Centricity Blog

Guy Zabka's Favorite of 2009

Posted January 7, 2010 by in A&R

In order to celebrate the launch of a brand new year we have asked our staff to reflect on 2009 a little prior to tackling 2010. So we asked them to answer a few simple questions:

5 Favorite Songs of 2009
4 Favorite Albums of 2009
3 Favorite Movies of 2009
2 Favorite TV Shows of 2009
1 Favorite Moment of 2009

NAME: Guy Zabka
Director of A&R


  1. “A Country of My Own” – Thad Cockrell: some songs just make you feel a certain way, bring you to a place in life you forgot about. This one does it for me.
  2. “Living for the Night” – George Strait: Nothing but a hit song here. Everything from the lyric approach to melody to production is stellar. Not to mention the mix is ridiculous.
  3. “How Far You Wanna Go” – Gloriana: Haven’t heard a tune I’ve rewound and listened to over and over as much as this one this year. Melodic hooks for days, lyrically nothing too brilliant but as a package, including vocal arrangements, production etc. make this a great one for me.
  4. “Open Hands” – Matt Papa: Probably a little too close to this song since I was a part of it from an A&R standpoint, but this is an example of a song where everything works so well. It says something meaningful in a commercial way but there’s also a high level of artistic expression as well. Something about the melodic structure of this tune that captivates me.
  5. “Closer to Love” – Mat Kearney: A pretty big song for a reason. Melodic hooks meets great lyric meets great production meets great vocal meets more hooks. Oh yeah, … and then there are some hooks on it.


  1. Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome: Hate to say I wasn’t a huge fan of his prior to this record but this one is fantastic. Completely reinvented himself stylistically and made it work. Completely believable. Extremely well done.
  2. Gloriana – Gloriana: I’m a sucker for classic rock / Americana music. I know they’re in a ‘country’ genre, … but in all reality it’s a modern day version of Fleetwood Mac … and a really good one.
  3. Mat Kearney – City of Black and White: Great songs, great production, great vocals. Highly artistic, yet commercial.
  4. Imogen Heap – Ellipse: An album that displays such care and precision in the arrangements and production. Vocally she’s so imaginative and often times reminds me of Annie Lennox from The Eurythmics who I’m a big fan of.)


  1. Slumdog Millionaire
  2. Braveheart
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life

Anything epic, beautiful, thoughtful, (how can you possibly narrow it down to just 3?)


  1. UFC Unleashed – I’m a mix martial artist in another life. My submission skillz are world class.
  2. LOST

From a work perspective: believing in a song so much, fighting for it and making it the best it can be, to discover that it just went to #1 on a major radio network. Big victory for me personally and for our company.

About The Author: Guy Zabka

Guy Zabka provides the eye candy at the Centricity offices. Also, Guy is the label's A&R director, helping their artists hone their songwriting and craft them into successful recordings. He's a songwriter himself, with songs recorded by Natalie Grant, Brian Littrell, Joy Williams, and Kenny Rogers. Guy also composed the score for the Academy Award nominated short film, Most. He devotes his spare time to his wife and their three genetically-blessed children, and to fine-tuning his Amazing Race tryout video.

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