Green Baron
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Last Active 07-31-14 12:27 pm
Joined 11-09-12

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 Lists
07.18.14 All Anberlin Songs Ranked (with Descrip 06.20.14 Album Cover Guessing Game, Part 2
05.31.14 Sputnik's American Census05.22.14 Something Much Needed
05.20.14 2014 Recs05.19.14 Moar Opeth
05.16.14 Greenlinkinama05.09.14 24: Live Another Day
05.01.14 First Concert04.26.14 Return From Washington
04.11.14 The Kapital04.03.14 Green Turns Fourteen
04.01.14 New Tool Album03.27.14 No More Last.fm Radio
03.04.14 Plughammer4k 03.03.14 2013 Madness
03.01.14 Favorite Sput Users, Part I02.17.14 Cities Ranked
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All Anberlin Songs Ranked (with Descriptions)

This'll be an ongoing series.
88Anberlin
New Surrender


"Disappear" - So you may be wondering, what is Green's least favorite Anberlin song? The answer is this little track off of New Surrender, which is an album I will always defend as one of the band's most underrated efforts. You wouldn't get that from "Disappear", though. It's pretty hard for me to consider an Anberlin song "bad" - hell, most of their worst ones are just plain out boring. "Disappear" comes close though - everything plays out like a normal decent Anberlin song - until the chorus. The drums kick in, and you think something great would follow, but what does follow is one of Anberlin's most annoying choruses ever. Goddamn, Stephen Christian's vocals are downright unbearable on this when he cries, "Watch us slowly disappear with time", and he falls flat on the word "disappear" so badly it hurts.
87Anberlin
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place


"We Owe This to Ourselves" - I'm in the minority when it comes to this, but Dark is the Way, Light is a Place is my least favorite Anberlin album, and guess what, "We Owe This" is my least favorite Anberlin opener. While the instruments do hit hard like all Anberlin openers do, the most important part of the band falls flat, and that's Stephen Christian himself. The riffs and drums are on the heavier side, but save for a few lines in the opening verse, there's no energy in his vocals, especially in the chorus. Not to mention, the track is pretty repetitive - the chorus, which consists of two goddamn lines, is repeated six times throughout the whole song. By round #3, I'm practically begging for this song to just end already.
86Anberlin
Lost Songs


"Everywhere In Between" - There are four B-sides included on this list, and this is the first one to leave. Let's address the elephant in the room first, which is the fact that "Everything in Between" is a demo. As a result, the production is awful, and it does sound like it was made in Stephen's basement. Vocally, he provides emotion but also sings off-key and falls flat too many times. It's also incredibly hard to hear the instrumental section, which is drowned out in the background. To make matters worse, there's even a key change towards the end that takes a turn for the worse. The song isn't even all that bad, and it's main problems mostly stem from the fact that it is a demo and it is pretty unrefined. Maybe I'm being too harsh on this song for being a demo, but I rarely see myself coming back to this one.
85Anberlin
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place


"Closer" - This was chosen as Dark is the Way's second single, and flopped commercially, peaking at #39 on Billboard's Alternative charts. It's not hard to see why, though - even if the verses do contain a small trace of emotion in Christian's vocals, I can't look past the terrible chorus, which just consists him monotonously mumbling "Closer, cloooooooooser" with no energy whatsoever. The main problem with Dark is the Way is that the album contains some of the most boring songs Anberlin have ever done, yet it was hyped up as dark and visceral. "Closer" runs for only four minutes, but it seems like much longer with the whole track dragging on what seems like five. As far as the ballads on Dark is the Way go, this definitely ranks at the bottom, with almost nothing working in its favor.
84Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"Love Song" - While I didn't include any covers that were featured on the B-sides compilation Lost Songs, "Love Song" was featured on the band's first album, Blueprints for the Black Market, which gets a lot more flack then it deserves. It's filled with so much youthful energy that it reminds me of the hot summer days, and all the fun associated with it. This cover of The Cure classic isn't a bad one, but it's definitely not one I come back to that often. It's clearly inferior to the original, and doesn't do anything to distinguish itself from the original or any other Anberlin songs. At least 311's version managed to incorporate their signature reggae-rock sound into something interesting, which Anberlin's doesn't. Overall, it's not a horrible song, but there's definitely nothing special or unique about it at all, and I can't ever listen to it without wanting to spin Disintegration and witness the greatness of The Cure's original.
83Anberlin
Cities


"(Debut)" - Ohh shit, a song from Cities got dropped this early? Don't fret, Cities lovers, because it's just a prelude. I consider the songs from here on out to be in a different tier than the first five. Those were songs that I cringe when listening to, with multiple factors working against their favor. The songs that are being eliminated soon aren't horrible, but they're just short instrumental pieces that barely last over a minute, and therefore I can't place them any higher. I don't hate anything about them (unlike the prior five), but it's hard to justify putting an instrumental prelude above, y'know, actual songs, even if those songs are boring. With that said, "(Debut)" does a pretty good job of opening up Cities. A dark ambiance is provided through the main riff, low piano chords and track skipping. The out-of-tune violins remind me of city traffic and the foreboding darkness that disaster will soon occur. A short acoustic lick comes in and the volume cranks up before...
82Anberlin
Never Take Friendship Personal


"A Heavy Hearted Work of Staggering Genius" - I'm not sure if I made it clear enough in my write-up for "(Debut)", but I consider these two tracks in a separate tier than the first five tracks I eliminated. Had "A Heavy Hearted Work..." been a full- length song, I could easily put it a lot higher on the list. Alas, it's only a minute and fourteen seconds long, but all of that time is well spent. The track begins with some simple strumming on the acoustic guitar before blasts of guitar distortion wave in and a drumfill starts to play. While the electric riff soon overpowers the acoustic, both intertwine with each other towards the end. Had the song been at least four minutes long, it would have had more time to fully expand on its ideas and reach a more satisfying climax.
81Anberlin
Never Take Friendship Personal


"The Runaways" - So, a song from Never Take Friendship Personal that is not an interlude has finally been eliminated. Before we go on about this song, I'd like to note that the tracks from here on out are in a different tier than the rest of the list. The first few songs were ones I had little to no fondness for, and the last two were nothing more than interludes that I couldn't have ranked any higher. The next 81 positions will be a standard ranking, with no benefits or unbenefits allowed. Anyways, let's talk about Never Take Friendship Personal. It's Anberlin's most overrated album in my opinion, mainly because they still hadn't found their sound completely yet, and there are a couple of boring clunkers in the middle stretch. "The Runaways" is one of them. This is mainly because of the fact that the song's chorus does absolutely nothing for me except put me to sleep. Stephen Christian's vocals on this are just average, with no cringeworthy moments but no highlights either. There's just a lack of spark in his voice, which really disappoints me. "Distance is the thief in which you conspire" is a pretty good lyric, but the chorus is pretty repetitive and cliched. Overall, it's not a bad song, just an incredibly boring one.
80Anberlin
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place


"You Belong Here" - Speaking of boring tracks, here's another one off of Dark is the Way that exemplifies everything about why it's my least favorite Anberlin album. The song starts with half a minute of slow instrumentals before Christian slowly croons, "You belong here, you were meant to be with me". There's simply nothing interesting about it, and it's in the row of ballads that fill up the album's middle section. I really do like the line "But, a heart that's not worth breaking isn't worth much, not at all.", but that doesn't excuse the absolute snoozer that the song calls a 'chorus'. There's simply no emotion in Christian's vocals at all, which is strange, considering he usually nails his ballads. He's the main reason why Dark is the Way was such a disappointing record, although around 2:55 he belts out a loud, high note that I do really enjoy. Unfortunately, that's the bright spot in this dark (heh, heh) tunnel of a lullaby.
79Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"Foreign Language" - As I stated earlier, Blueprints for the Black Market is Anberlin at their most youthful and innocent, with lots of pop-punk influence in many of the tracks. For a debut album, it isn't half bad. However, Blueprints does have some annoying songs that are just so damn sugar-coated that it becomes irritating after a while. Case in point: this song, which combines bad lyrics ("Boys speak in rhythm, and girls in code"), annoying doo doo doos (You're not Third Eye Blind, just sayin') and a weak chorus. It's not a boring song at all, but after multiple listens it does come off as an amateur song, which is fitting, giving how young the band was at the time of Blueprints' release. The whole 'foreign language' metaphor is a neat idea, but the execution isn't strong enough to build upon Christian's heartbroken angst. It's a very jittery song, and Anberlin were never good at doing jittery songs (hint, hint).
78Anberlin
New Surrender


"Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)" - Another song from New Surrender goes down, and this time it's one whose main offense is nothing more than just being absolutely boring. There's no cringeworthy vocals, jittery chorus or horrendous lyrics, but there's nothing memorable about it. The background cries in the chorus are perhaps the most interesting thing about it, because the instrumentation is standard and the singing is rather dull. "Burn Out Brighter" tells the story of a man who wants to live life to the fullest and die for something important, wanting to "burn out brighter than the Northern lights", but he makes a few mistakes along the way and wishes he could still accomplish his goals. With the imminent disbanding of Anberlin, these lyrics seem rather self-prophetic, but that's unimportant. The band could have done so much more with that subject matter, but the result is just plain boring. And on an album as great as New Surrender, just plain boring is enough for it to be its second worst song.
77Anberlin
Devotion


"City Electric" - On the surface Devotion seems like nothing more than Vital and a few B-sides, but if you look deeper into the album, you'll see how important each of the added B-sides are to its flow. The slow crescendo of energy that builds in tracks 3-6 is so glorious, and "City Electric" is a part of it. With that said, the song does feel like a B-side, and it comes off as one of the poppiest tracks Anberlin have ever made. It's not one of their lightest, but at least their acoustic ballads had a foreboding sense of sadness and melancholy to them. "City Electric" comes incredibly close to sounding like pop-rock, from the chorus that bears resemblances to an awful One Direction song, a fervent U2 influence and the "whoa oh oh"s in the bridge. It's not hard to see why this was rejected in favor of Vital's greatest songs.
76Anberlin
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place


"Pray Tell" - At the rate they're falling, there won't be anymore Dark is the Way songs once we past the Top 50. I do have to note that save for "We Owe This to Ourselves", every song I've eliminated from Dark is the Way is in the album's middle section of ballads (which only has one song alive, "Take Me (As You Found Me)", so it's not particularly the best stretch of songs). For a ten song album, Dark is the Way drags the most right after it gets started, not to mention most of the ballads nearly reach four minutes. "Pray Tell" starts off with a stomp-clap-stomp beat, which is uncommon to hear in an Anberlin song. Stephen Christian's vocals soon come in, and they kill any momentum the song had going for it. "Hide away, why do you hiiiiiiiide away from me?", he whines, and I could come up with multiple reasons why is ex flees from his sight all the time. Not only does the Ballad Row in Dark is the Way consist of the same type of song over and over and over and over again, it's also filled with such forgettable hooks I can't even call them "hooks", because they don't hook onto any facet of my memory. It's boring ballad after boring ballad after boring ballad, and it gets unbearable after the second one. People ask me why I hate on Dark is the Way so much - it's songs like "Pray Tell" that are the reason why. Post-chorus, the stomp-clap-stomps come back amidst some twangy guitar, which disappears after five seconds. I would have loved to hear more twangy guitar in this song, because the stomp-claps get repetitive. Christian again delivers a vocal performance that is so damn unemotional. Such is the way of life down here on Ballad Row.
75Anberlin
Lowborn


"Birds of Prey" - As a song from Lowborn goes down, the only albums without a song eliminated yet are Vital and Cities (not counting the prelude). After listening to the album for a month now, I can easily say that Lowborn is one of my favorite Anberlin albums. It doesn't go all-out, it's just a standard Anberlin album, and standard Anberlin still kicks ass. The album hits the right spots with the soft songs and heavier ones, and it's a great note to end on. "Birds of Prey" is probably the most minimalistic track on Lowborn, even more so than the closer "Harbinger", which disappointed many. The song begins with a pretty nice bassline that is repeated throughout the whole song, plus the beat comes in around the same time. I really do like the verses, especially when Christian goes "and it all ends the same", and the chorus is pretty emotional too. What drags this song down, then? It's when the whole band comes in, ruining the intimacy the song spent two minutes building. With the minimalism gone, there's really nothing special about the ending. And what the hell is that man in the background saying?
74Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"We Dreamt in Heist" - My favorite moments on Blueprints for the Black Market are when Anberlin are at their most youthful and innocent. It makes the album rather unique, as the band would later become darker and moodier. "We Dreamt in Heist" is one of these youthful songs, and its lyrics are about promising your lover you'll stay with them forever. It's a sweet message, one that gets lost among the angst-ridden post-breakup anthems found on Cities and New Surrender. My main problem with "We Dreamt in Heist" is that it never completely engages me in any way, shape or form. It's a very boring song, honestly, and its chorus is two lines, with the only memorable thing being Stephen stretching out the word "try-yyy-yyy-yyyyyyyyyyy-yyy" for as long as he can, and that gets annoying after a while. What about the verses, then? They're generic and lack emotion. My favorite moment of the song is the first two lines of the bridge, when Stephen tells his girl "I know Mexico is south of here, beautiful this time of year, so let's jump the border when the coast is clear". Aside from that, this song puts me to sleep.
73Anberlin
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place


"Down" - I don't suppose I'm making any friends with this selection, but most of the songs that are being booted in this section of the list are those whose greatest offense is being boring. "Down" certainly fits that bill to a T, but before we talk about "Down", I think it's worth noting that half of Dark is the Way has already shown up on the list. All five of these songs are the reason why it's my least favorite Anberlin album. I've mentioned the Ballad Row before, but outside of it, the songs I don't like aren't offensively bad, they just don't interest me at all. That's certainly the case for "Down", which manages to be Dark is the Way's sole acoustic ballad. I'm normally a sucker for Anberlin's acoustic ballads, as the positions for "Breathe" and "The Unwinding Cable Car" will soon prove. "Down" gets on my bad side as soon as it starts, with an acoustic section that sounds exactly like "Disarm" by The Smashing Pumpkins. This wouldn't be so noticeable if there wasn't some background drumming that comes in at the exact same time it does on "Disarm". All they needed was some chimes, and it'd be exactly the same. Looking past that, the verses come off as incredibly lifeless, which sucks, because Anberlin's acoustic ballads thrive on the emotion in Stephen Christian's vocals. I wait for the chorus to come in, but before that... a-ha! It's the "Disarm" drumming again! It's coincidental that they share the same drum beat, and it's also coincidental that the drum beat happens in the intro and right before the chorus on both songs, right? Yeah, no. Stephen's falsetto on the chorus would sound beautiful normally, but everything about "Down" is just so damn boring. I keep waiting for the song to pick up later on, but it never does. And thus, the song sounds a lot longer than four minutes, because the latter half of it drags. Oh yeah, and after every line in the chorus, you know what happens? The drum beat from "Disarm". Sigh.
72Anberlin
Never Take Friendship Personal


"Time & Confusion" - The middle part of Never Take Friendship Personal is easily the album's weakest section. It features some incredibly dull songwriting, uninspired vocals and bland choruses. "Time & Confusion" embodies all three of those aspects. "Live for today, we'll dream tomorrow" is the track's opening line, and overall, its first verse is very anthemic and a call for action. I really do like when the riffs fade in and out in order so Stephen can cry "And it feels like we could last forever, and I'm not doing this alone", but what I don't like is the main hook of the song. After building up so much emotion with its verses, it just dissipates into the air with a less-than-stellar chorus. I don't hate "Time & Confusion", it just bores me at the wrong time. The hook is supposed to be the most memorable part of the song, but it manages to be the least memorable on this song. I'm not a huge fan of the bridge either, which is pretty generic.
71Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"The Undeveloped Story" - This is the fourth song from Blueprints for the Black Market to go out, and only Dark is the Way with five has more songs eliminated so far (although look at it this way, there are more songs on Blueprints, and 66% of them still remain, compared to 50% for Dark is the Way). I think it's clear that Blueprints and Dark is the Way are my least favorite Anberlin album, although I do enjoy Blueprints a lot more. Blueprints is the sound of a band who were struggling to find their true sound, lost between the pop-punk influenced sugary innocence and the riff-driven angst that would soon manifest. There's really not much to say about "The Undeveloped Story", honestly, other than the fact that it's plain boring. I'm not a fan of the cowbell either.
70Anberlin
Never Take Friendship Personal


"Stationary Stationery" - I do enjoy the pun that the band came up with in the title, playing off the homophonic relationship the two words have. That's probably the most interesting thing about this cut from Anberlin's second album, which now has three songs down. New Surrender has lost two, and Vital and Cities have lost none (not counting Debut). I think that pretty much says enough about how I rank them. Remember in my write-up for "Foreign Language" I stated how Anberlin were never good at writing jittery songs? Well, "Stationary Stationery" fits NTFP's quota in terms of annoyingly upbeat songs. Although it isn't as annoying as "Foreign Language", there's nothing really appealing about it. "Do they not have pen or paper where you are, because I haven't heard from you in ages" is a horrible opening line, and the main hook is mind-numbingly dull. Not to mention, this song is pretty damn repetitive, with 75% of the last minute and a half being the exact same lines repeated over and over. Overall, "Stationary Stationery" isn't a bad track, but a repetitive and dull one. Giving credit where it's due, the pre-chorus is pretty good, but it's twenty seconds of greatness drowned out by three minutes of snoozing.
69Anberlin
New Surrender


"Younglife" - Here's a track that sounds noticeably different from the rest of Anberlin's material. First of all, it's one of the band's most youthful and innocent songs that isn't on Blueprints for the Black Market, which is rather surprising given the band dropped that shtick with the release of Never Take Friendship Personal. Second of all, the instruments are a lot more subdued, with the drums coming in only in the chorus and the guitar riff quieted, hiding in the background behind computer- generated beats and the main acoustic section. This is one of Anberlin's best jittery songs, although it only comes in 69th place, which says a lot about the quality of them. I don't even hate the chorus, but what kills this song for me is the way Stephen sings the line "back of my mind". It sounds rather off, and when that line is one of the most prominent in the whole song, being repeated a total of four times, it's a ruiner. The song reflects on adolescent memories and teenage fantasies, which is a theme that hasn't shown up in a while. Some people say that this song is poppy Anberlin, but there are some good poppy Anberlin songs, so that's not the direct problem.
68Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"Cold War Transmissions" - I think I'm reaching the end of boring Anberlin songs - for the most part, I like each and every song now, after I've eliminated the bad ones, the inter(pre)ludes and the bland ones. "Cold War Transmissions" is one of the heaviest tracks on Anberlin's 2003 debut instrumentally, but what lets it down are the vocals. The song opens up with a nice repeating riff and some pretty aggressive singing - the guitarwork on "Cold War" is wonderful, I do admit. Milligan adds a crunch to it that gives the track a much more harder feel than it would without it, so I do admire its songwriting. What I don't like is the chorus, though, which sounds like generic Anberlin. The aggressive instrumentation does give it somewhat of a "pop-punk" feel because Christian's vocals aren't as sharp on the hook. Lyrically, it's about relationships (big surprise there), but the theme of relating a breakup to war is cliched and overdone.
67Anberlin
Devotion


"No Love to Speak" - These next 67 songs are going to be hard to rank, especially when all of the tracks are so consistently great. That's the thing about Anberlin - they're a hell of a consistent band, rarely making a bad album and always crafting out good song after good song. To put things in perspective, songs 88-84 are a 2, 83-82 are instrumentals and 81-68 are 2.5s and 3s. From here on out, every track will be at least a 3.5. And "No Love to Speak" is a 3.5 - a low 3.5, but it's still a 3.5. It's a very emotional song, and Stephen Christian sings with the sadness and melancholy that he uses so damn well. Don't get me wrong, it's a great track, but whenever I listen to it, it keeps building and building with fervent emotion, but the payoff just isn't what I expected. The whole song feels like it adds onto that one moment where everything lets go, but it never does, and that's what hurts "No Love to Speak" the most. It's a great song, and it could have fit on Vital, but it's just not as good as the other 66 songs that are about to face their ranking.
66Anberlin
Never Take Friendship Personal


"A Day Late" - Now, this is a song that has grown on me completely ever since I first heard it. It started out around the low 70s quality, but it worked its way up to a very respectable #66, given the scope of Anberlin's discography. "A Day Late" was the first single the band had ever released, but it didn't do too well commercially. What irked me about it initially was how much it sounded like a Blueprints for the Black Market B-side; it had that damn annoying upbeat, sugar-coated feel to it that didn't fit in well with the rest of Never Take Friendship Personal, plus it was pretty boring too. That was two years ago, though, and now it's too damn infectious to overlook. Even if the lyrics may be a bit lacking, goddamn me if this song isn't catchy as hell. This is some single-worthy stuff right here, and I hate knocking it out so low but then again, that's just how good the rest of Anberlin's discography it. "We are who we were when, could've been lovers but at least you're still my day late friend." That hook really does grab you into the song, and the way the song fades out is also pretty neat.
65Anberlin
Blueprints for the Black Market


"Autobahn" - This is the second song in a row that I've booted despite being catchy as hell. Blueprints for the Black Market now has 6 of 11 songs out, compared to Dark is the Way which has 5 of 10. It's still a better album though, and the rankings reflect that - DITW's songs were outed early on, and Blueprints is meeting its end against stiff competition. "Autobahn", like most other Blueprints songs, has an exuberant youthful innocence, and that upbeat vibe is the album's main MO. It has its fair share of harder and emotional moments, but for the most part it's such a happy record that really feels like summer. And a lot of its songs are catchy, while others are dull and irritating. "Autobahn" is in the middle - it's a very catchy song, but it doesn't have anything else going for it besides its catchiness. The instrumentation is standard, Stephen's vocals are standard, but it's so damn catchy. It's a great song, but again, it's stacked up against stuff that's so much better.
64Anberlin
New Surrender


"Blame Me! Blame Me!" - Yay, more controversy! Although this time, it's not because I kicked a song off too early, it's because I kept it on for way too damn long. A lot of people jab at New Surrender for being a mediocre followup to Cities, when in actuality I think it's pretty damn underrated. Its got everything that a great Anberlin album has, and even if there's some boring and annoying songs on it, the product as a whole is one of their best. Stephen doesn't like it all that much, but to me he's wrong, which is one of the few times I'll ever disagree with him. Anyways, back to "Blame Me!". The song fills the album's quota for "annoyingly upbeat" songs, except it really isn't that annoying. "Foreign Language" is annoyingly upbeat, not so much this. Lyrically, the song is about the blame game, and how people look to others as the cause of their problems and not their own. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but Stephen sings it with passion. There's just this sense of energy that the song gives off, and I was never bugged by how chirpy it seemed to be. That line "Leave me out of this, your life's a sinking ship" hits all the right notes - it just seems like the perfect 'take that', delivered with contempt. Besides, it's pretty damn catchy. So come on. Give it a chance.
63Anberlin
Devotion


"Dead American" - I hope this choice won't be too controversial, but I never know, given the wide array of opinions on the site. "Dead American" is probably the heaviest song on Devotion, with only "Desires" rivaling it. On an album that combines A- sides with B-sides, "Dead American" doesn't exactly come off as an easy B-side, but it's far from "Self-Starter", "Modern Age" and "God Drugs & Sex". I brought up "Desires" earlier, and that's what this song comes off as, a second-rate rehash of "Desires". It's placed right before it on the Devotion track list, and it features similar instrumentation. Now, I do give it credit for its verses, which are very anthemic. It's like a call to action, a message that needs to spread. What is that message, though? "WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW! WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW! WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW! WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW! WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW! WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT, WE'VE GOT IT RIGHT NOW!" Damn, that chorus is just the worst part about the song. It's repetitive and it can get annoying upon further listens. And you know what? I still like it. Honestly, the only thing that drags this song down is how repetitive it is. The chorus, at times, can feel even more anthemic than the verses, even if it's just one or two lines over and over again. "Dead American" is a song to pump you up, and even if it sounds a bit too similar to "Desires", it's a good song.
62Anberlin
Vital


"Other Side" - As a song from Vital finally goes down, Cities remains the only album untouched (not counting the prelude). I think that says a lot about the strength of this album, which contains wholly emotional ballads, well executed electronic elements and up-tempo rockers. Alas, the least best song Vital is "Other Side", which, despite its ranking, is still a very great song. It starts with a repeating keyboard riff and Stephen slowly crooning on top of it. There's a shaker playing in the background, which is unique for an Anberlin song. My favorite part about it is the chorus, which is filled with emotions as Stephen cries to the skies, "Love me! Love me! Hold me! Hold me!" The whole thing feels so epic, and it's one of the best choruses on the album. Why is it the worst song on Vital then? Simply put, the verses come off as too short, especially the second one, which is only three lines and eleven seconds long. The chorus comes in so soon, and I feel that detracts from the song. Had the verses been given more time to fully develop and expand on its thoughts, the chorus second time around would have so much more impact. It's a nitpick, but when the rest of the song is so grandeur, that one thing takes away from what could have been an even greater song.
61Anberlin
Lowborn


"Velvet Covered Brick" - Oh hey, more controversy! While this was the standout song for many, I couldn't quite grasp the love for this as much as others. It's still a great song, no doubt about that, but compared to "Losing It All", "Hearing Voices" or "Atonement", this never hit me as much. Now, the clear standout part of "Velvet Covered Brick" is the instrumentation, without a doubt. The whole song is very fast-paced and one of the more aggressive songs on Lowborn, which I do admire. The furious drumming, epic riffage and awesome guitar solo are all very impressive, and it helps the song create a heavier mood. What I'm not to big a fan of, however, are Stephen Christian's vocals. They never grabbed me on this song quite like they did on the rest of the album, and while I'm not saying they are boring, they're not as energetic as they could have been. Joseph Milligan's guitar and Nate Young's drumming completely make this song, and without them it would falter. Luckily for "Velvet Covered Brick", the instrumental section is so powerful it only ranks as my 28th least favorite Anberlin song. And that's no easy feat. So I do congratulate this song. It's accomplished a lot.
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