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Yet Another Anberlin Ranking

this is a band that has been among my favorites since 6th grade when new surrender came out. as the years passed their music matured as i did, and i never felt that i was now "too old" or "too mature" to listen to their music, unlike some bands (hawthorne heights and a ton of shitty victorycore). i don't expect *anyone* to agree with this list, but hear me out.

this is the obvious pick for #1 because it contains some of their flat out best
songs. the middle section is still a bit of a drag for me after all these years, even
though both "mathematics" and "hello alone" have their redeeming parts (the bridge
in the former and the prechorus in the latter). i've always felt that "debut" is the
perfect buildup to "godspeed" and "(*fin)" is one of the best album closers ever
made. how an album starts and ends is incredibly important to how its perceived by
listeners and this gets it right. i don't believe this album is a classic or a
masterpiece, despite what my rating says, but it's pretty close enough and now
has added sentimental value since they're ceasing to exist as a band after this

not quite a 4.5, but pretty damn close. lowborn is not the album i expected them to
make, or even close to it, but it subverted my expectations in all the best ways. it
doesn't have the problem of homogeneity that many of their other records do.
pretty much every song has its own identity and yet the album still feels more than
just a collection of songs. it's stylistically diverse enough to sum up their whole
career and songs like "stranger ways" and "hearing voices" are some of the most
emotionally affecting music i've ever heard in my entire life.

after two albums of floundering about after the career highpoint that was cities,
vital was the point when anberlin got their shit together and finally managed to
completely transform their sound into something refreshing. from electronic tinged
hard rock to straight up synthpop, the album has an identity all its own amongst
their discography and up until lowborn came out i considered it their most
consistent album, despite some weaker spots like "innocent" and "orpheum."
Never Take Friendship Personal

the first anberlin album i ever listened to. i had heard "a day late" on the gospel
music channel (LOL) and immediately knew this band was going to be something
special. my 11 year old self wasn't disappointed. as with cities, the middle section
of this album kinda drags but the first and last 4 tracks are solid as fuck. i still
return to this album a lot and "paperthin hymn" and "a day late" are some of the
most nostalgic songs ever.
Blueprints for the Black Market

i only heard this album fairly recently and i've got to say it's a little bit underrated
here. almost everyone pegs this as their weakest album but i've got to disagree. i
feel a lot of the flaws of this album are glossed over by their cute as hell youthful
energy. it may be annoying to some, but i can't help but smile at something like
"foreign language." "autobahn" is *the* song i want played in a romantic montage
when i finally create the screenplay i've always wanted to write. about half of this
record isn't all that memorable but it never bores me in the same way that DITW
and new surrender do. a really solid debut album.
Dark is the Way, Light is a Place

the band's attempt to make a darker and more serious record after the maligned
new surrender. this was my favorite anberlin album for a while after it came out but
i can't remember the last time i listened to it all the way through. "pray tell" and
"art of war" are great songs (fuk u hong tam) but aside from that... bleh. this album
reminds me of the joshua tree a lot and like that album there was a time when i
loved it to death, but i'm now just really bored of it.
New Surrender

3.3/5. "the resistance," "breaking," "retrace," and "miserabile visu" are all fantastic,
but lyrically this album seems to revert to blueprints' naivete and innocence... and
musically it's just not energetic enough to compensate. a chore to sit through.
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