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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Top 100 Christian Albums of the 1990s: 60-51

Greetings once again, brothers and sisters.

We're getting closer to the midpoint of this little excursion, and things are starting to heat up. There will be some surprises in this installment, like why in the world THAT band had an album THIS FAR DOWN on the list. Well, that's because it's my list. When I first put this list together, I would often wonder how arbitrary my choices were. As I analyzed my choices, I found that the albums that sounded the most timeless deserved a higher spot, and the ones that were very much a product of the time, and therefore not as easily removable from the 1990s, found themselves at lower points. It's not that they weren't great when they were released, they absolutely were. But hindsight is always 20/20. I mean, even Roger Ebert called "Weird Al" Yankovic the Antichrist upon the release of UHF. But who's laughing now, eh?

Sorry, I forgot Ebert was dead for a minute. My bad.

Let's get on with it.

60. VOID - Under Midn…

The Top 100 Christian Albums of the 1990s: 70-61

Welcome back, everyone.

You know, taking the time to actually jot down notes on why I chose these albums has given my nostalgia factor a jumpstart, and I've found myself looking many of them up on Spotify and YouTube. Turns out many of these albums are NOT on streaming sources, so if you want to get your own copy, you may need to track one down. I'm just glad I got through writing tonight's installment so that I could watch the new season of Better Call Saul

You know, like all the good little former Christian kids.

70. ALL STAR UNITED - All Star United
"The question isn't whether it's true; the question: is it working for you? Marshmallow skies and custardy pies, and nothing's too hard to do." I'm sorry, what? That was the first thought in my head when I heard the first 10 seconds of ASU's debut. Ian Eskelin shed his candy-pop outer shell for a candy-coated rock fest, and it kind of works. Really well, actually. Muscular rock combined with well-…

The Top 100 Christian Albums of the 1990s: 80-71

The countdown continues. This segment begins with one album that I remember seeing DOZENS of copies for sale in my local Christian bookstore.

80. BEAUTIFUL - The Walter Eugenes
It's not the greatest marketing idea in the world to make the cover of your first major-label album a solid lime-green color with your pictures imposed over it with no background. It's an even worse marketing idea to not market the album by any means other than having a butt ton of copies of your album in every store. I'm not kidding, The Walter Eugenes had no less than 15 copies of Beautiful in every store I went to, including Blockbuster Music (holy crap, I'm old). If you could make it through "Clear My Head" without mentally imploding from the lack of expectations being met, you found an art-rock album with a nice chunk of professionalism thrown in. They were too AOR for radio, (even though a single "Crawl" was released with a video) and too typical-rock sounding to be consi…

The Top 100 Christian Albums of the 1990s: 90-81

Well, the stone's rolling, so let's see where the moss has grown. In today's edition, we look at albums ranked from 81 to 90 on my list of the Top 100 Christian albums of the 1990s.

Some might wonder, "Why the '90s? What not of all time?" Frankly, it's because the 1990s were extremely formative years for Christian music. The moral panic of the 1980s was, for the most part, over, and the business model for varied styles was opening wide to include rap, metal, alternative, industrial, electronic . . . Suddenly, record execs realized that there was an audience for every style of music in the Church, and labels began to pop up all over the place that specialized in a certain type of music. There were some trailblazers, but most labels found themselves as niche purveyors of sound, and long life wasn't guaranteed to anyone.

The independent labels had much more freedom to experiment than the corporate-owned imprints, and we find some of our most storied and …

The Top 100 Christian Albums of the 1990s: 100-91

Who the heck am I to  make a determination of the best albums of a particular decade?

I'm a fan, that's who. And I'm not alone.

Many moons ago, I became a member of a group on Facebook that's dedicated to reminiscing about the Contemporary Christian Music industry, specifically in the 1990s. That decade saw a HUGE swipe of emerging artists, differing styles, and a lot of mainstream exposure for Christian artists. Labels like Metro One, Grey Dot, and Tooth and Nail and were launched and brought alternative music by Christians to a wider audience, distributing their stuff into mainstream stores. You no longer had to go to a local Christian bookstore to find the type of music you wanted to hear from a Christian perspective, and non-CCM radio genres were the perfect foray for these new labels and the bands that appeared on them.

In 2016, people began posting their lists of the top 100 albums by Christian artists in the 1990s. It took me a while, but I finally threw my pick…