Christian music offers a wide smattering of styles for every taste: Stephen Curtis Chapman and CeCe Winans croon adult contemporary ballads; Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer play sophisticated and intelligent soft rock; Audio Adrenaline, The Newsboys, and DC Talk offer energetic, catchy songs; P.O.D. and Creed scream spiritual anthems for those who prefer the hard stuff. These are all big-name artists, well-deserving of the acclaim that has come to them.
But here are a few others who sometimes get lost in the shuffle:
Mr. Buechner's Dream by Daniel Amos
(Galaxy 21, 2001; order from your local music retailer or www.amazon.com)
A brilliant two-disc pop album by a group (Daniel Amos is a band, not a person) that has been recording Christian music for 30 years. Inspired by the writings of Frederick Buechner, it offers reflections on mortality, aging, and the co-existence of faith and doubt. Melodic pop-rock, this is for people who like The Beatles, The Eagles, and The Beach Boys.
Kingdom Come by Charlie Peacock
(re:think, 1999; order from your local music retailer)
The latest work by a seasoned performer who consistently offers theologically mature musings on paradoxes of life and faith. Often provocative with a deep appreciation for Godï¿½s grace. Musically, this is jazz-tinged adult pop similar to the work of Paul Simon, Sting, or Peter Gabriel.
Sound Theology by Jonathan Rundman
(Salt Lady, 2001; order from your local music retailer or www.amazon.com)
A folk-rock musing on the rhythm of the church year by an ELCA singer who fills two CDs with 52 songs about life in his mid-West Lutheran church. The musical equivalent of Garrison Keilor, Rundman offers wry and witty observations on the lives of the faithful while remaining awed by the faith that sustains them.
Timeless by Babbie Mason
(Spring Hill, 2001; order from your local music retailer or www.amazon.com)
A gospel album by a seasoned African American songstress who pays tribute to the classic stylings of Anita Baker and Ella Fitzgerald. Mason composes songs of faith and offers them in a sultry voice that may summon images of smoky nightclubs and ï¿½20s torch ballads.
Easy Come, Easy Go by Starflyer 59
(Tooth & Nail, 2000; order from your local music retailer or www.amazon.com)
A greatest hits collection by a band that appeals to folk who like loud, fuzzy guitars. These guys do it as well as anyone since Hendrix. As for Christian content, their songs are poetic and vague rather than openly evangelistic — but then, you probably wonï¿½t hear the words anyway.
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