Here are my favorite albums of 2011 with brief commentary on each.
After a nearly seven year layoff since his last full-length studio album, KWS returned with a strong set of blues-rock as good as you’ll hear these days.
This stellar live album from Robert Randolph & The Family Band features several RRFB originals, but the highest points are covers of three classics which take on a whole new flavor with Randolph’s pedal steel wizardry: “I’ll Take You There,” “Shining Star,” and “Purple Haze.”
This EP, featuring original songs inspired by the Psalms, is simply beautiful.
The interplay of Drew’s and Ellie’s voices foregrounding a well-crafted sonic landscape makes for a wonderful listening experience.
Once again, Sara Groves delivers with thought-provoking meditations on life and faith.
The debut from the joint venture between spouses Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, both accomplished solo artists, is a musical masterpiece, blurring the lines between blues and r&b.
Warren Haynes, the front man for Gov’t Mule, churns out more music than seems humanly possible, but somehow the quantity never seems to inhibit the quality. Man In Motion is an incredible testament to his talent as a vocalist and a premier guitarist.
Both lyrically and musically, this may be my favorite album yet from Switchfoot.
More than any other album from 2011, The Reckoning captivated my heart, mind, and spirit. Easing their way into new territory musically and continuing to craft lyrics with an uncommon incisiveness, Needtobreathe cemented themselves as one of my favorite bands with this outstanding album.