The year is coming to an end, and soon I’ll be making my top ten albums of the year list, but first I’d thought I’d write a list of seven of my very favourite Christian artists. I’ll give a brief description of each and a few sample songs.
Switchfoot are just one of those bands that continually make great records . Blending a mix of rock and pop with a surf/beach atmosphere makes Swtichfoot easily one of my very favourite bands in the Christian scene. My favourite album by them will always be the Beautiful Letdown, but others such as Vice Verses, Fading West, and Nothing is Sound are equally amazing in sound and lyrics that reflect and connect with the Christian’s life.
6. Sanctus Real
While CCM might not be the most favoured genre of mine, Sanctus Real is easily one of its leaders. Beginning as a rock act and moving into and dominating the CCM scene these guys have both genres mastered. Their lyrics combine raw honesty with godly lyrics that are both worshipful, and encouraging. My favourite album by them is Fight the Tide with its more aggressive rock sound, but albums like We Need Each Other, and their newest, the Dream, are a more than fine example of what this band can offer.
5. Andrew Peterson
Andrew Peterson is a sadly underrated artist in Christian music. His music blends an incredibly beautiful folk sound with poetic, insightful, and often deep lyrics. While his music may not be CCM, nor mainstream, one can not help but be drawn to tears with songs like Come Back Soon, and the Reckoning. My favourite album by him is Light for the Lost Boy, but I’d highly recommend each one of his albums. He’s that good.
4.Wolves at the Gate
Jumping up a few notches in intensity is easily one of the best metal/hardcore bands in the Christian scene today, and that’s with only two albums! These guys introduced me to the world of metal with their newest release, VxV, and since then, metal has been a highly favoured genre of mine. Musically they blend a mix of brilliant harsh vocals with cleans to produce a deliciously heavy, yet melodic sound. Their lyrics are some of the most godly, Christ-centered I have ever heard, from any artist. My favourite album by them is VxV, but I also highly recommend Captors.
3. The Violet Burning
We’re now heading into legendary territory! The Violet Burning are an unknown classic that make rock albums that are legendary in their own right. Blending a classic rock sound with a dark, goth like style make these guys a definite unique stand out. They have made what is my favourite album of all time: The Story of Our Lives, which you can read my review of here. Lyrically they’re very worshipful and encouraging and I’d highly recommend all of their albums. You can download the Story of Our lives for free here
Needtobreathe. Well apart from being my number one favourite band, these guys produce some of the best folk/rock I’ve ever heard. Lead singer Bear Rhinehart has just the best vocals in rock I’ve heard in a long time. While not an explicitly Christian band, their lyrics speak about subjects that are relative to our Christian walk and lives. They went mainstream with their album, the Reckoning, and have toured with many big name artists. Their new record, Rivers in the Wasteland, ranks as my favourite, but honestly, I can call all of their albums my favourite. Their song, the Heart, released back in March, is one of the best, most joyful, carefree pieces of music I’ve heard in years. I’d highly recommend each one of their incredible albums.
1. Sleeping at Last
Wow, what can I say, this guy’s music is simply magical. Without a doubt, my number one favourite music artist ever, and again, though not explicitly Christian (you’re not going to hear anything akin to worship music) his music is just anointed. In fact, that’s the word I’d use to describe this man’s work. Lyrically his songs can be very poetic, and if not listened to closely, it would be hard to tell what he’s singing about, but once you do, it blows you away. Lyrics such as, “With shortness of breath I’ll explain the infinite, how rare and beautiful, it truly is that we exist,” from Saturn, and, “Darkness exists to make light truly count,” from Uneven Odds makes Ryan O’ Neal’s music enchanting, haunting, but encouraging and beautiful at the same time. The lyrics alone are enough to bring any to tears, but coupled with the music, there aren’t many words to describe the emotions. So to end this post, though it’s nearly impossible to just pick a couple of his songs, I’ll give you four. Just turn off the lights, close your eyes, and let the music sink in and tell me you don’t have wet eyes.