Anberlin's "Cities" Ten Years Later

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It’s been ten years since Anberlin released their third record, Cities, on February 20th, 2007 through Tooth & Nail RecordsCities is widely regarded as the Florida band’s finest release and for good reason. Their first two records offered a strong start for the group and showcased an increasing realization of their potential. Cities is simply where it all seemed to come together. The album highlights are almost too numerous to list. The record contains high energy rockers such as “Godspeed” and “Adelaide”, quiet, heartfelt numbers in “The Unwinding Cable Car” and “Inevitable”, mid-tempo songs like “Alexithymia” and “Dismantle. Repair.”, and concert favorites in “A Whipser & A Clamor” and the truly epic closer “(*Fin)”. Without trying to neglect the other songs on the record, it’s worth mentioning if you know anything about Cities or an Anberlin show, you know about “(*Fin)”. It serves as the “A Day in the Life” to tremendously close out what was already a monumental record. It’s for all these reasons and more Cities has been held in such high regard for ten years, and there seems to be no reason to believe this will change. The numbers back up these claims as Cities debuted at 19 on Billboard’s Top 200 charts, which ultimately propelled the band to sign with Universal Republic for their next three records before returning home to Tooth & Nail to release Lowborn in 2014. Anberlin went on to release four records of differing sound and caliber, but Cities was always the record each following release was measured against. It is arguably the pinnacle achievement in Anberlin’s storied legacy.

How does the record stand up ten years later in the context of Anberlin’s complete discography? Feel free to share thoughts, memories, and opinions involving the record as we reflect on Cities ten years later.

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7 Comments on "Anberlin's "Cities" Ten Years Later"

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Tim M

Honestly can’t believe it’s 10 years. What an excellent, excellent album. The final two tracks are my favourite. One thing I still find interesting though is the love for ‘Adelaide’ – 10 years on and I’ve still not managed to connect with that song compared to the others.

Benji Kunz
I first listened to Cities in the summer of 2008. My best friend and her family had just moved away and I was super depressed that summer. I’d just gotten into Anberlin via NTFP and I remember thinking, “Man, I need to just check out their other stuff.” So I bought Cities and Blueprints off iTunes the night before my 15th birthday. I figured Cities would be more interesting since it was their most recent record so I went out back to my hammock and put it on as I rocked back and forth. For an entire week, I couldn’t… Read more »
I just love this album so much and appreciate everything about it. Was a big fan from the beginning and though NTFP was great when this album hit, I immediately fell in love with it. I still remember hearing a couple new songs from it on their tour stop with Hawthorne Heights back in 2006 and the music was a captivating. There is just something unique and breathtaking about Stephen’s voice mixed with the moving music of Anberlin. I don’t feel that same intrigue with the Anchor & Braille stuff but I do love everything Anberlin. “Cities” for me is… Read more »

I never got into this one for whatever reason; “Never Take Friendship Personal” is the one that captures my attention the most. Anberlin is a good band, but that album is enough Anberlin for me.

This album is a permanent staple in the Christian music scene. It’s timeless and perfect in every way

Scott

*Fin is a top 10 song of all time, in my opinion.

Mark K

Wonderful album! Definitely my favorite after Vital. Flawless? Close as they come. So many fantastic songs! Dismantle.Repair has such energy in the chorus! That’s my favorite. I play Unwinding Cable Car for my wife fairly often. A truly inspired song.

For me I don’t have the memories. I didn’t get into the band until years after and I had picked up New Surrender as my first, which discouraged me from going back until Vital blew me away. Then I went back and bought the rest. Cities is one of those albums where the praise is justified. It is a classic.

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