This was a good year for music, in my opinion. This might be might longest list of all the years I’ve been doing this. This may also be the most eclectic from Rap to Punk and from Metal to Violins.
10 – Michael Sweet
I’m a metal head at heart. I grew up on Motley Crew and AC/DC and when I became a Christian I loved me some Stryper and Michael Sweets solo albums. Of Sweet’s solo albums, this is my favorite. The Son of Man Track is worth the whole album but I also enjoyed Now or Never for it’s Maiden’esque beginning and When Love Is Hated, which could have been a Stryper song.
The Search – NF
Lately, I have been addicted to React videos about NF. I love watching people react to something I knew all along, NF is talented.
Whole Team Winning – Derek Minor, Byron Juane, Canon
This is pure motivation. Whether you are working out or hardly working this album is packed with get off your but jams.
Here’s Mud In Your Eye – Krum, Theory Hazit
I have been fan of Krum for a number of years now and his blend of blues guitar, movie dialogue, and clever rhymes makes this album a hit.
Better – Stars Go Dim
Most of these albums made my list because of the production value. The music feels crisp, like there is nothing wasted on any album. Stars Go Dim’s pop and positivity mixed with a clear Christian message makes this a much more than paletable Christian album in market of cookie cutter artists.
Blood Is Rebel – Oh The Larceny
This is straight forward rock and roll. O The Larceny play the kings of the hill daring you to knock them off but it’s also a great album to psyche yourself up with. A Real Good Feeling has that quick clap gospel sound that will make you run the isles.
Tension – Random Hero
Straight rock and roll with some really good up tempo ballads like So Close and Outgrown. When you ready to step it up a notch, Tension, Public Enemy and Set it Free. There is a great balance of songs which make this a “put it on and leave it” album. Maybe even hit the repeat button.
INDIE III – Ruslan
Indie III is the kind of album you might hear playing in a hip coffee shop. Lot’s of head bobbing 70’s style jams mixed with some lyrics about real life reminds you it’s ok to relax a little.
Jesus is King – Kanye West
Did I throw this in because everyone is hating it or loving it? Yes. I would not call myself a Kanye fan, although Gold Digger finds its way into my mind occasionally.
I have listened to Jesus is King several times through and I like it based on it’s pure inspirational value. With a great choir, it reminded me a little of Kirk Franklin. This album is a big deal in both Christian and secular circles and to take it lightly or dismiss it out of hand, is to miss the point of what God is doing in Kanye and in the culture.
Who Am I- Branan Murphy
The song maybe is a straight up ear worm song. I’ve listened it to at least a couple of dozen times, but many Murphy’s songs are catchy like Talk About It, My Life and Top of the World.
Breakthrough – Battledrums
There are very few worship bands that make my list, for several reasons. First, they all sound the same. Second, lyrics aren’t interesting or challenging. Battledrums isn’t afraid to be interesting.
There’s a freedom in this album to worship without feeling like you have to worship. Hit play, and see where the Spirit takes you.
Never Fold – Tedashi
Tedashi never fails to bring his best to the mic. The lyrics are fire, the beats are bomb and Tedashi knows how to colloborate whether that’s with 1k Phew, Crowder, long time friend Lecrae or Sarah Reeves. The album has a great mix of chill and listen jams and let’s put the top down and ride the boulevard.
Artamis – Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey may be best known for her epic YouTube videos where she transports her viewers, and listeners, to foreign and fantastic places. Artemis is concept album build round the goddess of the moon, so if you feel like you are listening to a movie soundtrack, you are. You can feel a story unfolding through each track. The great beats mixed with Lindsey’s powerful playing is a joy to listen to.
The Wait – David Leonard
I like quirky. I like sounds that are different from the norm. David Leonard reminds me, especially on Signs of Life, of Ric Ocasek from the cars. It could be just the beat, that’s what flashed in my head.
Know Your Heart and Come As You Are honest songs about knowing and receiving God’s grace. Leonards voice is mesmerizing whether it’s set against a drum machine sample or a flourishing keyboard.
The Church Is Hurting People – The Blamed
This is for pure nostalgia. As I said earlier, I grew up a metal head but I also had a wild hair for punk rock. I loved me some MxPx, The Ramones, and The Clash. When I became a Christian bans like, Philmore, Squad Five O, The Altar Boys and The Blamed.
The music is fantastic and the title itself is worthy to be on my list just because of the timeliness of it and it’s double meaning. The last song is called No Lights, No Fog, No Video Wall and points to the pure essence of worship as a congregation, possibly African, sing worship in their native tongue.