Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Best Christian Albums 2007? I had no idea...

Back in my high school and college days, I listened to a lot of Contemporary Christian Music, or CCM for short. (I could discuss my 8th grade obsession with Southern Gospel music, but let's not go there, okay?) My tape/CD collection was very diverse within the CCM world, ranging from First Call to Russ Taff to Petra to the Cathedrals (see? It was hard to let Southern Gospel go...) I had posters of Amy Grant, 2nd Chapter of Acts and Glad on my college dorm room wall. I happily attended concerts at my college when Larnelle Harris, Steve Green and 4Him came to town. I drove out of town to see White Heart and Steven Curtis Chapman. I didn't subscribe but I read CCM Magazine. It seemed I couldn't get enough.

For some reason, my love for CCM began to dissipate following my college years. I can't pinpoint exactly what happened, except to say that I just grew older. I don't mean to be flippant or glib when I say that, but it's really what happened. I didn't completely grow out of listening to that kind of music, because I still listen to Christian radio stations when I was driving somewhere. I guess I felt that the majority of that type of music produced between, say, 1995 and 2005, didn't really speak to me or where I was at spiritually. It seemed too happy - too peppy - too much Ain't it grand to be a Christian, ain't it grand. And I just didn't feel that way most of the time. Where were the songs that expressed doubt, that really cut to the heart, that exposed the pain in life that comes to everyone regardless of their faith? Maybe those songs were there all along, but I missed them somehow.

Christianity Today has listed what the editors believe to be the best Christian albums in 2007. Honestly, I don't know any of these people. I've heard some of their names before, like Derek Webb and David Crowder Band, but I can't honestly say I know their music. I guess I've heard some of their songs on the local Christian radio station in Indianapolis, but it's hard to listen to music and drive (which is the only time I really listen to the radio) and talk to The Wife and tell the screaming kids to calm down all at the same time.

I'm willing to make a return, though. I want my daughters to listen to other music besides the latest boy band (you know they will come back again - they always do) or mini-skirted starlet.

As I peruse through the list, I can't tell if the music on these albums is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle. What do you think? Have you listened to them? Are there albums out there better than the ones listed here?
  1. Mike Farris, Salvation in Lights
  2. Caedmon's Call, Overdressed
  3. Sara Groves, Tell Me What You Know
  4. Jeremy Casella, Recovery
  5. Jeff Caylor, Okay
  6. Switchfoot, Oh! Gravity
  7. Adam Watts, Sleeping Fire
  8. David Crowder Band, Remedy
  9. Mavis Staples, We'll Never Turn Back
  10. Relient K, Five Score and Seven Years Ago
  11. Derek Webb, The Ringing Bell
  12. The Heat, Need to Breath


  1. Check out


    Great Christian music that you might not hear otherwise.

    I don't listen to Christian radio here in Indianapolis but look forward to every podcast from Just Pete.

    (I'm on the Westside)

    Mike M.

  2. Thanks, Mike. I'll have to drop by that site.

  3. Matt: I have listened to contemporary Christian music and found the whole genre, well, boring because it was so predictable. Now before you dismiss this attitude because I'm an agnostic, let me tell you that I have and do enjoy many gospel songs and spiritual-related music. I'm talking Staple Singers, Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand," Gregorian chants, and Vern Gosdin.


  4. I feel the same as you . I stop listening to Christian music around 1997. I have over 200 CDs. Like you I lost interest. I wonder if the current ones are any good.