The Best and Greatest - Part Two

Last week I started reviewing some of the "best and greatest" from not only the past year, but the 2000's as a whole.  Since this is primarily a music-related blog, I'll move onto that theme for the day.   So....

Here are my nominees for:

Best Worship Albums of the Decade:

Note: this list will be in roughly chronological order, not any kind of ranking.

Third Day - Offerings II: All I Have to Give (2003)

Third Day's first worship album, Offerings: A Worship Album, was very, very good; Offerings II upped the ante quite a bit, and pretty much set the standard for a live worship album for the rest of the decade.  Worship staples such as "God of Wonders," "Show Me Your Glory," and of course, the amazing cover of Rich Mullins' "Creed" continue to be the standard versions of these songs, and have been models for worship bands since. 

Salvador - Worship Live (2003)

You want pure energy?  You want a record that no one - no one - can not move and groove to?  You want some touching, tender moments? You want one of the best live renditions of Paul Baloche's "Open the Eyes of My Heart" around?   This is your record.  The Gonzales brothers show that everyone has a little latino in them, and "Montana" alone will make you want to grab the Rosetta Stone Spanish program. 

Chris Tomlin - Arriving (2004)

I will freely admit to not being a big Chris Tomlin fan, but it would be pure negligence to not include this album.  It is certified platinum, hit #3 on Billboard and spawned a song that would spend years as the #1 song performed by churches according to CCLI, "How Great is Our God."  (Oh, and "Here I Am to Worship" is #7) 

David Crowder* Band - A Collision (2005)

Exibit A:  Twenty-one tracks.   Exibit B:  "Here is Our King," "Foreverandever Etc..."  "A Beautiful Collision," "You Are My Joy."   Four years later and DC*B is still playing these songs at concerts. Oh, and "I Saw the Light."  What else is there?  Crowder Band's magnum opus stands the test of time as one of the great worship albums out there.

Israel and New Breed - Alive in South Africa (2005)

If this were a ranked list, this two-disc set would probably be on top.   Alive in South Africa is a two-hour worship experience, bar none.  I really wish I was at that concert.  This album has brought me to tears on more than one occaision.

Hillsong - Mighty to Save (2006)

Granted that Mighty to Save was Hillsong's fifteenth live worship album, but it is arguably its most important.  It is the record many people think of first when they think of Hillsong, and its title track, "Mighty to Save" has become a worship set staple.  Like most Hillsong live albums, it brings you on an emotional ride, and combines the talents of many of Hillsong's best worship leaders and musicians. 

Israel and New Breed - A Deeper Level (2007)

This Grammy-winning album is simply one of the better ones on the list.  It is very easy to imagine oneself sitting in a worship service during this record, especially during some of the touching spoken parts.  My understanding is that the actual concert it was recorded at was much longer, due to all the testimonies and prayer breaks, but much of that annointing still comes through. 

David Crowder* Band - Remedy (2007)

If you've ever been to a DC*B concert, you'll undertand why this record is on the list.  Plus it's got Ted Nugent - the Ted Nugent - guesting on "We Won't Be Quiet."   Seriously, though, there is something very special about these songs, how they flow, and what they say.  Make no mistake: this is not a followup to A Collision - it's the exact opposite.  It's simple and pared down.  Crowder has never been lyrically complex, but the simple, repetitive choruses lend themselves to worship time.  Want proof?  Get the live Remedy Club Tour Edition.  Or better yet, get to a Crowder show.

Matt Redman - We Shall Not be Shaken (2009)

When reviewing this album for The Joint, I wrote " Every once in a while you come across a worship album that is, for lack of a better word, perfect. Perhaps not perfect, but all that it should be. Such is the case with We Will Not Be Shaken; it’s all that it should be. "   And I meant it; this is a great worship album. Biblically sound, deeply worshipful, songs that get better and more profound as you listen to them.

Fee - Hope Rising (2009)

Some may say that Hope Rising is not a "worship" album.  I would disagree with them.  We've already done songs off this record, and there are more we could (and will!) do.  Anthems.  Ballads.  Songs that sound amazing with a full band at huge volume and with an acoustic guitar around a campfire.  To my mind, the best Christian album of 2009, and one that I think will stand up as a great worship album.

So what have I left off the list, or what shouldn't be there?


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