Maggie's Top 20 Christian Market Albums of 2012

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 2:27 PM

Hello one and all!

 Dave made his list of 20 outstanding albums and I decided I wanted to get in on that action!!! There are some similarities (* marks a song that are on the top twenty for Dave and I both)…there are some discrepancies. But don't hold that against us! HERE I GO!!!

 I want to start my list off (counting down) with two that I wanted to award Honorable Mention places on this list to. The first is a Christmas album and the second is an EP. So let's get my list started!

20.  CHRISTMAS: Josh Wilson - "Noel" (Sparrow)  Josh Wilson is definitely one of the greatest song writers on the market right now.  And while he shows that off on several of the tracks on this album, he also does something very few other Christmas albums have done this season.  He presents our favorites in new ways.  Christmas music has gotten very monotonous and turned some of the best songs ever written into hum-drum tunes.  Wilson adds his own special style to these classics and makes them new.

19.  EP: Capital Kings - "I Feel So Alive EP" (Gotee)  Christian dubstep.  I have been waiting for this to happen.  Capital Kings covers an area of Christian music that has been extremely lacking.  Described as an "electric pop duo" these boys have been making their mark doing remixes for tobyMac, Group 1 Crew, and several others!  This music is electric (pun intended) and new and outstanding.  Even though this EP has three songs and one remix it definitely belongs in the top twenty of 2012!

Now let's get into the regular full length albums!

18.  Mark Schultz - "All Things Possible" (FairTrade)  This is another one of my favorite song writers, and yet I've always thought he played it very safe musically.  You know if it's a Mark Schultz song because of his voice.  And you recognize his voice because it sounds a very unique way in "HIS KEY".  On this album, Schultz breaks out of his box and does some new things musically and sings in some different keys breaking the Schultz mold we thought he was destined to stay in.  He did a very surprising album and that's what makes this one stand out and deserve a place in the top twenty!

17.  House of Heroes - "Cold Hard Want" (Gotee)*  The power in the music drives this album over the top!  The lyrics are poetic and very catching which only adds to the quality of the music.  This particular album goes full force the whole time and is so different from track to track that it leaves you wondering what will happen next.  And no matter what it is, it's good…and it amazes you!

16.  Lecrae - "Gravity" (Reach)*  Lecrae never disappoints.  And with gravity he just further proves that he is out of this world.  One of the beautiful parts of this album is the guests he brings on to add warm singing vocals on his tracks.  Hearing The Voice's Mathai on "Free From it All" was a welcome oddity.  And don't even get me started on "Fakin'" featuring Mr. Thi'sl.  That track is outstanding.  Truthfully, there isn't a bad song on the album but some are even better than others!

15.  Matt & Toby - "Matt & Toby" (Tooth & Nail)*  Matt and Toby bring a fresh new vibe to Christian music.  It's an interesting fuse of rock and…who knows what else?!?  It's a kind of roots/folk feel to this rock music.  But the vocals are enchanting and the songs are different.  Which is something we are all desperately needing in Christian music right now.

14.  Nine Lashes - "World We View" (Tooth & Nail)  Before I joined Crossroad Radio, I didn't know much about the heavy side of Christian rock.  This was one of the first full length albums I got…and they definitely opened my eyes to the fact that heavy Christian rock can still be…good.  This albums is amazing musically, vocally, lyrically, and every other way!  This album had to make my list because it so opened my eyes.

13.  Rhett Walker Band - "Come to the River" (Essential)   This band is the harder side of Third Day.  Now that may sound a little weird cause Third Day can get pretty hard.  But as a rule, they're just enough harder than Third Day to be called the harder Third Day.  (How many times can I say "Hard" and "Third Day" in a sentence?)  Anyway, for fans of southern rock this album is a definite must have!

12.  Rush of Fools - "We Once Were" (Entertainment One)  The thing I love about this album is the eclectic mix of song styles.  "We Once Were" is very rock and in your face, "Come Find Me" is a softer rock song, and then "No Other Love" is a really fun pop beat!  This album is truly outstanding and unique in it's music.

11.  The Wedding - "No Direction" (Tooth & Nail)  I don't know what it is about this album.  They do a great job of using gang vocals to their full ability and I respect that, the music is masterful and I LOVE that, and the lyrics are really catching and cutting when they need to be.  This albums is simply outstanding and you have to believe me on this!  You'll be sorry if you don't get yourself a copy!

10.  Flatfoot 56 - "Toil" (Paper & Plastick)*  I bought Flatfoot 56's first album on a whim and ended up being a little weirded out by their scream-o version of "Amazing Grace".  When I got this album I thought, "Oh no!"  And then…here it is.  As number 10 on my top twenty albums of 2012.  Their celtic, ingenious cover of "I'll Fly Away" will prove just how far this band has come!  But this album is a testament to their awesomeness and something you won't regret buying!

9.  Neal Morse - "Momentum" (Radiant Records)  As you listeners know…Dave and I had quite a few laughs over "Spock's Beard", Morse's original band.  But having heard him…you should NEVER make fun of this man.  The production is amazing, the music is Dream Theatre and even Trans-Siberian Orchestra reminiscent but still VERY much Neal!  I love this album and the uniqueness of Morse's sound and song writing abilities.

8.  Trip Lee - "The Good Life" (Reach)  You had me from "Robot".  Definitely my pick for our single of the year (yes…even above getting to say "Swooope", "YAYves", and even "Church Clap").  But this album overall is absolutely amazing!  I love every track on this album but I adore this new collaboration trend between Trip and Jimmy Needham!  "War" is different from anything else you've heard before and my favorite is one that didn't even get any air time.  "Beautiful Life" is a beautiful anti-abortion ballad that should get some more attention!

7.  For King & Country - "Crave" (Curb)  This album makes my list for several reasons.  First of all, the vocals are outstanding and the music is big and awesome and it just deserves a place of honor.  But I must also admit that "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" has gotten me through some very rough times and that's another reason that this makes it so high on my list.  But it is still worth a listen and a purchase!

6.  Blindside - "With Shivering Hearts We Wait" (INO)  I do remember that this is the very first hard album…the first album I got while working at XRR!!!  I can't explain to you how much I love this album.  First of all…the guys are swedish and that is awesome.  I love swedish people.  Just saying.  Anyway…the album is unbelievable amazing!  I love this band and this albums is amazingly outstanding!

5.  Capital Lights - "Rhythm 'N' Moves" (Tooth & Nail)  I am obsessed with this band.  I have become a fan of several new groups because of XRR but I'm telling you right now…I have become the BIGGEST fan over this band.  Their vocals are very unique, their lyrics are one of a kind, and their music is unparalleled.  This band is hard to beat in my book.  Definitely something to think about for a Christmas present!

4.  KJ-52 - "Dangerous" (BEC)  KJ-52 and Flatfoot 56 are kind of in the same group for me.  They have one of the top twenty albums on my list but they also belong on the "most improved" list.  (Not to say they weren't good before…just that the maturity of their lyrics and music is undeniable.)  This album is a great rap album from an awesome guy and one you'll want to add to your collection!

3.  KB - "Weight and Glory" (Reach)*  This album hits hard from beginning to end.  KB is one of the fastest rappers in the 116 clique.  And this album is a wonderful testament to his skills.  "Angels", "Church Clap", "Hello", and "Open Letter" alone make the album worth the money and none of the other 10 tracks disappoint!

2.  Brandon Heath - "Blue Mountain" (Reunion)*  I think this should be one of everyone's top three albums of 2012, but if you live in Boone, NC you need to love this album anymore.  And if you doubt it's awesomeness, pop it in and hit the blue ridge parkway.  It's perfection.  This is definitely an album Christian music lovers should be adoring!

1.  Audrey Assad - "Heart" (Sparrow)  I discovered Audrey Assad this year.  And I could not love an artist more.  From her lilting vocals, to her sweet piano driven music, to her poetically perfect lyrics, this album is comfort food for the soul.  The minimalist sound of "O My Soul" to the fullness of "No Turning Back" this album is the best of the year for the message, the sound, and the soul.

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