our favorite CDs from 2008 made by Christian artists.  Feel free to tell us if you love the list or hate it, and we would love to hear your lists as well. These are not in order (besides for our favorite across the board), and they are not ranked in any other way.

The(ONE)21 Music’s best Christian music albums for 2008

Album of the year:

Bodies of Water- A Certain Feeling Bodies of Water - A Certain Feeling
Deeply creative, lyrically dense, and unwaveringly beautiful. Bodies Of Water do more in their all to short sophomore album than most bands can in 15 songs. This is indie music at it’s finest.
For fans of: Anathallo, Polyphonic Spree, The Arcade Fire.
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Best of the rest:

Advent- Remove the Earth Advent - Remove the Earth
Brutal, heavy, and unlike anything being done in the heavy music scene today. Advent take cues from the days of spirit-filled hardcore days with in your face lyrics, and waves of fuzzy distorted goodness. Bringing back the true sound of metalcore.
For fans of: Converge, Strongarm, Focused
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Anathallo- Canopy Glow
Anathallo - Canopy Glow
Intricate, progressive, and a collection of songs that improve an already good thing. Anathallo present their first real critical sucess with a profound maturity and skill that most bands two times their senior have yet to grasp. Canopy finds a brilliant band coming into their own, once again.
For fans of: Arcade Fire, mewithoutYou, Danielson
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Becoming The Archetype- Dichotomy Becoming the Archetype - Dichotomy
Intelligent, diverse, extreme metal played from a heart changed by Christ. Dichotomy resides as the best metal album no one talked about. A true classic in metal brutality.
For fans of: Living Sacrifice, Lamb Of God, Believer
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Brian Lee & His Orchestra- Vol.1
Mellow, heartfelt, and a unique take on worship infused folk music. Vol.1 was one our first free downloads on this website, and Brian Lee & His Orchestra remain one of the best new bands flying their Christ flag in the folk/indie scene. An album to change your heart to.
For fans of: Pedro The Lion, Bon Iver, M.Ward
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Cool Hand Luke- The Sleeping House Cool Hand Luke - The Sleeping House
Entrancing, heart-breaking, and the return of a great band in indie rock. Where Cool Hand Luke‘s last effort saw them experimenting in many different sounds, The Sleeping House sees the indie veterans achieving heavy atmosphere by simply playing progressive rock music. A diamond in their already stunning career.
For fans of: Sleeping At Last, The Fray, Sunny Day Real Estate
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Doug Burr- The Shawl Doug Burr - The Shawl
Honest, simple, and masterful. Doug Burr‘s worship album (of sorts) brings one back to the true heart of singing before God, and The Shawl has the power to bring you to your knees and lighten your heart all at the same time. An album willing to be imperfect achieves quite the opposite.
For fans of: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Iron & Wine
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Brooke Fraser- Albertine Brooke Fraser - Albertine
Sweet, heartfelt, and able to put a good face on the pop genre again. Brooke Fraser walks an incredible line of teetering into the pop/contemporary Christian genre, but never does, and the result is an intelligent, soulful collection of songs that are easy to listen to but never easy to hear.
For fans of: Sara Barreilles, Jewel, Ingrid Michealson
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Hannah Atkins- Falling Hannah Atkins - Falling
Creative, quirky, and so intricate, you wont believe one person is making this music. An electro-pop gem with multi-layered vocal tracks, pounding beats, and a little bit of folk thrown in for good measure. A new face for a new genre: electro-folk.
For fans of: Imogean Heap, The Postal Service, Headphones
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Josh Garrels- Jacaranda Josh Garrels - Jacaranda
Heartfelt, unique, and unlike anything out in the air right now. The pure songwriting ability in this young man is gorgeously displayed in his second full-length album, a hard look into the heart of those who seek God’s face. A truly blessed man offers up another amazing display of talent.
For fans of: Sublime, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Kaboose- Excuse Me Kaboose - Excuse Me
Funny, deep, and the perfect mixture of intelligent content and fun hip-hop. Excuse Me is a great collection of songs by an emcee who is not only committed to being light in the world for God, but being a truly thoughtful underground artist with songs that could rival the mainstream any day. Underground hip-hop with a lot of heart.
For fans of: Atmosphere, Dilated People, RedCloud
Category: The Message (whats this?)

La Dispute- Somewhere at the Bottom of The River Between Vega & Altair La Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair
Intense, chaotic, and what post-hardcore should have always been. La Dispute come out of nowhere with a classic album that combines their energy, mind, and passion on every note of every song. One of the best bands in heavy music’s latest masterpiece.
For fans of: At The Drive-In, mewithoutYou, These Arms Are Snakes
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Lecrae- Rebel Lecrae - Rebel
Hard, truthful, and unrelenting. One of the biggest sounding hip-hop albums in recent history, Lecrae pulls no punches as spits truth in a world where he could easily stand up against MTV’s finest. The new prince of hip-hop has revealed himself.
For fans of: 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, The Ambassador
Category: The Message (whats this?)

MyChildren MyBride- Unbreakable MyChildren MyBride - Unbreakable
Mosh-inducing, brutal, and a whole lotta fun. Behind the walls of well executed breaksdowns and crew vocals, we discover moshcore’s new superstars, a band who grab your attention form note one and will not let you go for a second. Mosh metal that cannot be duplicated.
For fans of: Acacia Strain, Darkest Hour, August Burns Red
Category: The Message (whats this?)

The Welcome Wagon- Welcome To The Welcome Wagon The Welcome Wagon - Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
Simple, playful, and deeply meaningful. In the midst of over-produced praise and worship and pop CCM singles, this stripped down, delicate album sinks into the definition of “sacred music”, bringing some modern musical nuances to bridge the gap between the old and the new, and finds a new place of worship that sounds like what fresh air smells like. Truly lovely.
For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

Brooke Waggoner- Heal for the Honey Brooke Waggoner - Heal for the Honey
Near-flawless, deeply thoughtful, and evidence that of what a true artist can create when artistic freedom reigns. This is the type of album that makes you wonder what happened to the rest of the music industry, because Brooke Waggoner is an artist who deserves to heard, and heard by as many people as possible. Music that makes your day seem better, and makes you want to play and sing your heart out.
For fans of: Anathallo, Tori Amos, Sia
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Thrice- Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air and Earth Thrice - The Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth
Skillful, engaging, and proof that Thrice might be the best rock band in music today. Two volumes of the Alchemy Index that display Thrice‘s power over the atmospheric rock and folk genres, containing some the band’s best music, but also a triumph for them as songwriters conquering new aspects of their music. Thrice‘s finest hour.
For fans of: The Myriad, Damien Rice, Radiohead
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Wovenhand- Ten Stones Wovenhand - Ten Stones
Dark, apocalyptic folk from the mind of man with one foot in the heavens, and one being used to step on the devil’s head. Ten Stones continues the reign of David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand) as the warning voice to a generation in need of a Savior. There is nothing like this album.
For fans of: Nick Cave, 16 Horsepower, Johnny Cash
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Deastro- Keeper’s Deastro - Keepers
A sprawling tour de force of synth pop, progressive rock and electro folk Deastro’s keeper’s takes through a transcendent journey filled with wonder and awe.  The most awe inspiring aspect of Keeper’s is that it is a one man show from the writing, to performing, to producing and mixing.  Keeper’s is simply a beautiful listen from beginning to end.
For fans of: Postal Service, Crystal Castles, LCD Soundsystem
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Underoath- Lost in the Sound of SeparationUnderoath - Lost In the Sound of Separation
Diverse, epic, and evidence that Underoath are the kings of the screamo scene they helped create. This time around, the band went for the unknown, diving farther into experimental rock, electronica, and even beefing up the more aggressive side of their sound. True experiential brilliance.
For fans of: Fear Before The March of Flames, The Refused, Gallows
Category: The Message (whats this?)

Top 5 Music Videos For May 09

So the month of May was a little scarce on videos. Last month it took me a few hours to shift through all the videos, but this time it only took about an hour. Mainly because I had already watched all of them! Anyway, here are your top 5 Christian music videos for the month of May, 2009.

5.Sleep For Sleepers- Thieves & Bones

The new Facedown Record rock kids have some really special stuff going for them. They are ready to take on the world with their special blend of pop rock and emo. This video is mainly a performance piece, but shows what you are gonna get when you see these guys live. Im sure there is much more to come from Sleep For Sleepers in the near future.

buy this song on Sleep for Sleepers - The Clearing - Thieves & Bones

4.I Am Terrified- Falling On Everlasting

Second month in a row for the Gotee Records newcomers. This is a very well shot, dynamic performance video. Great song too, really spelling out both the band’s melodic and heavier sides. Overall, great videos for I Am Terrified.

buy this song on I Am Terrified - I Am Terrified - EP - Falling On Everlasting

3.Impending Doom- More Than Conquerors

Want to know what it is like to be at the number one Christian metal band, Impending Doom‘s show? Well this video gives you a little taste of the chaos and excitement.
*NOTE: Those are not pentagrams on the back of the band’s shirts. I promise.

buy this song on Impending Doom - The Serpent Servant - More Than Conquerors

2.Scribbling Idiots- Almost Famous

A Little underground hip-hop never hurt anyone, and Scribbling Idiots are only here to educate. The video may be a little rough looking, but there is a cool visual element in the video where the words throw themselves up on the screen. Very cool.

buy this song on Scribbling Idiots - The Have Nots - Almost Famous

1.Until June-The Man Who Sold His Soul

Interesting song, well done video, and our winner. Until June are beginning to make quite a name for themselves, and this tale of struggling with redemption shows what the buzz is all about.

buy this song on Scribbling Idiots - The Have Nots - Almost Famous

Top 5 Videos For April

Its that time again! At the end of the month we bring you the top five videos of the month. In April, we had a lot to choose from, over 20 new videos debuted! So, because there was so much good stuff, we picked two runner-ups. I know, big softy, this guy..Enjoy your videos:

5. I Am Terrified- To The Service
Great song by a up and coming band, and for a performance video, it is very eye-catching. The video made me a fan of the band, so it is our number five:

4. Flynn Adam- Dishes
You know Flynn, one half of Rootbeer, one of the main dudes from LA Symphony. But this right here is Flynn Adam doing his own thing, and what a great thing it is.  One of my favorite beats in near history, combine that with some slick lyrics and a lot of vintage cell phones, and you got you a cool video. You can also see this video in Footlocker stores across America, so be on the look out:

3. Lecrae- Don’t Waste Your Life
WARNING: At the time of us putting this post together the below video was having some technical problems. I will keep my eye on it don’t worry. We just couldn’t leave it out, it is an incredible song, and the video looks like a movie (I believe the gentleman playing the lead character is Flame, another Christ-centered emcee). the result is a awesome and heart-breaking video that sticks with you long after you watch it.

2. Underoath- Too Bright To See Too Loud To Hear
One of the most visually stunning videos I have ever seen for a song that is makes you want to close your eyes and take it in.  BUT DON’T, because you will miss this special and unique video:

Underoath – Too Bright To See Too Loud To Hear

1. The Chariot- Daggers
The Chariot putting on the most chaotic show ever + one of the best songs they have ever written + the video game RAMPAGE!! = what else could you ever ask for?

The Chariot – Daggers

Runner Ups:

Urban D- Hustle

Molly Jenson- Give It Time

Top 5 Music Videos For March

We see a whole bunch of videos from a whole bunch of different performers every month. From now on, we will be posting our favorite videos from each month as we go along. What we look for is not just a cool song, but a combination of a good song and some great visuals. These are OUR picks, so don’t get offended if your favorite isn’t here; but feel free to let us know if there was something more deserving.

Even though most all of these videos squeaked in at the last minute, here is your top 5 music videos for March

5. This Providence- Letdown

Cool video that is a little reminiscent of The Verve. A lot of stuff going on in the background as the vocalist sings of love lost and growing up. I think this was a “one take” shots which is always mind blowing to me, because what if one of the performers at the very end of the song messes up? Do they start over? Does that guy get beaten with rolls of pennies? Never mind, don’t think about that, just watch

4. War Of Ages- All Consuming Fire

A really well shot and energetic performance video. Not much else going besides the band just killin the stage, but the song is one of the best the band has ever done. It is the perfect combination of hardcore and worship. I am going to rename these guys “War Against Shirt Sleeves” though. Bang yer head and behold!

3. VOTA- Hard To Believe

Straight dance rock that is a a sure thing for fans of Newsboys and Maroon 5. The visuals in the video are really cool, lots of moving colors, duplicate images, and cool band poses. Then you find out at the end…..nope, aint gonna tell ya, you gotta watch.

2. Deitrick Haddon- I Need Your Help

So I am not much for R&B. When you combine soulful singing with emotional music and then add in a strong gospel message, I will pay attention a little easier. I had never heard Detrick’s stuff before, and from what I have read about him, he is like a Kirk Franklin who can sing. The thing that gets me about this video is the mind blowing production. This is a sweet looking video with lots of special effects and movie quality cinematography. This video will blow you away.

1. Rootbeer- Pink Limousine

So, you guys may not think much of this video. Of the videos on this list, it is the most lo-fi, and the song isn’t all that meaningful. But that’s the point, Rootbeer is all about fun. If you have ever seen these guys live or met them, this video perfectly showcases not only their music, but their over the top personalities. You are supposed to laugh, so don’t be afraid to.