Blueprints And Paperthin Hymns: What Anberlin Record Is The Best?

In the span of over a decade, Florida alternative rockers smashed the walls down of what a Christian rock band could and should be. And though they were wary of the title (they really weren’t a “Christian rock” band), the band never wavered in delivering high-quality, often experimental music – take the Cities closer, “Fin” – an epic and emotional 8 minute song that the band actually closed with on their final tour 2 years ago, that explored faith with both suspicion and reverence. As someone who experienced that, I can safely say it was an emotionally enveloping journey.

7 full-length albums, endless touring, and many memories later, Anberlin isn’t a band anymore. But for many, they’re still a driving force in what alt-rock songwriting and performance should sound like – taking risks, but never leaving their signature sound completely behind. Of those 7 full-lengths, however, which one is really their best? It’s debatable – for many purists, it begins and ends with 2007’s landmark Cities. And for good reason, it has many of Anberlin’s most iconic songs, and was also the album where they showed their electronic influences. It can also be argued, though, that maybe it’s Lowborn (which admittedly, is a hell of a way to go out), or even 2012’s Vital that might be their overall best. With that said, let’s examine with a critical eye (and ear), Anberlin’s expansive discography, ranked worst (in this case, least awesome) to best.

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