I am a musician. I have played music in one form or another for many years now. I have played or sung in orchestras, symphonic bands, youth choirs, brass ensembles, worship teams, jazz ensembles, and rock bands since I was in middle school. I like music so much, and I felt God’s calling to worship so strongly, that I have made serving the church through worship and music my career.
Sometimes I have to deal with music so much at the church that I don’t want to listen to music when I’m in the car or at home. I am currently not in one of those times. I’m in a place now where I’m listening to music as much as I can: in the car, in the shower, and at the office. I’m sort of falling in love with music again.
I believe that everyone has a musical heart-language. For most, the music from childhood or adolescence becomes “your” music. This music becomes forever engrained as the soundtrack of your life. Some people struggle to open their ears outside this musical box and don’t get why “kids these days” listen to what they do. Not me. I have pretty eclectic taste in music, but my heart-language will forever be 90s era grunge rock (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.)
Since I’m on a music kick these days, I thought I’d share some of the albums that I’m listening to the most these days.
Aja – Steely Dan
My friends were hip to Steely Dan before I was. It didn’t take much to convince me of their greatness. They have some of the smoothest music and greatest guitar playing ever recorded. Their music is hard to classify, although I call it progressive rock. It has hints of jazz, funk, and rock. This album from 1977 still sounds relevant today. Also, I was recently at the Cajun Creamery in New Orleans when I saw guitarist Walter Becker ordering ice cream. I was so star struck I ordered two of the same flavor in my four scoop sampler.
Southeastern – Jason Isbell
Holy moly this guy can write songs. This is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell released in 2013. He gets classified in the alternative country genre. His voice has a southern drawl that I find to be so familiar. He sounds like people I grew up with. His lyrics are gritty, not shying away from cancer and child abuse as topics. You can tell when someone is singing something they know from personal experience. If you like twang without the pretentiousness, you’ll like this.
A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
Radiohead is one of my favorite bands – perhaps the greatest British band of all time (up there with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin for sure). It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand what singer Thom Yorke is saying. This is their latest album that released this year. While writing this article I discovered my amazing wife Kate ordered me this album on vinyl as a surprise! To promote this album Radiohead deleted all content from their website and social media accounts. Go figure. This album features strings and choral vocals arranged by band member Jonny Greenwood and performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra. Greenwood composed the soundtracks for the Paul Thomas Anderson films “There Will Be Blood” and “Inherent Vice.”