Friday, March 03, 2006

They Sing Real Purty-Like For Jesus

We like all kinds of music in our house - alternative, country, pop - basically anything except for rap, although if Elise’s rendition of “Gold Digger” is any indication, we are way behind the cultural curve in that regard.

I pretty much quit listening to radio at all when Alex was born (a screaming child combined with a loud DJ combined with 280 traffic is the perfect recipe for road rage). Every once in awhile I'll listen to Rick and Bubba...Bubba goes to our church, and Speedy went to State with a lot of us. David still listens to talk radio and our local Christian station. But for the most part, we're tuned in to CD's. Well, I'm tuned in to CD's - David has some thingamajig that enables him to listen to his iPod in his truck.

If Alex is in the car, odds are that Veggie Tales will be the order of the day. But when I'm alone in the car, or when Alex is preoccupied with a book, I usually reach for "Mama's music" - a contemporary Christian CD. For me, it's a great way to have some "quiet time" in the middle of the day. The biggest bonus is that it calms me down - my OCD personality can start spinning in overdrive pretty easily, and Christian music usually helps me to put things in perspective. As David has said, it's hard to give someone an ugly look in traffic or lay on your horn when you have "Jesus music" coming out of your speakers.

So, I thought y'all might enjoy some links to artists that we enjoy...and I'm also including some Amazon links to specific CD's (Amazon usually has samples of each song - makes it easier to determine what you might like and what you won't like). Since most of us grew up with Sandi Patty and Amy Grant (I still love me some Amy Grant, by the way), it's interesting to see how much Christian music has changed...and how much more diverse it is in terms of style.

Chris Tomlin - I think Arriving may be my favorite Christian CD ever, and not because I cooked for him last week. :-) A friend of mine gave me a copy of this CD about a year ago, and it has been in rotation on my computer and in my car ever since. Favorite song: "God Is On Our Side" - I dare you to listen to it and not tap your toes or clap your hands. You can't do it!

Jeremy Camp - Apparently a favorite of "the kids," he's a little bit more rock-n-roll than CT. His latest, which has been out for about a year, is Restored. It's been a big success, but I'm actually partial to his previous CD, Stay. Favorite song: "I Still Believe," from Stay.

Chris Rice - He writes some of my favorite lyrics; I think "Come To Jesus" from this CD is one of the most beautiful, simple songs I've ever heard. It gets "favorite song" status. I don't have his latest CD, Amusing, but you can check it out at the link. He's also done some stuff for Veggie Tales, which we have enjoyed over. And over. And over. And over.

Selah - Selah is without a doubt our favorite Christian group. Their stuff is pretty traditional - lots of hymns, both old and new - and their harmonies are beautiful. The sister actually left the group about a year ago, so I don't know what's next for them...but whatever it is, we will buy it. My favorite CD of theirs is Press On, but Hiding Place is also excellent. Favorite song: "Deep (Way Down)" - mainly because it was one of the first songs Alex ever knew the words to. He still loves it.

Mark Schultz - His current single is all over Christian radio right now; it's called "I Am," and it is great. If you clicked on the link to his website, you heard it. His latest CD is here (I'm using the link off of his site because Amazon doesn't have samples of the songs). Make sure to listen to "Letters From War" - everytime I hear it, I cry. In terms of a favorite song, it's a toss-up between the two I've mentioned.

Nichole Nordeman - I would give anything to be able to write like she does. Okay, not anything - but I'd be mighty happy. Gosh I love her music. And her voice. This CD is about six years old, and it was a catalyst for lots-o-change in my life. You know when music hits you right where you're living? That's what This Mystery did for me back in 2000. I still love it. And if you're looking for a song that captures the spirit of the Easter season, listen to "Why." Some people think Woven & Spun is her best CD so far, but I really like all of her albums for different reasons. "Brave," from the CD of the same name, is a neat take on what it's like to be a child's mother and a child of God all at the same time. Favorite song: "Every Season."

That ought to be enough to get y'all started on a little contemporary Christian music field trip.

Happy weekend, everybody.


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