Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome

Definitely the most lyrically and musically aggressive album to date from Derek Webb, who has long been one of my favorite songwriters. A much more electronic album than any of his efforts so far, well, I guess not more electronic than the remix record. But just about. And it gives a very different backdrop to the intense songwriting we expect from him. You listen to the Opening Credits, and if you’re anything like me, you think Derek is doing an electronica intro to his new record. But he’s not. That’s really what the record sounds like. It’s really a brave record, both musically and lyrically. I probably should have guessed that from the title, which is named after a psychological response in hostages, when they develop an attachment to those who have abducted them. Kind of like our relationship with our sin. I’m not sure if that is where Derek is going. I’ll have to listen more. I just downloaded the record, but I plan to listen to it a lot in the days and weeks to come.

Aaron Ivey – Between the Beauty & Chaos

Formerly known as the singer at the head of worship leaders Spur58, Aaron has moved to Austin TX and has now released a new solo record. Aaron is still a great worship leader. I know. He is one of the worship leaders at my church in Austin. We sing many of these songs in our Sunday worship services. The record starts with Found, a powerful worship song I’m planning on learning myself. Didn’t have time this summer, but it’s on the list. The Name is another favorite from church along with Let Your Kingdom Come. How Great Thou Art adds a simple but powerful chorus to the amazing hymn. It’s just a great piano-driven worship record from an awesome worship leader.

Toad the Wet Sprocket – Dulcinea

I introduced Sam to this record on our drive back from Colorado. Listening to it again reminds me just how incredible a record it is. The songwriting is amazing. The whole record holds together sonically, yet each song is just a little different. The band’s approach to instrumentation on this record is fairly simple. But they are great versions of great songs. And you know what, that’s really the idea. I still love the transition from intro to full band in Something’s Always Wrong. I have always adored Fly From Heaven and still wonder if it’s about Paul the apostle. They’re not a Christian band but the song applies so closely. Anyway, the whole record is incredible. Still.

Charlie Peacock – West Coast Diaries, vol. 2

Anyone who has seen us lately may remember a song everyone seems to be asking about. It’s called Down In the Lowlands. And no, it’s not on the new record. It is on this record by Charlie Peacock. He is one of my musical heroes, and this record is incredible. It’s an acoustic project with Charlie joined by an amazing singer Vince Ebo and Jimmy A on acoustic guitar. From the acoustic groove of Nobody’s Gonna Bring Me Down to the funk of Big Man’s Hat, it’s all incredible. And of course, it goes into some great piano stuff on Don’t Have The Power. But Unchain My Soul might be even better. Check it out. He’s got a cool Twitter as well where he talks about what he’s working on in the studio, usually as a producer and songwriter, along with some interesting commentary on good music you may or may not have heard of.

It’s hard to pick the last one. I’ve been listening to Andrew Peterson’s Appendix C a lot. And Kari Jobe’s self-titled record. But probably my favorite is:

Brooke Fraser – Albertine

If you think you recognize the voice, it’s because she’s one of the worship leaders with Hillsong United. So your recording of Hosanna, yeah that’s her. And Lead Me To The Cross. And other great worship songs. But this record features her as a songwriter and she really shines. It’s hard to explain it to you. Let’s just say I wish I could write like this. This whole record is incredible.

Okay, there’s mine. Comment back and let me know what you’re listening to.