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Every Anberlin Album Ranked Worst To Best

First off, Anberlin broke the Christian Rock interweb with their recent announcement that Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire is the new touring vocalist for the band. While he admits and you certainly know that Stephen “Is A” Christian is irreplaceable in the pantheon of An to the Berlin, it is good to know that the band has a more than capable replacement for the time being. There must be something in the water in Florida that tastes like a combination of post-hardcore and addictive AF crystal meth, and Anberlin formed in said wasteland, specifically Winter Haven, in 2002, and have released seven full-length albums since then. We ranked them all below, so never take subjective judgment personal; it’s just business, and business is good!

7. Lowborn (2014)

Thank goodness Anberlin released a few EPs, compilation records, and live albums since their seventh, and final as of now, LP “Lowborn,” because this one absolutely and positively shouldn’t be their swan song. While Anberlin is pretty incapable of making a bad record, “Lowborn” as a record and specific album title, is their lowest point since being born. They weren’t necessarily losing it all per se, but we’d love an atonement album from them stat. This record is their most “new wave” effort and overall the least rocking. Anberlin is best when they’re rocking out/free, and we hope that they use their distortion pedals more next time around. Fun fact: The band returned to Tooth & Nail Records after three releases with a major label for this seventh record.

Play it again: “We Are Destroyer”
Skip it: About ⅓ of it

6. Dark Is The Way, Light is a Place (2010)

This one is tough to talk about, as many behind the scenes thought that it would elevate the band to Jimmy Eat World or Fall Out Boy territory. But Anberlin’s fifth studio album, despite sounding like the band’s biggest budget record, and utilizing revered and legendary producer Brendan O’Brien of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, and Millionaires fame showcased such posit for MANY, sadly fell short of the lofty expectations for the mainstream in pretty much every which way. Still, it debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart, which is no small feat by any stretch. We wouldn’t necessarily like to die because of this, but our hearts are down, and dare we say, depraved. All we have is impossible expectations, so take us as you found us.

Play it again: “We Owe This to Ourselves”
Skip it: Just under ⅓ of it

5. Blueprints for the Black Market (2003)

Anberlin’s debut LP is the first consistent album to be mentioned, and it was a debate amongst our collective brain cells as to whether the opener “Ready Fuels” or closer “Naive Orleans” would be featured as the “play it again” track, but ultimately, track eleven won. If you disagree, and we know that you will about this and everything we have said/will say, make your own list, and you will change the world, but not really. Also, covering a song by The Cure on any album, much less your debut, is a strong and confident statement, and the band executes “Love Song” in brilliant form, and eventually does so with other classic acts like The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, and BABYMETAL on a record that is not technically a studio effort called “Lost Songs”… The band mapped out their future in epic form here!

Play it again: “Naive Orleans”
Skip it: “We Dreamt In Heist”

4. Vital (2012)

Anberlin’s sixth LP altogether and last for a major label, is without question or hesitation their most underrated LP, and a rockin’ return to form. Sadly, the band would falter and lose more momentum after “Lowborn,” the follow-up to “Vital,” but we digress. If you missed “Vital” in 2012, you may have caught it in re-release form just one year later as “Devotion,” which is almost as cool as the rare Weezer B-side of the same name. We theorize that the band would still be on a major label if this was the follow-up to “New Surrender,” and if its predecessor was an EP instead of an LP, but that’s what makes horse racing!

Play it again: “Little Tyrants”
Skip it: “Intentions”

3. New Surrender (2008)

Anberlin’s major label debut opens with their best song “The Resistance,” and there is zero hyperbole here, and “New Surrender” ends in epic fashion with a song with a Latin, but not Pig Latin title. Neal Avron, producer for such scene stars as New Found Glory, Say Anything, Yellowcard, and Rick James, absolutely slayed it here, as the loud songs rock very hard and the softer ones are solemn and lovely. While we like “The Feel Good Drag” slightly more than this album’s “Feel Good Drag” and the word “the,” the version from “New Surrender” went gold and broke some records on the Alternative Songs chart. Also, this album cover would make a solid painting in your kitchen or screen saver on your MacBook. “Speak for yourself,” you say? Too late to make demands, we like to burn out brighter!

Play it again: “The Resistance”
Skip it: “Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)”

2. Never Take Friendship Personal (2005)

If their debut was silver and working towards a fit bod, this one certainly was gold and filled with antioxidants sans steroids/Ozempic. Far from a sophomore slump, “Never Take Friendship Personal” had a stronghold on the underground, and still resonates with elder scene kids to this day. Fun fact: “The Feel Good Drag” is excellent, but isn’t even an official single, as “A Day Late” and “Paperthin Anthem” are the songs here that can claim such. This record foreshadowed its follow-up “Cities” in a great way, and that the band would continue to grow as songwriters and musicians. 2005 was a particularly novel year for the Hot Topic world with huge releases from The All-American Rejects, Panic! at the Disco, MxPx, and The Gap Band, and Anberlin totally rounded it all out succinctly.

Play it again: The original screamier “The Feel Good Drag”
Skip it: “A Heavy Hearted Work Of Staggering Genius”

1. Cities (2007)

You know that we’re right, but we know that you’re still going to complain, as there is no mathematics to love and loss: “Cities” is BY FAR Anberlin’s finest hour, rather, forty-six minutes and thirty-one seconds, and never truly lets up until the last moments of “(*Fin)”. Because of that and so, so much more, this LP, which was their last full-length studio album before the band’s major label deal, is a “no skip” masterpiece. Dismantle and repair your hearts whilst you bitch. Anyway, Anberlin went “mature” here in the best way, and the songs are a perfect combination of dark, hopeful, a whisper, and a clamor. Also, try not to headbang to the riff of track two and single one “Godspeed”; spoiler alert, you can’t. Don’t fall asleep, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and always remember that they lied when they said the good die young.

Play it again: (Début) to (*Fin)
Skip it: Devilslow