Treasure on a Tuesday: Older Mainstream Favorites

So… I definitely have not been able to put together the rest of my house post over at that other blog I write at sometimes. Our office is in at least three other rooms right now, and is likely to stay that way until we trim out the walls with new baseboards. When that’s done, we can start putting things back together! (I’m really stoked about that – it means I get to reorganize everything, again!)

Meanwhile, I’ll entertain you with some more of my favorite music. This time, I’m looking at some older mainstream favorites. And by “older,” I mean not from the last five years. I’m not talking classics. Talk to my husband if you want classics – I just do “older” and “recent.” If you’ve got a problem with that, I invite you to visit my disclaimer here.

Copeland – In Motion (2005)
Where does one even start with Copeland? I mean, the band’s first album, Beneath Medicine Tree, was incredible to me. Maybe it was the pseudo-emo phase I hit my first few years of college where I listened to a lot more emotionally-driven rock music (like Mae and Jimmy Eat World), or perhaps the fact that I saw them live in Greeley with a good friend and got a signed copy of their first album, but there was and still is something very magnetic to me about this group’s music. While BMT was a little tamer, In Motion is full of more upbeat tracks (good upbeat tracks – none of that crazy club stuff), designed specifically to get people moving. Favorite tracks include the opener, “No One Really Wins,” which sports one of my favorite lines: “In the endless fight of grace and pride / I don’t want to win this time;” “You Have My Attention;” and “Hold Nothing Back” and “You Love to Sing,” smooth and creative ballads that pull at the heartstrings, resting on the beauty of lead singer Aaron Marsh’s range. Also great, “Control” from Eat, Sleep, Repeat, the band’s third offering.

Coldplay – Parachutes (2000) 
Somewhere toward the end of my high school years, I started hearing these incredible key riffs on the radio (you know, when I still listened to the radio), and all my friends started listening to this British band. I was against the whole idea until I started connecting the riffs with Coldplay. My friend Danae loaned me her copies of Parachutes and Rush of Blood to the Head. I remember driving back and forth between my parents’ house and the place I house-sat for that summer, listening to the sonic loveliness of these two albums, driving around so that I had more time in the car to listen before I headed back home. It was a great summer. Regardless, Parachutes is still one of the few albums I can turn to when I’m in a funk (or just contemplative) and not become funkier (because as much as I love Jimmy Eat World, when I listen to them, my funks get funkier). Every track still hits a sweet spot when it hits my ears. Favorites? All of them. “Yellow” is, naturally, a classic. I hear “We Never Change” spring out of nowhere sometimes while I’m driving in silence – it’s simple guitar and melody combo haunting me more than a decade later. “Trouble” and “Spies” – if you haven’t heard them, just listen to them. In my opinion, this might be Chris Martin’s best vocal work out of all the band’s albums.

Dishwalla – Self-Titled (2005)

It’s amazing how I love each of these bands’ earlier albums, but the ones that are “favorite” are later albums. Dishwalla definitely falls into that category. I was introduced to the band through some great older friends who mentored for our youth ministry and played random tunes before and after youth functions. Dishwalla’s Opaline is one of the albums that was a pretty consistent play my last year of high school. When I went off to college, I kept waiting and waiting for a new album from the band, and – finally – they came out with their self-titled album in 2005. I was on vacation with my parents, met up with some friends from school out in California for a day or two, and picked up the album almost the day it came out at Barnes & Noble (because people still did that then). I listened to the album the entire way back to Colorado, sitting in the back of my dad’s truck. When lead singer J.R. Richards sings, it’s like stepping into a rock opera – the clarity and intonation is unbelievable – and it lends itself so well to this collection of songs. The run of “Coral Sky” to “Winter Sun” to “Creeps in the Stone” to “Surrender the Crown” might be my favorite album run, because this collection was created as an album rather than single downloads for iTunes. The transitions are seamless, and the songs sweep you along from one incredible place to another.

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