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Most Spun 2004: It's revolution, baby.
[ cMusicWeb.com's end of the year feature | compiled by ben forrest ]

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TERENCEDAVE Editor-in-Chief, FEED Magazine
The Grind Date - De La Soul
De La Soul - The Grind Date
De La made the comeback of a lifetime after mediocre hip-hop attempts with the Art Official Intelligence projects. This CD is the epitome of classic longevity with artistic evolution that does not veer away from the original essence of the trio. My iPod was weary from playing this.
The Pretty Toney Album - Ghostface
Ghostface - The Pretty Toney Album
Ghost held it down for the Wu this year (and last year). He took his project back to the gritty and grimy feel of the 36 Chambers. Classic.
Beautifully Human: Words And Sounds, Vol. 2 - Jill Scott
Jill Scott - Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2
Flawless project from a vocally and poetically flawless lady. Her ability to relate to the hopeless romantic, the street cat, the lover, and the everyday urban is uncanny. All around winner.
Love and Life - Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige - Love & Life
Mary can do no wrong in my book. This project took Mary back to her What's the 411? and My Life personas. Street-savvy Mary J. is just plain dope.
Stevie - Yesterday's New Quintet
Yesterday's New Quintet - Stevie
The alter-ego idea of abstract producer Madlib made me revisit my respect and admiration for Stevie Wonder. His renditions of "Rocket Love" and "Too High" are timeless.

HOLLIESTEWART Worship Reviewer, cMusicWeb.com
Jacob's Dream - Jason Upton
Jason Upton - Jacob's Dream
Jason Upton has been in huge rotation in my home, so in choosing one CD I choose them all. Jacob's Dream sings to sleep the worries that try to choke the peace of God out of my life. This album as a whole moves me into a place where I can hear God whisper. Songs like "Teach Me How to Pray" become my own prayers where I ask God not for my will, but for His alone. Lord, let me remember Your goodness and mercy ("Psalm 23"); let me dream for You the way that You dream for me ("Jacob's Dream"); let me come to understand the power of waiting ("Wait Upon the Wind"); and let me always remember that victory cannot exist when our hearts swim with impurities ("Joshua").
Rise Up - Rita Springer
Rita Springer - Rise Up
I had known of this artist for a while, but when opportunity arose to review her CD, I snatched the chance. I'm so thankful I did. Rise Up encourages my spirit to rise up inside of me and thank God for who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do. Rita Springer's voice rings with rough passion, awakening the warrior inside of me with songs like "I Want the Joy," "When I Think About the Lord," and "In Christ Alone." Then, in sweet intimacy, she sings the warrior to sleep, and together we lie before God and cry, "You are my hero." Father, "nobody saves like You, nobody stays like You, nobody loves me quite the way You do."
The Passsion Of The Christ Soundtrack - John Debney
John Debney - The Passion of the Christ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
I bought this CD the day after watching this film. I could hear the tracks and recapture the images in my mind's eye. I sobbed for days after seeing the movie, and the sound track accompanied my own personal journey of self-analysis, repentance, and recommitment. Each track blends into the other, creating a seamless musical movement that surpasses everything else in its genre. The female vocalist in "Mary Goes to Jesus" chills the spine. The violin concerto in "Crucifixion" contains such grandeur and sensitivity. May I never forget, Lord, the sacrifice You made. May I never walk away from the epiphany.
Collide - Skillet
Skillet - Collide
At 16, I knew little about music. But I knew I loved the way this band cooked up sounds that rang fierce in my heart. Never have I experienced a band that knew how to a) rock your entire being to pieces, and b) worshiped with as much passion as they rocked. After eight years of loyalty, Skillet continues to blow away my expectations. Collide makes this otherwise quiet girl dance to a bolder beat. To my utmost delight, the mainstream market finally mined this gem. This album must be listened to loud, it must be played long, and once you learn the words you are required to sing/scream along. God, thank You so much that rock music is NOT of the devil! Thank You that You accept "noise" as worship.
The Fires Of Life - Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke - The Fires Of Life
This band was the biggest musical surprise of my life in 2004. I asked to review their sophomore album because I liked their name. How surprised I was to find a group of guys with enough musical skill and lyrical insight to put to shame the majority of the big Christian groups. If you're in search of an album that uses guitar distortion and falsetto vocals to provide a sound track for personal reflection, The Fires of Life is such an album. These are songs of surrender, of falling into God's arms, of continuing to sing, because the Giver of song holds you in His hands. Thank You, sweet Jesus, that "You're the One who comforts me when everyone has gone away."

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