Anberlin has a ridiculously lengthy library of music. From those first songs I ever heard from them on “Never Take Friendship Personal” to Christmas songs, covers of Depeche Mode, and “Lost Songs” that show the full range of what they are capable of.
Their final album, “Lowborn,” has a beautiful overall storyline. The best thing about Anberlin lyrics would be their universal messages, and the anonymity of their songs that allow people in almost any life situation to find an element to relate to. Here’s what I took from it.
'We Are Destroyer' and 'Armageddon' start the album off with songs about people who don't do themselves any favors, even try and make it harder on themselves to succeed. This seems to bring about where the term “Lowborn” comes in. Their usual soaring guitars and echoed lyrics, with a harder push added in to get your attention definitely group these opening tracks together.
‘Stranger Ways’ seems to be about someone being admired from afar, the imaginer sees them self getting to know this person and the admired saving them from the rough life they are living. This song goes musically back to ‘Impossible,’ from their previous album, with the repeated beat and overall attitude of the song.
'Atonement' is the first song that starts feeling hopeful, at first listen, but is more so nostalgic. Unusally for Anberlin, I feel like I can actually see where their personality is showing. They have seen the world and gained new experiences but doing that “alone,” other than with their band, eventually takes it's toll. This song is pretty dreamy and relaxing, could see it hanging around on my most played song list for a while.
'Birds of Prey' is about regret and letting go of the past. “Your thoughts that dance on stage / Curtains they are closing / On a role you can't sustain” The lyrics are definitely getting more personal than Anberlin songs in the past have seemed. The intro drums in 'Dissenter' are reminiscent of the Brand New song “Archers,” but that quickly changes. The slow middle part of the album is over and now they are turning things around. Lyrically and musically.
‘Losing it all’ is another standout track in my opinion. The harmonious chords, lines that are optimistic when times are bleak, and overall pleasant/catchy sound. The hopeful theme is probably what automatically makes me enjoy it, the idea of…if we have each other, nothing can be the end of the world.
‘Hearing voices’ kind of brings all the good Anberlin attributes together. The plucking/quick guitars mixed with the heavier ones, the double vocals, although both from Stephen Christian, and the message of working to earn what you want and not being afraid of it. Lowborn wraps up with a song called ‘Harbinger’. It brings a nostalgic feeling of a hopeful future, a calming sound and a beautiful ending to Anberlin’s final album.