1. Bear McCreary - Battlestar Galactica - Season 2 Original Soundtrack
As a fiction writer, nothing helps me set the mood or helps me enter the right frame of mind like a good soundtrack (the no-words variety). The soundscapes that composer Bear McCreary creates for the new Battlestar Galactica range from hauntingly beautiful to wildly high energy, and he does it by using every tool in the box. His speciality is tribal/world/rhythmic sounds, but he blends it with middle eastern instruments and traditional orchestral sounds to create a truly singular effect. Incredibly original and compelling.
2. MercyMe -Coming Up to Breathe
What a kick to hear MercyMe get back to its rock & roll roots! With all the power anthems, it's easy to forget just how well these guys can rock out, but Coming Up to Breathe proved they've still got the chops for it. Irresistable rock hooks were augmented by cleverly original pop ditties like "So Long Self" and "One Trick Pony." My personal favorite was "Bring the Rain," which I'd like to nominate for Most Deserving to be Sung by a Church Choir.
3. Hans Zimmer - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Original Soundtrack
I'm not sure I can put into words why this one grabbed me as strongly as it did. I'm certainly not the world's biggest Pirates fan, and the movie was an enjoyable romp, but nothing I fell in love with. There's just something about Hans Zimmer's dark-yet-fun themes on this disc that make it crazy fun to listen to. The whimsical "Jack Sparrow" theme turns into gloriously energetic fun, while his new "Kraken" and "Davy Jones" themes have a suitably maritime feel, without losing the sense of fun and adventure.
4. Chris Tomlin - See the Morning
There are certain institutions in this world that don't seem to know how to fail. Pixar Animation Studios can't make a bad film... TV and comic book officianado Joss Whedon can't write a bad script... Chris Tomlin can't make a bad album. The guy is a songwriting machine, churning out more modern worship standards than anyone else of his generation. And there's rarely a song on any of his albums that's worth skipping. See the Morning is no different; it stayed in my stereo for months.
5. Bebo Norman - Between the Dreaming and the Coming True
Norman's got his work down to a precise science now -- even producing or co-producing all of his own stuff -- and while I wouldn't mind hearing him rock out a little more, as long as he keeps making music this good, I'll keep coming back for new helpings.
For more information on this series, visit the Most Spun 2006 main page.