The Best of 2011: Music

This was a great year for albums and I had a handful to pick from in making this list of best Music from 2011. I’ve arranged them in order and I hope you’ll check these albums and artists out. This was a hard decision for me, being such a music buff, but here is what I have concluded.

1) Love, War, & The Sea In Between by Josh Garrels

Garrels own unique blend of folk and hip hop makes this an easy win for me. The creativity and the lyrical writing are by far miles ahead of much that passes for music these days. Garrels’ ability to write lyrics that are deeply theological and yet subtle is a skill that is desperately need in writing these days. I love the blending of sounds, styles, and instruments that this album provides. Best song: “Farther Along.”

2) The Water and the Blood by Sojourn

Blues has a soft spot in my heart. I remember listening to old B.B. King records with my dad as a kid and Sojourn music has confidently applied that sound to brilliant worship music. The smokey voices, deep blues riffs, and competent composition make this a worship album unlike any you’ll hear elsewhere. Best song: “Death Has Lost Its Sting”

3) Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars

It’s popular for a reason, it’s good. Joy Williams John Paul White have crafted a folk sound that is at once both haunting and compelling. Their harmonies blend beautifully as they sing about the joys and sorrows of life. Their honest work points to set back and yet hope. The musicianship of John Paul White is as evident in each song as is the captivating voice of Williams. Best song: “Poison and Wine”

4) The Head and the Heart by The Head and the Heart

This indie-folk band seemingly came out of nowhere and popped up on my radar just a few months back. Their self-titled debut album won me over quickly with their driving percussion, violin melodies, and three person harmonies. The songs have an earthiness to them that is hard to describe. Perhaps its the heavy percussions, or the lyrical topics, but something about this group speaks to a different age. They make me want own a farm, work on the rail road, or fish in a stream (I do none of these things). They have a sound similar to Mumford & Sons, though not quite as well-shaped. Best song: “Down in the Valley”

5) Mission Bell by Amos Lee

I said I love blues and Amos Lee is a favorite artist of mine. Mission Bell does not disappoint in quality. Lee maintains his smooth sound and blues rhythms. There were a number of great songs on this album and a number of guest appearances, including Willie Nelson. There is so much to lov about this album. Best song: “Windows Are Rolled Down”


  1. Where’s the latest Tomlin album on your list? I don’t see it anywhere! 😉

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