Saturday, December 3, 2016

The 2016 Jester One Music Top 20 Countdown - #18

#18 - House of Heroes - In The End

Another year, another AMAZING HoH album! The Columbus boys have built up a solid reputation on releasing knock-out discs and Colors takes it to a new level. Of course, this isn't the fellas first jaunt into the countdown. Coincidentally they also landed at #18 in 2011 with their track "Galveston". Surprisingly their follow-up disc Cold Hard Want did not feature any songs, but I could have put one of many off of Colors in this years countdown. Amazingly the album was a crowd-funded effort, showing that smaller bands can do huge things with the right amount of direction. "God" is a raw emotional ballad, "Colors Run" is an upbeat rock track, and "We Make Our Stars" is uplifting and powerful; almost a "We Were Giants 2.0".

But the song that captivated me the most in 2016 was the softest and most beautiful song of all. "In The End" has the most amazing vocal harmonies of any song in the countdown to accompany a soft acoustic guitar and very little other instrumentation. Lead singer Tim Skipper sings a beautiful ballad which seems to be about a daughter or lover. It's such a beautiful song and when it hit me I must have listened to it 20 times in a row. These guys know how to make awesome music and it doesn't hurt that most of them go to my church as well.

Title: In The End
Artist: House of Heroes

Previous #18s
2015: New Found Glory - Selfless
2014: Bleachers - I Wanna Get Better
2013: Biffy Clyro - Black Chandelier
2012: Santigold - Disparate Youth
2011: House of Heroes - Galveston
2010: Rammstein - Fruhling in Paris
2009: Sick Puppies - I Hate You

Friday, December 2, 2016

The 2016 Jester One Music Top 20 Countdown - #19

 #19 - Metric - The Shade

Canadian rockers Metric return to the Countdown after coming in at #14 in 2012 with "Clone". Their previous effort Fantasies almost landed on the countdown in 2009 as well.  Both of those previous albums are excellent and beautiful and melodic and perfectly fantastic. Emily Haines might be in her 40's now but she still has such a beautiful voice. Unfortunately, this album was a definite letdown in my book, and over time even "The Shade" started to wear on me. There are a few other tracks that I enjoy, including "Lie Lie Lie" and "Too Bad, So Sad". Pagans in Vegas just doesn't seem to capture the same emotion and excitement that usually comes from a Metric record.

"The Shade" is probably the most interesting song on the countdown, story-wise. When I first heard it I was annoyed by the bloops and Haines' chanting "I want it all" on the chorus, but after hearing it a few times I realized it is a pretty little love song. Plus the sensual way she says "Baby, there's no better time" and the driving keys keep the song afloat. I've learned to appreciate the bloops and bleeps, but as the year waned on I found that they were less attractive after hearing the song multiple times. If Metric does release another album soon, I hope that it'll have a little more spunk to it.

Title: The Shade
Pagans in Vegas

Previous #19s
2015: The Frozen Ocean - Kerosene
2014: Destiny Potato - Take A Picture
2013: Relient K - PTL
2012: Silversun Pickups - Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)
2011: The Knux - Razorblade
2010: Demon Hunter - Collapsing (ft Bjorn Strid)
2009: Parachute - She Is Love

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The 2016 Jester One Music Top 20 Countdown - #20

#20 - Safemode - Hold On

#20 is always an interesting spot on the countdown. Some years there are so many songs that it's impossible to really fill out the lower spots without feeling bad about leaving certain songs out. Other years you're kind of reaching and you look back and scratch your head about the final few.  Don't get me wrong; there's never a lack of quality songs by the end of the year. It's just sometimes I look back and wonder just where I was at the right time.

Anyways, this year we have Safemode taking the opening spot on our countdown. The Swedish metalcore trio are known for their melodic vocals and crunching guitars. In 2013 their song "Another Day Will Haunt You" gained a large amount of airplay on RadioU and they've continued forward with the track "Hold On" in 2016. The album Colorblind features a few decent songs but all in all "Hold On" is definitely the strongest track, and preaches a message of staying strong in the difficult times. It was a good song to get me through the year and I'm hopeful to hear a musical maturation from the band in the coming years.

Title: Hold On
Artist: Safemode
Album: Colorblind

Previous #20s
2015: Florence and the Machine - Ship to Wreck
2014: I, The Breather - Swine:Cult (ft Ricky Armellino)
2013: Grouplove - Ways To Go
2012: Reptar - Stuck in My Id
2011: Avril Lavigne - What The Hell
2010: Dark Tranquility - The Fatalist
2009: Collective Soul - Staring Down