Archive for February, 2007

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Anberlin – Cities

February 27, 2007

AnberlinI’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about this album. Unfortunately I have an addiction to words like awesome, amazing, superb, etc. Fortunately they all seem to apply in the case of this album. From the opening track Godspeed Anberlin takes you on what is probably one of the best rock albums of 2007. Lyrically even at its most confusing they manage to not sound trite. I think I’ll just mention some of my top tracks from this album as the whole thing is great. Godspeed is amazing but I’ve already mentioned it earlier.

“Whisper and a Clamor” is another great rocker that starts with an almost dance feel. It moves into a dark verse with a haunting melody and than an anthemic Chorus. It is quite the song.

“Hello Alone” seems to be a cry in the dark. Another anthemic, almost U2ish chorus but with heavier guitars. As an aside I have to say I love the guitar on this album, it is definitely producer Aaron Sprinkle’s best album guitarwise so far. Stephen Christiansen’s voice is at its most expressive in this song.

“Alexithymia” is some sort of mix between a hard rocker and a ballad. The verses are quiet but not weak with a great bass line and a beautiful acoustic riff. The chorus is the hard rock part with great feel. The bridge and solo are great, it isn’t a wanker solo but a building, melodic riff, that takes you into the final chorus perfectly.

“(*Fin)” This song alone is worth the ablum, I was expecting an outro and instead got this wonderful 8 minute epic journey. The first part tells three stories, the first from the Stephen’s perspective. The second story is about a Father who leaves his family for an addiction, while at the same time being someone who is supposed to minister to others. The last story is about a “man of the cloth” who caused a boy to lose his faith. The standout line from the album is “We’re not questioning God, just those he chose to carry on his cross”. This moves into the heavy part of the song with a haunting instrumental leading into a beautiful childrens choir singing “Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?” It brought tears to my eyes. The song dims down into a quiet postlude that leaves a bunch of rhythm loops playing with the guitar laying down some chords that Stephen sings/monologues over. If you aren’t planning on buying this album than go on iTunes and download this song. Though you’ll be missing out on what is the most exciting album I’ve listened to in it’s been too long.

You can listen to the whole album for the present at myspace.com/anberlin.

5/5

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Tales from the subconcious #2

February 23, 2007

I’m being sucked in.  I can’t escape it, I push against it, I fight it, but it is a black hole.  The black hole for souls is what I feel I’m fighting.  Every moment I watch others forget.  They forget where they came from.  I feel like I’m forgetting where I came from, where I belong.  The hardest part is that the others forgot before they even knew.  I’ve known and yet I’m still slipping away.  I’m conforming to something the others accept as normal.  Their gravity is too great.  Soon I’ll be overtaken.

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the failure to be relative…

February 15, 2007

Relativism is a lie. By that I mean it isn’t true. I could use the classic example. “There is no objective truth” says the relativist, ignoring the fact that he has made an absolute statement.

As obvious as this is I think the reason that you have to make an absolute statement to say there is no absolute truth lies deeper in us than most care to admit. It comes down to our sense of right and wrong. Which many argue is a relative thing.  I don’t want to talk about murder or infidelity.  It comes down to when we see the starving faces from Africa beemed into our television sets.  When we hear that every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger in Africa.  Whether or not we do something we do know it is wrong.  And when I say “we” I mean everyone.  It takes someone truly and honestly (and definably) sick to know that a child is dying of hunger and feel nothing.

I have one question for someone who wants to argue for relatvism:  Why do we know that this is wrong?  Without an absolute standard I fail to see how we can know.

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Pascal’s Wager

February 13, 2007

We were talking about the wager in philosophy today. Though it seems to be a brilliant ploy there is one fatal flaw in it by the standards of today:  You can’t bet a soul you don’t have. It is the saddest part of our society that if all we have to live for is this life; then it follows that everything hinges on the here and now. Professor Tingley said something I thought was really important. It was something along the lines of the idea that someone would say: “If I take this wager and live the way a Christian should if I die and there is nothing after this I’ll have missed out on the full life.” I thought this was a true reflection of our culture.

This is sad in two ways. The first is that this opinion shows the sad view of Christianity that most people have today. It seems like we offer the world either a shallow, materialistic message that only reflects the world that so many already want to escape (just look at how big the drugs, sex, and partying lifestyle is). Or we offer them meaningless traditions and rituals that they can’t grasp the full meaning of. It seems the two pathways are either to become so relevant that we’re indistinguishable or that we cling desparately to tradition the world can’t get a hold of.

The second reason this seems sad though is it reflects the hopelessness of our age. What is the point of living apart from pleasure? If there is no ultimate purpose the only reason we have left to live is to “eat, drink, and be merry” as the Epicurians said. So why doesn’t Pascal’s wager work? The modern world has stolen our souls. You can’t bet a soul you don’t have.

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Who is Thomas Cahill?

February 7, 2007

So I’ve been reading “Desire of the Everlasting Hills, The World Before and After Jesus” by Thomas Cahill. It’s part of his Hinges of History series. This is a fascinating book that places (So far as I’ve read) Jesus and now Paul in their historical context. It’s great reading, and it has been very thought provoking.

I hadn’t realized that Jesus was born into a time when Israel had a false King, a false priesthood, and many believed they were living in the time of Apocalypse (Old Testament style). Jesus came in the exactly wrong way by their standards for a messiah. He didn’t come bearing a sword but a message of peace.

What I really like about this book is not just that it is well written. But also that it deals with the gospels and how they can be seen as historical documents. When I’ve finished the book I’ll post some more thoughts here.