When most bands get around to the “anthology” stage, it means that they’ve pretty much squeezed all the life out of their glory days and have decided that a beefy greatest-hits package is just the ticket to renewed interest, or one final, fat paycheck. In the case of BLUEPRINTS FOR CITY FRIENDSHIPS, Anberlin is just getting revved up. The band is currently supporting their major label debut, NEW SURRENDER, after a half-decade of success on the Tooth & Nail label. This collection brings together the three studio albums Anberlin recorded for T&N, and it’s not hard to understand why this Florida-based band has grown far beyond the “Christian alternative” market they once completely owned. The shimmering, polished, and anthemic pop-rock on these three albums (2003’s BLUEPRINTS FOR THE BLACK MARKET, 2005’s NEVER TAKE FRIENDSHIP PERSONAL, and 2007’s CITIES) are all recommended to fans of mainstream alt-rock, regardless of faith. Although Anberlin has moved further into the mainstream with their latest album, this collection of the work that established them is an essential (and extremely affordable) purchase for their new fans.
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