Words by Sam Robinson
As another year has drawn to a close, and our annual poll has wrapped, it’s time to reflect on some of the highlights of 2014 on Reel Gospel. We’ve published 143 articles in the space of twelve months including 57 film reviews, 35 album reviews, and 33 interviews with Christian artists from all around the world. Our team has grown from myself as sole writer to a team of five; our readership has grown significantly; and we continue our aim to review films in a way that will help you have conversations with your friends about Jesus.
By way of review, below is a list of the five highest-viewed articles on Reel Gospel in 2014.
One of the best albums of 2014 was John Mark McMillan’s Borderland. Released in March, the album was crowdfunded and released independently. There are some massive sounds on the album, and each track has been crafted with care. I spoke with McMillan about the album back in March, and talked about the production of the album, tension as an artist, and paying random people to dance to Michael Jackson.
Back in April, Citizens & Saints dropped a brand new single, the first taste of their sophomore album, Join the Triumph. The synth-based pop sounds of You Brought Me Back to Life surprised fans of the guitar-heavy first album, but also won a lot of new fans on release. In May I spoke to lead singer Zach Bolen about the message behind the song, and got the scoop on the album title and direction of sound. Join the Triumph was eventually released in November, and the track made our list of Six Standout Tracks of 2014.
Back in March, Kings Kaleidoscope released a stunning live EP for free. Live in Color was the first new music from the band since leaving the Mars Hill fold last January, and was made available as a free download for one week. The songs were drip-fed via live videos on YouTube, and showed off the strength of the band’s live sound. I spoke to lead singer Chad Gardner about the songs on Live in Color, the recording process, and running rampant in a middle school.
The most recent article to make this list was my review of Brooke Fraser’s fourth album, Brutal Romantic. The album contained a brave new sound for the New Zealand singer and songwriter, sonically larger and far more experimental than previous releases.
In August, Citizens & Saints released a statement containing a stack of information. They expanded their name, were signed to BEC Recordings, and were soon to release their sophomore album, Join the Triumph. I again spoke with lead singer Zach Bolen to discover more about the changes, and get more of a taste of what was to come on the new album.
And here’s the top-five viewed articles of 2014 of each category on Reel Gospel:
Top Five Viewed Film Reviews
4. Big Hero 6
Top Five Viewed Album Reviews
1. Brooke Fraser – Brutal Romantic
3. Kings Kaleidoscope – Live in Color
4. NF – NF EP
Top Five Viewed Interviews
1. John Mark McMillan talks Borderland
2. Zach from Citizens & Saints on You Brought Me Back to Life
3. Chad from Kings Kaleidoscope talks Live in Color
4. Zach from Citizens & Saints talks Join the Triumph, Big Changes
On behalf of our team, I want to sincerely thank you for reading Reel Gospel in 2014. It means so much that people around the world are enjoying the content, and all glory be to God. If you have friends who might enjoy browsing our website, please let them know about us. And as always, you can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
We’re going to take a short break, and will return with new reviews and interviews in mid-January.
Sam (on behalf of Mark, Keith, Sami and Vincent)