I'm going to be honest with you right now:
I LOVE ANBERLIN!
I was so excited when I got the e-mail last year that Anberlin's latest album, "Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place," was launching on Amazon MP3 for only $2.99. You had better believe that I bought it that night!
I was even more excited when I found out that it debuted at the #2 position on the album download charts on both Billboard and iTunes. What a huge leap in the right direction for Anberlin! What an opportunity to expose more people to the Gospel with a greater reach!
As I listened to the album, I was astounded by some of the new elements they incorporated (a topic we may cover in a future post.) I was especially surprised by their choice of "Impossible" as the first single. It's a skillfully executed song with a strong melody, but what surprised me was the fact that the "Impossible" starts on a major chord (D major, to be precise.) This is unusual for Anberlin, given their apparent love of minor-dominated singles (all of which I love, by the way.) Take a look:
Change The World (Lost Ones) - D minor
Cadence - F# minor
Paperthin Hymn - D minor
Feel Good Drag - F minor
The Unwinding Cable Car - C# minor
A Whisper & A Clamor - C minor
Now that I've listened to the album all the way through a few times, I think I have an idea of what their next single may be, but I'm torn between two songs: the separation conflict "Closer," and the relationship conflict "Art Of War." Both are songs that open in minor keys, and both would make excellent singles that would follow nicely in the footsteps of Anberlin's previous singles. I would love to hear your opinion as to which you like better!
"Closer" is a simple-enough work that seems to explore one man's cry to be closer to his creator after a time of separation. Apparently, the separation was cause in part by the man's inability to receive God from a standpoint of faith ("Do you expect me to beyond believe you?") It relates to a place that almost all of us have been at in our walk with God, and rightly expresses the desperation and longing of such times. The atypical drum line really helps to drive the song. You can check out the the song below:
Now, "Art Of War" is a whole different beast entirely. We get started here with bass, drums, and organ. Seriously, organ! It's a step in a completely different direction, and one of the new elements we're seeing from Anberlin that I mentioned before. "Art Of War" seems to take us through a story of looking back on a painful relationship, though we're not really sure with whom (songs like this make me think of the lyrics from "Impossible" - "You're impossible to figure out.") We see that the pain from the relationship has been overcome, though there are certain parts of the pain that will never go away. Many of us have had relationships with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, significant others that have left us feeling this way, but at least we know that, with Jesus, we can always overcome the pain. I will say this: this is really a moving song, even if you aren't quite sure what it's about.
Now, the tough part: let us know which one you like better, and which one Anberlin is more likely to release as a single! And don't forget to stay tuned for more great finds from Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music!