I don’t listen to a lot of Christian music because so much of just sounds soft and too often the lyrics are shallow and corny. When the World’s Most Dangerous Praise Band play popular worship songs at Revolution and I go to listen to the recorded cut online, the recorded track and am typically appalled! C’mon guys, put some umph in your songs and sound theology behind your lyrics!
That being said, there are always a few standout Christian albums and here are the best of 2012:
Best Worship Album of 2012
Rehearsals by The Digital Age.
The best worship album is actually an EP by David Crowder’s former back-up band. The six track release was previewed on Youtube in its entirety before dropping on iTunes and shooting to the top of the charts. All six tracks are quality but the standout is their cover of All Sons and Daughters’ “All the Poor and Powerless.” I think the songs could have benefitted from a little more edge supplied by grittier guitars but I can say that about nearly every worship album. I recommend picking this up and hope to bug the Caleb Hickerson Band (an offshoot of Revolution Church’s World Most Dangerous Praise Band) to release their cover of “All the Poor and Powerless” complete with more cowbell!
The Best Hardcore Album of 2012
The Unworthy by Shook Like Dead Men
On the other end of the musical spectrum is the hardcore Christian music scene and the best of the year is an EP from the unsigned band Shook Like Dead Men. I’m more than a little biased here as these guys are all friends. But, the thing is, I’m not a hardcore fan and I still really dug their debut EP The Unworthy (a title taken from Peter’s desire to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ). My favorite track is “Die Agra”, which addresses the dangers of drug addiction, a subject the band became familiar with by living in one of the overdose capitols of the nation. You can check out their stuff on Youtube and buy a CD (and “Unworthy” shirt) online now but they should be coming to iTunes and Amazon soon. If you like metal, you will dig this and if you like hardcore, this is a must have.
The Best Rock & Metal Album of 2012
True Defiance by Demon Hunter
I am a huge Demon Hunter fan and worried that the departure of co-founder Don Clark would signal the end. I and my fellow members of The Blessed Resistance need not have feared. Ryan Clark and the boys dropped a truly great album this year with True Defiance. The album is by far the band’s most aggressive since their first three releases but doesn’t sacrifice the melody Ryan credits to his love of British pop like Coldplay. The highlights of the release are the first two singles, “My Destiny” and “God Forsaken” as well as the closing cut “Dead Flowers” but all 11 tracks are solid. With metal, both Christian and secular, in a bit of a funk these last few years, it is refreshing to see someone step up to the plate. If you are a hard rock or metal fan, snag a copy of True Defiance today!
The Best Christian Album of 2012
Gravity by Lecrae.
The best Christian hip-hop album of 2012 is also the best Christian album of 2012. Rapper Lecrae has become a staple of the “Young, Restless & Reformed” movement. Yet, one does not need to be a Calvinist to love his beats, (which are “sick” as the kids say…or at least they did 5 years ago) or his lyrics, which are among the deepest and most challenging within Christian music scene. Highlights, for those with little time who want to check out a track or two, include “I Know,” “Lord Have Mercy,” “Tell the World, “Mayday” (featuring BIG K.R.I.T. and Ashton Jones) and “Falling Down,” which has an incredible beat. Everyone, hip-hop fan or not, Christian or not, can dig Lecrae. I highly recommend downloading it today.
That’s it for now. Check back for the best movies and books (secular or otherwise) of 2012. Until then, grace and peace.