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Riko Eksteen
No Name Face - Lifehouse No Name Face (2000) - Lifehouse
No CD in the past few years has excited me as much as this one. I listen to it almost every day. Even after the hours and hours of airplay “Hanging By A Moment” got, it’s still an awesome song. “Breathing” takes me to places I’ve never been before. The rocking guitars and addictive rhythms of “Quasimodo” and “Only One” send shivers down my spine every time. And “Everything,” well I’ve tried to put the feeling it creates into words…I just can’t. This is some of the best music you’ll ever hear. Get it. Now.
Hungry [Falling on My Knees] - Vineyard UK Hungry [Falling on My Knees] (1999) - Vineyard UK
A lot of things contributed to the recent rise of worship music in the CCM scene (Delirious? for one). I believe one of the CD’s that has had the greatest impact in this respect is Vineyard’s Hungry project. This CD appeared in 1999 and it is still one of the best sellers in my country. More than half of the songs found their way to praise and worship stages in churches all over the world. You can taste the passion that radiates from songs like “Hungry”, “Breathe” and “There’s No One Like Our God”. A classic.
Jars of Clay (self-titled) Jars of Clay (1995) - Jars of Clay
JOC is one of the leading acts in Christian music today. They have produced amazing music and countless hits over the years. But nothing since has come close to the brilliance of their self-titled debut release. It is still one of the most successful debut releases ever to appear on Christian music shelves. The hits from this project have resounded over the years, in movies, on radio, into hearts. “Liquid”, “Love Song For A Savior,” and “Flood” will always remain favourites. But when that single line from “Worlds Apart,” “…did You really have to die for me…?” sounds over my speakers, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
Lay It Down - Jennifer Knapp Lay It Down (2000) - Jennifer Knapp
The moment I picked up Jennifer’s first project (Kansas), I loved it. I longed for more from this diva of Christian rock. And she didn’t disappoint. To me, Lay It Down is one of the best sophomore releases in the history of Christian music. From the first thrashing guitars of “A Little More,” through “Usher Me Down” and “Into You,” to the amazing “You Answer Me,” you are always left wanting more. And then Jennifer ends it all with the honest humility of “Peace:” “I can lean against Your throne and find my peace, find my peace…” The only remaining question is, Jen, will you marry me?
Cutting Edge - Delirious? Cutting Edge 3 & 4 (1995) - Delirious?
No definitive list of Christian music would be complete without a reference to that band of all bands, Delirious?. But what CD to select from all their earth-shattering albums? From that first discovery of heavenly music with King of Fools, to the brilliance of Mezza, and the phenomenon that was Glo, their music has had a HUGE impact on my life. In the end, going just on sheer impact, I had to choose Cutting Edge 3 & 4. Even though their music has changed a lot from those early days, the songs from that era still affect my life today. “Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?” is, I suppose, my favourite d: song of all time. I just want to throw my hands up in the air and jump up and down every time I hear it. The profound declaration of “Not Ashamed” guides me to this day. And no song can humble me like “Find Me In The River.” “Louder Than The Radio” manages to capture the vision of God for this generation, and “All I Want Is You” is sure bliss. But who can describe the feelings that wash over your soul when the sweet, sweet sounds of “Obsession” reaches your ears…

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