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2001 cMusicWeb.com Awards

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This is our little section to tell you what we liked from 2000.

Josh M. Shepherd
rockShimmer - Luna Halo Shimmer - Luna Halo
Ever notice how a painting can look dull or arresting, depending on the angle and colors the artist used? So it is with Luna Halo, 2000's best new band, fronted by songwriter Nathan Barlowe. The band's lyrics are much like a masterpiece artwork, shining rays of light and profundity on common subjects like love, accountability, pride, and longing. Decisive, detailed guitar work doesn't hurt this debut, either.
alternativeRoaring Lambs - Various Roaring Lambs - Various
What does 'salt of the earth' mean for Christians in practical terms? The late Bob Briner set out to discover how Jesus' words apply to today's culture, and the forward-thinking manifesto Roaring Lambs was the result. Led by CCM pioneer Steve Taylor, artists impacted by Briner and his ideas brainstormed the chart-topping music compilation, including Sixpence's artful "The Ground You Shook," Over the Rhine's major-label debut song "Goodbye," and "Touch" by delirious?, the year's most underrated rock single.
popFreedom - Michael W. Smith Freedom - Michael W. Smith
Bountiful melody, flowing emotion, steadfast serenity. Freedom is the first Michael W. Smith project that can be described in such glowing terms. Availing himself of the cultivated, renowned Irish Film Orchestra, Smith embarks on a journey through time and tradition using purely instrumental songs. He celebrates life, grieves loss, and searches for meaning, without speaking a word.
worshipThe Father's Song - Matt Redman The Father's Song - Matt Redman
No argument here: Glo tops any Cd labeled "worship" released since Cutting Edge. But Matt Redman, a sort-of delirious? protege (and brilliant songwriter in his own right), followed up the ground-breaking Heart Of Worship with a high-minded project entitled The Father's Song. Biggest error? After hearing Redman duet with SONICFLOOd on "Holy Moment," you wish that every song had been recorded with such band energy and spirit. Overall, a reverently refined 14-track effort.

Jason Ewert
rockPhilmore (self-titled) Philmore (self-titled)
Philmore's self-titled album bursts with fun, punchy rock. Songs like "Together," "Our Finest Hour," and a cover of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" make it more than worthy to be one of the best of the year. It's punk rock with an 80's feel. Gotta love it! - Sara Hicks
Although Jason is a valued member of cMusicWeb.com's team, his lack of knowledge in rock music is made up for his great devotion to pop/alternative music, and therefore Sara fills in for Jason on the rock pick.

alternativeLong Line of Leavers - Caedmon's Call Long Line of Leavers - Caedmon's Call
What do you do when you're in the store with money burning a hole in your pocket and you can't find the CD you want? Experiment. And so I did when I recently bought the latest disc from Caedmon's Call. The production on the CD is fabulous and the performance by the band is breathtaking. Tackling issues such as love, man's fallenness, salvation, and San Francisco, Caedmon's proves once again that their creativity is always "on".
popThis Mystery - NIchole Nordeman This Mystery - Nichole Nordeman
Acclaimed for its sincerity and boldness, Nichole Nordeman's debut Wide Eyed struck a chord in many with its provocative questions. Steadfast and unaffected by the spotlight, Nichole's lyrics (and music) speak of new experiences and greater depth in her sophomore project. The questions are still there, but they are more mature and challenging than they originally were. What more can you ask from such an artist? Only that the questions would continue.
worshipCity On A Hill - Various City On A Hill - Various
"Featuring big-name artists, this thoughtful compilation presents a mix of acoustic styles along with poetic lyrics as praise to our glorious God." Although some fall short (FFH; Sonicflood with Peter Furler) others shine and contribute some excellent material ("God of Wonders" by Mac Powell, Cliff Young, and his wife Danielle; "This Road" by Jars of Clay). Watch out for this one at the Doves.

Dan Ficker
rockLearning to Breathe - Switchfoot Learning to Breathe - Switchfoot
Following up on their awesome New Way to be Human project, Switchfoot are back, and this time with a little less rock, and a bit more soul. The words speak of such ideas as love and movement, picking up where the previous album left off. Without blatantly preaching about Christ, this album teaches more about their view on values and culture, as is portrayed by the anthemic "Love is the Movement" and the hilarious "Poparazzi". Produced by veteran Charlie Peacock.
alternativeComing to Life - The Normals Coming to Life - The Normals
NOTE: This album is honest. Coming to Life does not have any of that cute "God is cool" stuff in it, just real-life struggles and hardships. Confronting themselves with such ideas as lust and mediocrity, the members of The Normals put together an album that sounds like a studio-quality concert disc. Including such songs as "The Best I Can", "Black Dress", and "Don't Hold Back", this sophmore masterpiece is not one to be missed.
popAll Things New - Watermark All Things New - Watermark
This entire album is a celebration of God making All Things New, bringing worshipful lyrics and pop melodies to the forefront. The breathtaking vocals of Christy Nockels and the deft guitar/production work of Nathan Nockels perfect this album, making it a great sophmore album and a disc full of pop hits. These insights have been found over the past couple years through working with Passion and living life together as husband-and-wife, and recently having a baby.
worshipOneDay Live - Passion OneDay Live - Passion
Capturing oneday when 50,000 college students gathered to pray and worship, this event was more than just a conference or rally. It was a prayer for this generation, and that the world would be changed and come back to God. This recording features the best of the worship at this great event, featuring songs written by worship leaders like delirious? and performed by Watermark, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Chris Tomlin, and more.

Rick Foux
rockInvincible - Skillet Invincible - Skillet
Skillet is definitely the Christian rock band of the 21st century. A smooth blend of electronica/rock and worship-driven lyrics dominates their current release, Invincible, making it a clincher for the cMusicWeb.com rock pick.
alternativeLong Line of Leavers - Caedmon's Call Long Line of Leavers - Caedmon's Call
Taking a slight departure from their folk roots, Caedmon's Call takes on a more alternative based style of music similar to Jars of Clay. The results are even better than expected, and songs such as "Mistake of My Life," "What You Want," and "Dance" drive home the point.
popTransform - Rebecca St. James Transform - Rebecca St. James
Transform is the latest album released by Christian pop artist Rebecca St. James. In this offering, everyone's favorite Aussie adapts to a Britney Spears-like style of music without losing her approach of spreading the Gospel, making it a hard-hitting winner in my book.

Although Rebecca is currently considered as an Alternative artist here at cMusicWeb.com, this release has enough pop in it to be the pop pick.

worshipGLO - delirious? GLO - delirious?
Following up to their Cutting Edge release, delirious? has produced another landmark worship album. The music alone is enough to keep you paralyzed, but combine it with soul-stirring praise and worship and you've got an album that not even OneDay can top. Simply said, GLO is a soundtrack for life.
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