Friday, March 11, 2011

My Top Ten Artists

Taking a break from writing-oriented posts, this one focuses on another favorite topic of mine: music. Because narrowing my list of favorite songs down to just ten would require extensive surgery, I decided to make my top-ten list on a slightly easier subject: my favorite bands/artists/singers/groups, whatever you'd like to call them. It was only marginally easier to decide on ten of these; I had to make some REALLY tough calls when it got down to the final twelve. I just want to say that I still really love the band "Circus Envy", but they got points off because they make it really DIFFICULT to be a fan of them - I lost some of their songs when my old computer crashed, then found out they were no longer available on iTunes or their website - which is why they didn't make the list.

Anyway. Without further ado:


10. Boys Like Girls
Favorite Song: Up Against the Wall or She's Got a Boyfriend Now
Favorite Album: Boys Like Girls

What I Like: I love the electric guitar in their songs. The lyrics are open and honest, but at the same time they're catchy; the songs are fast-paced even when they're dealing with melancholy subjects like in "Learning to Fall"; other songs, like "Five Minutes to Midnight" are just fun to listen and dance to.

9. The Academy Is
Favorite Song: Skeptics and True Believers
Favorite Album: Almost Here

What I Like: Their sound is similar to Boys Like Girls in several ways, especially the punk-rock-but-not-heavy-metal feel and the electric guitar, but they also have something that makes them unique, although it's hard to pinpoint what it is. Maybe it's because they're not as fast-paced? Because they seem a little more serious? Maybe because I just cannot get over the awesomeness of their song "Skeptics and True Believers"? Whatever it is, they're awesome, and I hope they have a new album out soon.

8. Audrey Assad
Favorite Song: For the Love of You
Favorite Album: The House You're Building

What I Like: Well, the fact that she's a Christian artist is an immediate plus; the fact that I love her songs, obviously, is the main reason she's on the list. A lot of her songs have prominent piano, which is something I'm very drawn to; they're also something I can relate too, which is really important to me when I'm listening to Christian music. The only problem I can find with her? She must be a soprano, because when I try to sing along with her, I fail epically unless I drop it down an octave. Or two.

7. Taylor Swift
(Top Five) Favorite Song(s): Long Live, Sparks Fly, Haunted, Better Than Revenge, Teardrops On My Guitar
Favorite Albun: Speak Now

What I Like: What I love about Taylor is that she's so REAL. You can tell in every one of her songs that she really feels every word she sings. Nothing seems forced. From album to album you can tell that she's growing as an artist, but her sound is still the same fundamentally, and her songs are still things that everyone can relate too. I think the first song I heard of hers was "Our Song", but I didn't really consider myself a fan of her "sound" until I heard some of the songs from Fearless. Even then, I didn't consider myself a true fan, just someone who kinda liked her music; and then Speak Now came out and I was totally blown away. All I could think was, "Holy cow, this girl is AMAZING. I can't wait to see what's next."

6. Owl City
Favorite Song: Butterfly Wings
Favorite Album: Ocean Eyes

What I Like: The fanciful, imaginative nature of their songs. Adam Young is clearly not afraid to show that he's still a kid at heart; and yet his songs aren't "childish", per say. There's still love songs; they're just intermixed with songs about panda bears and strawberries. I guess that last sentence really sums up why I love Owl City. I mean, who doesn't love panda bears and strawberries?

5. Vanessa Carlton
Favorite Song: A Thousand Miles
Favorite Album: Heroes & Thieves or Be Not Nobody

What I Like: Two words: the piano. In all of her songs, it's absolutely beautiful. It's been my goal to learn "A Thousand Miles" for YEARS. One of the reasons I play piano, actually. A lot of her songs feature violins, too, which I love. Aside from that, I adore her voice. There's often an element of fantasy in her songs, especially on her Heroes & Thieves album, another thing I adore. I guess I could have just put "everything" for what I like. I'm really looking forward to her next album.

4. Sara Bareilles
Favorite Song: Let The Rain
Favorite Album: Kaleidoscope Heart

What I Like: Sara Bareilles says everything that I want to say, and she says it beautifully. And she says it accompanied by piano, which we already know I love. Her songs are so open and honest; you can really tell that she loves music and pours her soul into it. I love her songs because I can relate to them and apply almost all of them to a situation in my life. But most of all, what I love about this fantastic singer is her ATTITUDE. She makes it perfectly clear in "King of Anything" and "Love Song" that no one's going to boss her around; she's not going to fit into anyone's stereotypical "Fairytale", but a lot of the songs on Kaleidoscope Heart show a different side of her. She's strong, but she's not afraid to let people see her weaknesses.

Oh, and she said in an interview that she's a fan of Coldplay. Gotta love her for that, too.

3. OneRepublic
Favorite Song: Mercy or Good Life
Favorite Album: Waking Up

What I Like: Where can I possibly start? The cello seems like a good place. Oh my gosh. I am in love with the sound of that instrument in their songs. What else? Their love songs. "Come Home", which features Sara Bareilles (Yes, I did almost die of happiness) is the most beautiful song I have ever heard. "All We Are" is definitely in my list of favorite songs, ever. What's next on the list? So many things. I would marry "Good Life" if it were legal to marry songs. The epicness of "Marchin On." The music video to "All The Right Moves" is second only to the music video for Coldplay's "Life in Technicolor ii" video. The total amazingness of "Mercy", which basically describes my life and the message in "Waking Up." I could go on for much longer, but let's just say they are INCREDIBLE.

2. The Fray
Favorite Song: Where The Story Ends (Piano Version)
Favorite Album: The Fray

What I Like: Once again, I love the fact that a lot of their songs feature prominent piano...but aside from that, their songs are so serious and thought-provoking...sometimes sad, but I love that they're not afraid to shy away from some serious issues and melancholy feelings in their songs. It makes them really moving - I admit I've cried while listening to How to Save a Life and Never Say Never. Their song "You Found Me" - all their songs, really - is just so brutally honest, and that's what I love about them.

1. Coldplay
Favorite Song: Life in Technicolor ii
Favorite Album: Viva La Vida

What I Like: The instrumentals in their songs. Ohhh my. Whether it's being played with or without vocals, every second of the instrumentals on their songs is AMAZING. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with Viva La Vida, which is the first song of theirs I ever heard. And don't get me started on Clocks. I could die for that piano. Beyond that? I really do like Chris Martin's voice. Of course, there's also the fact that their songs are just amazing. I love the meaning behind them...well, the ones I can figure out. Some of their songs are pretty cryptic, but that's also another factor that I like. Coldplay doesn't tell you what their songs are about - you have to figure it out for yourselves, and I've heard so many comments about "Well, I'm not sure what this song really means, but for me..." -their songs have an individual meaning for everyone, which is just great. A lot of their songs are really...I guess thoughtful and reflective would be the best way to describe it. Pondering the meaning of it all, maybe. Some that jump to mind are "White Shadows" (You're part of the human race, all of the stars in the outer space, are part of a system, a plan) "Speed of Sound" (And birds go flying at the speed of sound, to show you how it all began; birds came flying from the underground, when you see it then you'll understand), "Glass of Water" (He heard you can see your future inside a glass of water, the ripples and the lines...will I see heaven in mine?) and "Things That I Don't Understand" (It's hard to quote the song, so just go YouTube it.) Other songs are just plain epic. Viva La Vida, Clocks, Life in Technicolor, Violet Hill. Still other songs are really haunting and beautiful - Cemeteries of London gives me chills every time I listen to it, and Life In Technicolor ii always leaves me breathless. Christmas Lights is so sweet and beautiful. And then you have others that are just kind of fun to listen to, like Lovers in Japan, Strawberry Swing or Rainy Day. (Rainy Day is another reason I love Coldplay - I adore rainy days, and so any band that writes a song about them is immediately awesome.)

So I guess to summarize...It's impossible to summarize the awesomeness of Coldplay. That's why they're my favorite band, ever.

So there you have the conclusion of my top ten favorite artists. Hope this was interesting for you and that maybe you found some new artists or songs to listen too.


P.S. I know that Coldplay's not necessarily popular with everyone, although I can't for the life of me figure out WHY. However, if you are one of the people who for whatever reason don't like Coldplay, here's the thing: I don't mind if you dislike them, just...don't tell me about it, k? Nothing bothers me more than someone making fun of my favorite band on my blog/facebook wall/to my face etc. I like my music, you like your music, whatever. It's all cool, because I don't have to listen to your iPod and you don't have to listen to mine.


  1. Hi, Mike from Circus Envy. Sorry you are missing some tracks, drop me a line at and I will sort them out for you, and send you a digital review copy of our new album by way of apology :-)

  2. Thanks for the response. I did manage to recover the tracks, but I appreciate your offer to help.

    Just as a side note, the new album is really amazing and I already love it. :)

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