2012 Top Albums - Honorable Mentions
As we close out 2012, we pause to reflect on a tremendous year of quality music. We have a 10-member panel of critics to help us determine the true musical cream that rose to the top. We are close to revealing the "Top 11 Gourmet Albums of 2012" (coming 12/27/12), but there are a few excellent and artistic releases that *almost* made the list, but still worth noting. Here are 2012's Honorable Mentions:
Give Us Rest - David Crowder Band
This double-disc final chapter to the career of the David Crowder Band was called "an epic story... through a symphony of worship" by one of our panelists. Another said this album stayed in his regular music rotation for nearly the whole year of 2012. Rarely, if ever, do we get to see a band say goodbye like this, making a grand statement and their career best album. DC*B, we thank you, and now you can get some deserved rest.
Mercyland - Various Artists
Phil Madeira is a renowned producer and songwriter, and he uses both of these strengths in this project that carries the subtitle "Hymns for the Rest of Us." These heartfelt songs are perfectly met with roots music, that one of our critics says is "undefiled American music." The project features an all-star ensemble, including Buddy Miller, The Civil Wars, Cindy Morgan, Emmylou Harris, and Mat Kearney.
The Longing - All Sons & Daughters
This late September release is the 3rd career EP for David Leonard and Leslie Jordan. One of our panelists notes that their song craft has been "consistently breathtaking." Another stated, "These prayerful sentiments are consistently filled with their personal adororation of God." Their lyrical songwriting has gone up a notch too, as this collection wrestles with the tention of joy & longing, and how they work together.
Cold Hard Want - House of Heroes
"Solid, smart, faith-rooted alt-rock that isn’t Switchfoot is hard to come by these days, but House of Heroes’ latest delivers on all levels," shared one UTR critic. Don't let the arena-rock influence fool you, these songs are thoughtful and well-composed. Will this be a breakout record like The Beautiful Letdown was 9 years ago? It's hard to say... but it could be. One panelist called it, "By far the top alternative rock album of the year."
Ctrl - Derek Webb
After a few years of more experimental, electronica stylings, Derek Webb takes a more accessible neo-folk approach with his latest offering. This is Derek's 7th studio album as a solo artist - but now has over 30 career projects under his belt (including many side projects as well as his years in Caedmon's Call). One of our critics called Ctrl "more mind-gum than ear-candy," so lovers of darker & more thoughtful music will love this.
Do you like where we're starting? Did you get a chance to listen to any of these Honorable Mentions? On 12/27 we will be releasing the list of the Top 11 Gourmet Albums of 2012, and we will also share an audio countdown of that list on the 12/28 podcast of UTR.