Torrey Gazette is the combined work of everyday Christians blogging on books, family, art, and theology. So pull up a seat and join us. Family Table rules apply. Shouting is totally acceptable.

Top 5 Life-Changing CDs

Top 5 Life-Changing CDs

Tomorrow I will turn 28. It is hardly 30 but I'm growing sentimental. Maybe it is the three kids. Granted, I am already giving away my young age by not titling this with "LPs." But I am also not of the "hit single"-download-off-iTunes era. I to this day prefer front to back solid CDs. This individual track non-sense still does nothing for me. Unless an artist brings the heat for multiple tracks it will just slip past me. Here are some of the life changing ones that will stick with me forever. I truly look forward to sharing them with my children though I'm not sure how old they will have to be to receive them.


Just get over it (Note: Not the best way to start this off but it flowed and I'm keeping it). One of the most important albums in my life contains two songs with no lyrics. Yep. This one is most certainly in the running for most important albums in my life. I still use this music to refresh my spirit and soul. It contains no vocal lyrics. It only contains two tracks that in my opinion are life altering. I understand if this isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Arvo Part comes from a world much distinct from North America. I'm not convinced his (I almost capitalized "his" to tell you my value of him) music is better understanding his context but it brings some light to his historical value.

Line That Still Moves Me: N/A

Track(s) That Still Move Me: Both. Für Alina and Spiegel im Spiegel 

Worthy Mention in the Genre: Arvo Part's Lament

Tell All Your Friends

This entire album defines my youth. I am unconvinced if that is a good or bad thing. I know at the time it was a bad thing. But reflecting, the music still moves me today in positive ways. My worldview is substantially different from where I was and where this music was but it remains an indispensable portion of where I am.

I would be grateful in the future to drop this from my list of important albums. I would also be grateful if it moved to #1. It currently is the last on this rather influential list.

Line That Still Move Me: "So sick, so sick of being tired and oh so tired of being sick"

Track(s) That Still Move Me: Cute Without the "E", Ghost Man on Third

Worthy Mentions in the Genre: Deja Entendu (some will be shocked this didn't make the list)

Rent (Original Broadway Cast and Movie Soundtrack)

I am nearing a place in my short life where I can reflect back and decide on "a best album." I have now gone through many stages of enjoying music and am beginning to come full circle. I am pretty set that for the foreseeable future my "best musical CD" will be Rent. This would have shocked me a year ago. Admittedly, this piece of music is the most non-Christian on the list. But I am convinced art can be known without a Christian worldview.

Line That Still Move Me: " A young man, find the one song, Before the virus takes hold. Glory, like a sunset, One song to redeem this empty life"

Track(s) That Still Move Me: Goodbye Love

Worthy Mentions In the Genre: Wicked

You Don't Know Me: Songs of Cindy Walker

It is hard to exclude any album from Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash. But this one in particular still drives me insane for its authorial element. Every song is written by Cindy Walker (1918-2006). She deserves to be mentioned among the great songwriters in America.

This album continues to move me in terms of its rawness (given it roots). It's country. It's rockin' and good. The play on words is outstanding. There may be no better album in America that owes itself to one songwriter.

Lyrics That Still Move Me: "For I never knew the art of making love, though my heart ached with love for you"

Track(s) That Still Move Me: Not That I Care, You Don't Know Me, I Was Just Walkin' Out the Door

Worthy Mentions in the Genre: Live at Folsom (incredibly close to be the album for this section)

Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Bright Eyes is Conor Oberst. And I have followed him almost as long as I can remember. This music has had a greater impact on my philosophy and politics than I would care to admit.

Conor Oberst has grown up. I've grown up. The music is still all great. This one though sticks with me.

Lyrics That Still Move Me: "ABC, NBC, CBS bullshit. They give you fact or fiction, I guess an even split"

Track(s) That Still Move Me: Lover I Don't Have to Love and Don't Know When but a Day Is Gonna Come

Worthy Mentions in the Genre: Everything by Bob Dylan (!)

Book Review: Jonathan Edwards by Simonetta Carr

Book Review: Jonathan Edwards by Simonetta Carr

Book Review: The Christmas Story for Children by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee, and Karen Davis Hill

Book Review: The Christmas Story for Children by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee, and Karen Davis Hill