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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top Christian Rock Songs of 2011

This is Part 1 of my top 20 songs of 2011.  This list features songs 20 through 11.

20.  Dark Horses – Switchfoot

This song is about the underdogs in the world; specifically, children who are forced into hard situations.  According to lead singer Jon Foreman, this song is about kids fighting homelessness.  “For me, that song the “Dark Horses” is all about the homeless kids back in San Diego, specifically the ones who are being helped out by Stand Up For Kids.  It’s always nice when you have a song you are passionate about singing night after night that has a deeper meaning than simply another verse and another chorus.”  Below is the official music video for the song.

19. Alligator Sky – Owl City (Adam Young)

Like most to all of Adam Young’s songs, the interpretation of “Alligator Sky” is wide open. When listening to it, one could pick out many different meanings or themes. For me, I really think this song is about chasing your dreams. Even though you are filled with fear and anxiety about the unknown, one should still faithfully chase their passion. With a guest appearance from rapper Shawn Chrystopher, “Alligator Sky” is definitely a new direction and style for Young. I really love the music video for this song.

18. One More Try (Piano Version) – Wavorly

On their new EP, Wavorly released two different versions of “One More Try.” They recorded an upbeat, pop version and a melodic, piano version. To me, the song gains so much more depth and emotion by having just a piano melody. Plus, vocalist Dave Stovall really shines on this version of “One More Try.”

17. Our Love Saves Us – Blindside

On their new album, Blindside experimented with a couple different musical styles and sounds. The lead single on the album, “Our Love Saves Us,” is much slower and even softer than the usual hardcore sound of Blindside. The official video is a great representation of the song. The music video shows how love will always conquer fear.

16. Never Too Far Gone – Seventh Day Slumber

On their latest album, Seventh Day Slumber mixes together elements from some of their previous records. They throw in their radio friendly rock sound, as well as some slow worship covers. The catchiest rock song on the album, “Never Too Far Gone,” speaks about God’s unending grace. This song is a great reminder that no one is ever too far from Christ.

15. Valleys – Close Your Eyes

This is probably one of the most honest songs on my list. “Valleys” is about constantly failing, messing up and living life down in the valleys. However, even though the band is brutally honest in this song, they still offer hope to the listener. As the song draws to a close, vocalist Shane Raymond screams, “your love reminds me, that though I am broken, I am still standing. I'm still screaming.” Close Your Eyes has always been honest in their music, and this is a very moving, hardcore punk song. Here is the official video for “Valleys.”

14. Faceless – Red

“Faceless” could be one of Red’s hardest songs in their career. According to guitarist Anthony Armstrong, this song is about being empty and hollow on the inside. “You find that the world has kind of gotten itself in your head, and turned you into something that you were never really meant to be. This song is kind of about a person screaming out with that realization, I’m hollow and faceless. I need to do something about this.” I love this homemade lyric video for the song.

13. Book of Secrets – Eleventyseven

“Book of Secrets” is a fast, pop rock song all about hidden secrets and mistakes that ultimately lead to a failed relationship. Even though the lyrics almost have a negative connotation, Eleventyseven still adds their usual upbeat, pop style of music. This video features the song as well as the cover of the Quota EP.

12. Paralyzed – As I Lay Dying

“Paralyzed” is an intense, metal thrill ride. This song is filled with As I Lay Dying’s usual guitar solos and guttural screams. “Paralyzed” is an overt statement of faith, in which Tim Lambesis screams that true life only comes when we die to ourselves. Below, is the official lyric video.

11. Right Here – Ashes Remain

This is my favorite song on the new Ashes Remain record. Told from God’s perspective, “Right Here” is a perfect reminder of God’s unfailing love. Musically, this song has great transitions between acoustic guitars and hard rock melodies. This video features the album cover as well as the song.

To see the top ten songs of the year, you can go to Part 2 here.

Top Christian Rock Songs of 2011 Part 2

This is Part 2 of my top 20 songs of the year. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.

10. Get Well – Icon For Hire

Brutally honest, “Get Well” is a bold statement about not settling for the lies and hurt of this world. Add in some electronic melodies and an addicting rock sound, and Icon For Hire has created a real, headbanging hit. I love the official music video for “Get Well.” The group uses a very simple story, but it fits the song perfectly.

9. Brain Damage – I Am Empire

I Am Empire’s debut centers around lead singer Austin Lyons’ father, who abandoned him when he was young. “Brain Damage” proudly proclaims that the sons and daughters of broken homes are light in this world. The official music video definitely highlights Lyons’ eccentric and unique vocal style.

8. One Shot – Hawk Nelson

For Hawk Nelson’s latest album, the band decided to return to their original pop-punk roots. Probably the catchiest song on the record, “One Shot” is a great reminder that our time on earth is brief; we only have one shot at life. Here is a lyric video for the song.

7. Alive In You – 7eventh Time Down

“Alive In You” probably has my favorite lyric of the year. In the song, the members of 7eventh Time Down proudly call themselves Jesus freaks. According to lead singer Mikey Howard, “Alive in You” is an overt declaration about the power of Christ in the lives of the band. “It is kind of a culmination of what God has been doing inside the four of us over the past eight years touring. It is our declaration and soapbox of this is exactly why we are doing what we are doing. It is because of Jesus.” Take a look at the official music video.

6. Oh the Depths - Wolves at the Gate

The post-hardcore group, Wolves at the Gate, recently released their debut EP on Solid State Records. The closer on the EP, “Oh the Depths,” is a powerful form of screamo worship. Throughout the five minute song, the energy and passion from the band keeps building until they reach a powerful climax. This song gives me chills every time I listen to it. Wolves at the Gate are literally screaming for Jesus.

5. Black Tattoo – FM Static

“Black Tattoo” is about a girl struggling in an abusive relationship. Trevor McNevan sings about her wrestling with fear and guilt as she attempts to escape the abuse. Beyond that, I also think this song has a great message for everyone to never be ashamed. Just like wearing a solid black tattoo, FM Static encourages listeners to be bold about their faith and beliefs. Here is a lyric video for “Black Tattoo.”

4. Make A Move – Icon For Hire

Featuring aggressive vocals alongside a mixture of breakdowns and hard rock beats, “Make A Move” is another great song from Icon For Hire. A powerful, rallying cry, this song urges the listener to make a move and stand up for their beliefs. This is the official music video for the song.

3. Take It Out On Me – Thousand Foot Krutch

Coming in at number three is one of my all time favorite Thousand Foot Krutch songs. “Take It Out On Me” speaks about letting go of bottled up emotions. According to Trevor McNevan, this song is told from someone else’s perspective. “‘Take It Out On Me’ is a song I wrote from a perspective of talking to someone that I love, whether it is your best friend, your wife or someone in your family. Whether it is from the way we grew up or from stuff we have been through in our life, some of us carry a lot of baggage. Anger, pain and a lot of these emotions we keep them bottled up sometimes, instead of dealing with it in a healthier way basically.” This is another hit song from Thousand Foot Krutch.

2. Reach – Peter Furler

Earlier this year, I was really excited to learn that Peter Furler was returning to the music industry. His first single off the album, “Reach,” is pop worship at its finest. Furler sings about the amazing love of Jesus Christ, and how he is constantly reaching out to us. With back up vocals from former Newsboys vocalist and bassist, Phil Joel, Furler has created a close to perfect song. Below is the official music video for “Reach.”

1. Savior – Worth Dying For

My number one song of the year is from the rock worship group Worth Dying For. “Savior” is a great example of edgy worship. With metal screams, dual vocals and hard rock beats, Worth Dying For has created an intense, honest worship anthem. I wish I had a better video for my number one song. This simple video does not do my number one pick of the year justice.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at my top 20 songs of 2011.