Late one night, unable to sleep, I picked out some bands which one might reasonably expect to contain a certain amount of LDSness in their content. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Moonpools & Caterpillars
Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband
I picked these bands because I like these bands and because I feel reasonably familiar with their body of work (I own albums by all these bands---all the albums of some of them---except Imagine Dragons; but their singles are inescapable so whatever). You'll note no solo artists. This was intentional.
As I lay there unable to sleep, I tried to rank these bands according to both their LDSness of content and their excellence. Obviously, both these rankings are subjective according to my own interpretation and taste.
Anyway, this is what I decided (remember, I like ALL these bands, so being low on the excellence is purely a matter of ranking and not of absolute value):
These rankings were not easy. For instance, although Haun's Mill has a higher percentage of their work fall into my favorites, I must admit that C'mon and Christmas are albums I love as much as Haun's Mill's two albums (where's the third, guys? I kickstarted that baby!) and Low has lots more music to love besides, so, you know, subjective math.
Speaking of Haun's Mill, just by their name alone I want to put them at the top of my LDSness scale, but it's not an easy thing---once you start looking, LDSness is everywhere, but not everywhere equally.
And what does "excellence" mean, even subjectively? Judged by Had the Biggest Impact on My Life, the Moonps are the clear winner, but even thubjectively are they actually more excellent a band than The Killers or Sunfall Festival? It seems hard to argue.
So let me restate the obvious: These numbers are merely rankings exclusive to these ten and not absolute value. Arcade Fire's The Suburbs is one of the best albums of this millennium and yet the bands here are so, so excellent that I can't in good conscious get them into the top half. They're not a "5" band---they're just the sixth most excellent (in my opinion) out of these ten options. And no one plays with more skill than Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband, yet I put them below Arcade Fire! #subjectivity #wouldbedifferentnexttime
But just to see them listed out doesn't really show whether or not there is any correlation. We need a chart.
Hey! Wow! There's a clear trend line! Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband are an outlier, but otherwise, wow! The more LDSy the more excellent! I honestly thought it would look like birdshot on a stop sign, but I stand corrected. Go forth and do likewise, fellow Saints!
But this isn't science.
So I asked Lady Steed to make the same listings.
However, she does not spend as much time thinking about LDSness and so that scale of her LDSness rankings are often based on things like where the bands are based and not, say, their lyrical content. Keep that in mind.
Okay. Yes. This looks much more random, but, unless I am mistaken, that line is still true. If I were better at the maths, I could figure out where the trend line is. It's certainly less clear and less steep, but I think it's there.
ps: although I posted this in October, I wrote it in late July