The Best Albums of 2013


It’s that time of year again, the time to share my “best of” lists of the year.

It started with the top sermon downloads from Revolution Church, then my almost best books & almost best albums of the year. Then I shared my favorite books of 2013. Today is the last list: my favorite albums of 2013.


13. The Civil Wars The Civil Wars

This band is just incredible. It’s too bad they can’t stand each other. Still an incredible album.

12. Sleeping at Last Atlas: DarknessAtlas: LightAtlas: Space 1

3 incredible EP’s from this Ryan O’Neal. So good.

11. The Head and the Heart Let’s Be Still

This album took some time to grow on me, but now I love it. Definitely a good step from their last album.

10. The Lonely Wild The Sun as It Comes

I could’ve paid $8 to see this band in Tucson over the summer, but didn’t. Still kicking myself for that because of how great this album is. So much heart in it.

9. Kodaline In A Perfect World

Just discovered this band. Wow.

8. Andrew Belle Black Bear

I’ve been a fan of Andrew Belle for a few years. This is his best and most ambitious album yet.

7. Hey Marseilles Lines We Trace

According to the Seattle Times, “Hey Marseilles is a contender for a local rock band to break out in a significant way in 2013.” This album is that good.

6. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

This album is higher on a lot of other year end lists. I think because of my high expectations, it hurt this album. Still good, but not as good as I hoped it would be.

5. Gregory Alan Isakov | The Weatherman


4. Sigur Ros Kveikur

Katie and I saw Sigur Ros in April. If you can ever get to their show, you need to. Wow. This album is off the charts.

3. Marble Sounds Dear Me, Look Up

This is such a good album. It would be #1 if not for how good the next two are.

2. The National Trouble Will Find Me

Not quite as good as High Violet, but such a good album. In fact, until I heard the next album, this one was #1.

1. Bastille Bad Blood

I can’t believe this is the debut album for this band. So, so, so good.

How’s my list? What albums did I miss? What albums did I rate too high?


Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.


  1. Leaders need solitude. Here’s why and how to do it.
  2. Acts of kindness for your pastor.
  3. The National (one of my favorite bands) just released their new album and Pitchfork has a great look at the band.
  4. Stop work overload.
  5. Joe Thorn on Reading profitably. I recently blogged about the same thing.
  6. How a leader should respond to criticism. This was timely for me.
  7. My wife Katie just started blogging on my blog, which I think will be helpful for the female readers especially as she has a ton of wisdom. Here’s her first blog post.
  8. Sam Storms on the Cure for spiritual burnout.

The Best Album of the Year…So Far

Today, the new album from The National called Trouble Will Find Me Here came out. I’ve listened to it 3 or 4 times and it is easily the best album I’ve heard all year so far. Here’s a song from it.

Music Monday || The National & More

So excited for the new album by The National to come out. Easily one of my favorite bands. Here’s the first single: “Demons”

Albums I’m Streaming this Week:

Music Monday 1.10.11

Streaming at Daytrotter this week:  Doug Burr | Stars | MGMT

Streaming at Noise Trade this week:  Beau & Regan | Matthew Perryman Jones | Graci Phillips | Bess Rogers

Because it is a new year and people have made resolutions, you can read mine here. I was thinking about bands I really want to see in concert, so here goes:

  • Jonsi
  • The National
  • Stars
  • Iron & Wine
  • Mumford & Sons

Top Posts of December 2010

In case you missed them, here are the top posts from the last month:

  1. Don’t Malign Your Spouse
  2. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  3. Radical:  Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  4. Music Monday 12.20.10 – Top 10 Albums for 2010
  5. Why we Don’t Use Animals at our Christmas Eve Service
  6. Top Books of 2010
  7. A Story from the Giving Challenge
  8. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  9. Starting the New Year Off Revolution Style
  10. Gospel Coaching Part 1

Music Monday 12.20.10 – Top Albums of 2010

Every Monday I share some new music I’m listening to, just bought or wish I had more money to buy. As a special Music Monday (this is the last one of the year), I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite albums of the year:

  1. “High Violet” The National. I realize The National has been around for years and has several albums, but I discovered them this year and wow. If you haven’t grabbed this album yet, it is easily my favorite of the year.
  2. “The Suburbs” Arcade Fire. I love how this album is a shot at materialism and the angst that comes from pursuing the American dream. It is also great musically. Reminiscent of the 80’s.
  3. “Sigh no More” Mumford & Sons. In the vien of The Avett Brothers, but I just love this album. A littler poppier & less country than The Avett Brothers.
  4. “The Changing of the Guard” Starflyer 59. Starflyer 59 has been one of my favorite bands since I started buying music back in 1994 when they released Silver. There sound has changed as I’ve grown older, which makes them kind of like my life band. This album is easily their best ever. Great follow up to Dial M.
  5. “The Five Ghosts” Stars. Along with The National and Arcade Fire, I discovered Stars this year and promptly bought their previous albums. This one though is easily their best. Haunting vocals.
  6. “The Orchard” Ra Ra Riot. If you are a fan of Vampire Weekend or Arcade Fire, then you will love Ra Ra Riot.
  7. “I and Love and You” The Avett Brothers. Katie and I got to see this band this year. If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it. They are so good.
  8. “Infinite Arms” Band of Horses. Band of Horses is a band you should have in your library. So good. This is their 3rd album and they just keep getting better and better.
  9. “Mt. Desolation” Mt. Desolation. Superbands are the new thing. Whether it is Monsters of Folk or Mt. Desolation. This one has guys from Mumford & Sons, The Killers and Noah & the Whale. This album just came out and is getting some steady play in our house.
  10. “Broken Bells” Broken Bells. This band is made up of guys from The Shins and Modest Mouse. If you like those two bands, this is worth checking out.

Honorable mentions:  “All Alone in an Empty House” Lost in the Trees, “Go” Jonsi, “Volume Two” She & Him, “Contra” Vampire Weekend, and “The First Days of Spring” Noah & the Whale.

To see my favorite albums from 2009, go here.

Music Monday 11.22.10

Streaming this week: Warpaint | William Tyler | Peter Wolf Crier | The Black Angels

Albums I bought this week: Stars | Peter Bjorn and John

Free Music: 23 songs from Amazon

Here is a video of Anberlin performing their song “Impossible” on Jimmy Kimmel Live show.

Here are the videos from Arcade Fire from their appearance on SNL (love this band).

Here is the official video from The National for their great song “Bloodbuzz Ohio.”

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • I am so wiped right now
  • It is unreal what God is doing right now at Revolution
  • We are in the middle of summer and we had 16 first time guests tonight
  • Unreal
  • Tonight was a cool night because we showed a video story of my dad and then he joined me on stage for Q & A, which was a good time
  • Excited about having him in town for the week
  • Paul did a great job on the drama tonight
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
  • Should be fun, I’m preaching at 22nd St. Church (the church we rent from)
  • I’m throwing down the message I did tonight
  • Should be fun to call a bunch of men to step up and be men
  • Got to circle up with our partners tonight
  • I am humbled by the caliber of people in our church and how many people are bought into the vision and what God is doing
  • We are having another adoption rummage sale on August 14th
  • If you would like to help or have something to donate, let us know
  • We announced our next series tonight
  • Starting August 21st we are doing a series called Ultimate Fighter on 2 Timothy
  • I’m excited to get back into a book of the Bible series
  • We’ll also have a study guide with questions that you can use for yourself, as a couple or as a family to be able to have devotions everyday
  • I am loving the new albums from The National, Stars and Arcade Fire, amazing
  • Right now, I am reading one of the best books on leadership I’ve ever read
  • Made the plunge this week and ordered a macbook, excited to join the mac cult
  • Gavin turns 3 on Tuesday, so we are doing some fun things this week for that
  • We’re hoping to go hiking on Monday on Mt Lemmon and he wants to go to Chick Fil a for family night on Tuesday
  • Our family loves the cookies n cream shake, what can I say
  • We had several people sign up for the basics class and the partnership class coming up
  • If you are interested, don’t miss these nights
  • Next week, we are finishing our series The Perfect Kid and I’m talking about “The most important thing when it comes to parenting”
  • You don’t want to miss it
  • It will be a great week to bring a friend, so let’s pack out the service