So I got the new Arcade Fire record for $3.99 on Amazon Mp3 last week.
And for those not keeping score on Twitter, that means in less than three months, I got all three of their albums for a grand total of $13.99. I should be proud of my thrifty music shopping skillz, but I still kind of feel like I’m cheating on my beloved favorite record store. I wonder if re-purchasing The Suburbs on vinyl would be suitable atonement?
Welcome to the future, I guess. How long before I cave to the Kindle or iPad for my book obsession?
In a great twist of hypocrisy, I direct you to a selection from Amazon’s $5 albums worth your attention. I’m slightly disappointed in this month’s selections (I see a couple I might risk because they got good reviews, but not a whole lot stands out…), but there’s a gem in there by the name of The Medicine by John Mark McMillan.
This is seriously one of the best worship records I’ve heard in a long time. Yes worship. Don’t be deterred. This is not happy-clappy praise choruses that go on forever and ever (amen). It’s more like Bruce Springsteen and Chris Tomlin hung out and listened to some Dead Weather and wrote a worship record. (something like that) It’s dark, gritty, earthy, and intense. It’s an album about life and death and resurrection… and the lyrics. Oh, the lyrics. I love a writer that can take our mundane world of concrete and interstates and turn it into something transcendent. Some of my favorites…
“Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree / Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy… / So we are His portion and He is our prize, / Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes / If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking / So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest / I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way / That he loves us…” (How He Loves)
“Bury all your guns in the sand / Cause the temperature’s changed / and the blood shot eye of the sun stains the bones of the slain / Would you come alive everybody / Would you come alive everyone / Get up out of bed for the sound of the song unsung” (Reckoning Day)
“Cause I’m a dead man now / With a ghost who lives / Within the confines of / These carbon ribs / And one day when I’m free I will sit / The cripple at your table / The cripple by your side” (Carbon Ribs)
“Dance the dance / We call living and dying / In the valley of the city / in the belly of the lion / Work all week long / All week long / You can lose your soul / In the concrete riverbeds / Rolling with the flow / Of the currents of the walking deads / Five comes and you’re a rolling stone” (Belly of the Lion)
Legendary Chris Hauser sold me on it by using the term “Southern gothic.” It’s so good. If you need your faith in worship music revived, check it out.