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Dan Ficker
No Name Face - Lifehouse Live and in the Can (1998) - Delirious?
Although every Delirious? album could fill up this list, I had to limit myself to one. Therefore, I had to pick the epic title, the one that brings the heart of Delirious? to the front right away. The Can shows that it's all about the music and God. And, the music on this one is amazing, with tons of guitar, smooth instrumentals to keep it going from song to song, and powerful moments of worship.
Much Afraid - Jars of Clay Much Afraid (1997) - Jars of Clay
This album introduced me to the amazing artistry of Jars of Clay. Some cannot even comprehend the artistry of this album, and it definitely does take a couple listens. The deep, searching lyrics and polished, British-influenced music take the listener on a journey, from the opening "Overjoyed" through the 7-minute perfection of "Frail" and closing with "Hymn." Although overlooked by many, Much Afraid cemented the Jars' position as one of the most prolific artists in Christian music.
Heaven in the Real World Heaven in the Real World (1994) - Steven Curtis Chapman
Another one of my earliest exposures to Christian music, SCC's got soul power on this album. While it's not the same as the bluegrass/country style of Signs of Life, we even get Steven to rap for us! Seriously, though, high-energy tracks like "Facts are Facts" and the more contemplative "The Mountain" and "Burn the Ships" make this one an all-time winner. Plus, the production is top-notch and includes many fun samples.
New Way to Be Human - Switchfoot New Way to Be Human (1999) - Switchfoot
The title track is still the band's biggest hit, and an anthem of salvation for Christian youth everywhere, not to mention one of the most creative music videos in the industry. The whole disc is full of exciting guitar-based melodies, from the witty lyrics of "Company Car" to the honest acoustic of "Let That Be Enough." And, along with a reflection on Augustine's conversion, there's "Only Hope," which was recently covered by Mandy Moore for A Walk to Remember.
All Things New - Watermark All Things New (2000) - Watermark
Worship is a powerful thing, and putting that on Christian pop radio is definitely a feat. Continually helping out with Passion worship events, Nathan and Christy Nockels bring their Watermark style to both worlds. On this, their second album, this husband-wife duo contemplates their life on the road and starting a family while all the time thanking God and marveling at his kindness. Tracks like "Good for Me" and "More Than You'll Ever Know" make this one of my most life-changing albums.

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