A Shipwreck, A Castaway

I’ve decided to take a break from the SBC posts for awhile and just make a normal person post. As many of you know, I love top 10 lists, and I make them throughout the day in my head ranging from ice cream flavors to sports cars. You also may know what a big part of my life music is. I can’t go through the day without it – a lot of it. I decided to take on the task of making a top 10 list of MY favorite male vocalists. Notice that I didn’t say “top 10 male vocalists of all time,” just “my favorite.” As a result, here are some things that did NOT go into the creation of this list: popular opinion, timeliness, how many records they’ve sold, how many albums they’ve made, whether they were ever a part of the rat pack, etc.

This is simply a list of singers that can make me cry on the best day of my life or make me smile on the gloomiest of days. These are the voices that act as my therapists, the ones who seem to know exactly what I want to say, but can put it so much better than I ever could. Without further adieu, here they are.

Just Missed The Cut: William Beckett, Aaron Marsh, Craig David, and Trevor McNevan

10. Stephen Christian (Anberlin) – I’ve seen this guy live four times now, and it never gets old. He’s got to have one of the most distinct voices in all of rock music right now, and incredible songwriting skills. Not to mention he’s a cool dude, but that has nothing to do with being a good singer. Listen to: The Unwinding Cable Car (Cities)

9. Jason Gleason (Further Seems Forever, ActionReaction) – The first time I heard Jason Gleason sing, I was with my friend Mitch. I was entranced from the first note, this guy can flat belt it out. As much as I like his work with FSF, I think I like ActionReaction even better. It’s much more solemn and his voice is gentler. Listen to: The Sound (How to Start a Fire)

8. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) – Kurt doesn’t have the prettiest voice in the world. That’s okay, because it’s all about his rawness. I love listening to Nirvana and hearing the voice of a man that means what he’s saying but couldn’t give a crap what anyone thinks about it. There’s something to be said for a guy who’s not afraid to be himself. It’s just too bad he’s not around to still do it. Listen to: Come As You Are (Nirvana: Unplugged in New York)

7. Brandon Rike (Dead Poetic) – Brandon has to have the best range of anyone on this list, I’ve heard him hit notes that I didn’t know guys could hit – and it still sounds good. While I’m a fan of all of his work, the songs from New Medicines tore me apart. Brandon is retired from music I guess, but hopefully he’ll give us one more album. Listen to: Modern Morbid Prophesies (New Medicines)

6. Craig Owens (Chiodos) – Craig Owens is the author of most of my blog titles (sorry for stealing them dude). I think he may be the best song writer on this list, his lyrics are so incredible that you can often times literally feel the pain or the passion of him coming through the speakers. Not to mention he’s got the voice that just about every lead singer of every scene band today wishes that they had. Listen to: Baby, You Wouldn’t Last a Minute on the Creek (All’s Well That Ends Well)

5. Phil Collins – I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Phil Collins in person, thanks to my pal Mitch. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience another musical performance like it – his voice is so pure, it’s unreal. Not to mention he’s just fantastic in just about every way you could ask a singer to be. And he plays a mean set of drums. Listen to: Another Day in Paradise (But Seriously . . . )

4. Mike Herrera (MxPx) – Mike is the voice of just about every mixed up, confused, trying to find his way kid in the world. I hope my kids have a songwriter like Mike to listen to when they grow up. He’s got the perfect voice for a punk singer, and he sings songs that just about anyone can relate to. There’s a lot of bands that owe Mike and the gang a big thank you. Listen to: Doing Time (Life in General)

3. Chris Carrabba (Further Seems Forever, Dashboard Confessional) – Unfortunately, I missed out on a lot of good Chris Carrabba years. Thankfully I’ve discovered his genius and he has quickly climbed my list. Chris is just about as honest as anyone you’ll hear, and I can’t even imagine his songs with a different voice. He’s a very gifted man, and I hope he continues to make music for years to come. Listen to: Snowbirds and Townies (The Moon is Down)

2. Spencer Chamberlain/Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) – I decided that I couldn’t split these two guys up. Sure, Spencer made music before he was with Underoath and Aaron has his own band now, but there’s something about listening to these guys battle it out on each and every Underoath song. Spencer’s roars and Aaron’s melodies are at war and at peace at the same time somehow. Not to mention they are both amazing songwriters and I truly believe that they spy on my life in order to write their songs. Listen to: You’re Ever So Inviting (Define the Great Line)

1. Jason Vena (Acceptance) – I’m not sure how this happened. Jason Vena made one complete album with his band before he bowed out of music and called it a career. There’s just something about his voice that makes me want to cry every time I hear it. Hearing him sit on a stool and sing one of Acceptance’s pop rock songs to nothing but an acoustic guitar just made me fall apart. The saddest part of this story is that I saw him perform live before I even knew who he was, and I was so excited to see another band that night that I barely paid attention. This is one unbelievably gifted man, and I hope he knows how much the few songs he wrote meant to me and to many others. Listen to: In the Cold (Phantoms)

That’s all. How exciting. Maybe next week I’ll get back to the “good” stuff. Until then, listen to Jason sing.

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3 Comments »

  1. Sam! Said:

    So I took your advice and listened to Jason sing…

    wow!
    What a great sound!
    I’m always a fan of good vocalists…in fact, I’m actually quite the snob about it. I can’t really listen to bands with lead singers who can’t sing, but that’s just me.
    He’s wonderful!
    Such a nice, raw sound!

  2. he's only chasing safety Said:

    I’m glad you like him. He and Acceptance only made one full album, and then Jason decided that he wanted to quit music and just be an ordinary dude. If I ever meet him, I’ll hold him down and tickle him until he agrees to make music again.

  3. Joseph Gould Said:

    Kiel,
    Looks like you have a nice blog here. I’ll have to come back and see your future thoughts on SBC Heritage reading!

    Fellow independent study student,
    Joseph Gould


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