Friday, December 5, 2014

My Favorite Christian Music Projects from 2014

It is that time of year again - the top 10 list of my musical spirit food from 2014.

I have tried to slow down on my music buying this year, but it didn't really work. Too many great projects from people I love. We have to keep supporting great artists and worship leaders who are creating music that feed our spirits and our minds with eternal truths.

Please again - BUY ALBUMS - in stores, online, however you buy music, but don't just watch YouTube videos or stream music - the artists make nothing on that. If you like a song or a project, please BUY it and support the artists who created it. (Rant over!)

Whether you are stocking up on good music for yourself at the end of the year or buying some Christmas presents - support these artists and their music. These projects have impacted my heart, challenged my own creativity, and stirred up more of a hunger for the Word of God this year. GET THEM!!

Rules to this yearly game:


#1 - Only listing Christian music projects (though I could give you a list of some of my best friends who have released some amazing Country, Folk, and Rock albums this year.)

#2 - They were all released in 2014.

#3  - I have listed them in the order of how much I have listened to them.

So here are the projects that I worshiped with, was inspired by, and sang to at the top of my lungs in the car, at my computer, or around my house -  All released this year in 2014. 

#1 Oaks Worship - Live from Seven Camp

 
 
Every song - I mean, every song has touched my heart since this was released on 11/11/14. Incredible songwriting from the Oaks team, but not only that - they flow with the Holy Spirit. Clayton's intro on this album just ushers the Holy Spirit into my living room or office on the first few notes. I have danced with We're Coming Alive, Dance in Your Freedom, and My Reward and wept through the rest of the album. I mean, wept. 

When we let God impact our hearts and set us free - this is the kind of ministry we produce. Thank you, Clayton Brooks, your lovely wife, and your precious team for laying aside the things that hinder the Holy Spirit. This is the beautiful fruit of your labor which will produce change in people who hear this project for years to come. 

 "Jesus, You're worth it all. You are so worth it all" (Though It Cost Me Everything) 
 
Get this album on ITunes for only $4.99 or get it for free on their website. (These guys rock!)
 

#2 Bethel Music - You Make Me Brave

 
I have fallen in love with Amanda Cook this year like every other worship leader in this country. I don't think I will ever get tired of this project from Bethel Music.

From the spontaneous song - Wonder to Shepherd to You Make Me Brave - Amanda blows me away; but when we get Jenn Johnson, Kristene DiMarco, Kari Jobe, Steffany Frizzell Gretzinger, and Amanda Cook all on one album, we are totally blessed in every way. You are amazing women of God! Thank you all for blessing us all over this world this year with this project.
 
 
Their website: http://bethelmusic.com/
 
 

#3 John Mark McMillan - Borderland

 
One of my songwriting heroes, I was a Kickstarter supporter for this album and I was not disappointed. John Mark is one of the most creative transparent songwriters in Christian music right now and he bleeds out his heart in his songs. I love him and I love this album! Future/Past & Holy Ghost are two of my favorite songs this year. You can read my latest post on his night here in Dallas in November.
 

 
 

#4 One Thing Live - Sing Your Praises

 
One of the best written One Thing albums in recent history, this album is great from beginning to end. It helps that they really had a move of God last year at One Thing 2013 - one of the biggest young adult conferences in the nation. Start with Matt Gilman's Sing Your Praises, Jonas Park's I am Yours, and Zac Dinsmore's Glory Be to the Righteous One and you will be hooked on this project.

Awesome collection of worship from one of the most incredible four days of seeking God in the USA. One day I will get there and not just stream it in my living room for four days. Get to Kansas City if you can (December 28-31) or come over to my house in the evenings for the viewing parties. I will try to get out of my PJ's by the time you get here.
 
 
Put out by Forerunner Music: http://www.ihopkc.org/music/
 
 

#5 Leeland - Christ Be All Around Me

 
I never get tired of Leeland's voice, this band's musicianship, and most importantly their passion for the Son of God. When Leeland sings on this Michael W. Smith video for Christ be All Around Me, I want to scream, "That is the way to sing a song about the God who is really alive". Just wait for it! "Your blood was shed for every moment." I was so disappointed that Leeland's voice wasn't on the actual MWS recording when I bought it.
 
 
This band will be around for years to come because they keep running after Jesus. Love that Jack sings a song on this album. I love that it is LIVE and I can't wait for the next LIVE Leeland full length album. Go guys! Where You Are has been one of my songs of the year. One day we will meet....One day... I have to be one of the biggest Leeland fans of this century.

(Note: I know that technically this an EP, but it is so good it is included in the top 10.)
 

#6 Kari Jobe - Majestic

 
The Majestic Theatre in Dallas was beautiful, the music was beautiful, Kari's budding love for Cody Carnes (Yes, it was all over her face) was beautiful, and the songs were beautiful at this live recording; but JESUS was even more beautiful. Kari has continued to make one thing very clear even as a "Christian celebrity" - Jesus is the most beautiful person that she knows and she will continue to shout it out. This album is simple and beautiful because Jesus bursts out of her heart and her voice. You will love it if you haven't gotten it already.
 
 
Her website: http://karijobe.com/
 
 

#7 Ellie Holcomb - As Sure As the Sun


I "found" Elle Holcomb on tour last year in her husband's band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors as they toured with Needtobreathe. Wow - her voice, her passion - love her!

(Check out my favorite songs from Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors: Live Forever, Fire and Dynamite, The Wine We Drink, and Tennessee from this country/folk band)

This year on her own in the CCM world, Ellie became only the second independent artist, I believe, in history to win a Dove Award for Best New Artist of the Year. This album of biblical meditations is done with class, folk, and love. If you have been a fan of Bethany Dillon as I have for years, you will LOVE Ellie Holcomb. Don't just check out her radio hit The Broken Beautiful, check out all of it. FYI: She is also the daughter of famed producer Brown Bannister - one of my favorite producers.



Get this album on ITunes

Her website: http://www.ellieholcomb.com/
 

#8 NeedtoBreathe - Rivers in the Wasteland


I didn't make it to see NTB this year when they came through town (been a little busy church planting and tentmaking), but I was extremely sad to have missed them. My review of their concert here in Dallas in 2013 has now 6759 hits. Needtobreathe is my feel good music and they are amazing songwriters that make the listeners think while they entertain us. This is a great album to listen to in the mornings when you are trying to get up and get motivated for the day. Thankful for songs like Difference Makers, Wasteland, Rise Again, and The Heart as well as others on this album. This project does not disappoint -full of life, full of fun, and full of great musicianship and songwriting.
 
 
 

#9 Laura Hackett Park -

Love Will Have It's Day

 
From the moment, we got tuned back into the happenings at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (through a book by Corey Russell), my husband has been telling me that Laura Hackett is his favorite worship leader there. We worshipped with her live at the Prayer and Prophetic Conference in October 2013 and then streamed her two sets at One Thing 2013. We have watched those sets over and over again via YouTube since last December and we love this worshipper.
 
This album has the best of the Laura Hackett songs with incredible production by Dove Award winning producer Brown Bannister from Nashville.  From songs like The Love Inside, Lift Up Your Head, He Shall Reign, King Jesus, and Cover Me - Laura throws her theology and faith in the beautiful Son of God/Son of Man out for the world to see. It is real, transparent, beautiful, and well done. This project is highly recommend. I love that she sings to the Jewish man and makes Jesus real to all of us.
 
 
 
Congrats to her and Jonas Park as well for getting married right before this album was released. I love Jonas' EP put out this year as well. Also again check out his song I Am Yours from One Thing Live above.
 

#10 House Fires - House Fires II

 
Just discovered this album LAST week or it would have been closer to the top of this list. I am so in love with acoustic worship specifically geared toward the house church movement (since we are a part of that.) This worship team out of the Atlanta area is blowing me away with their songwriting, their simple productions, and their spontaneous movements with the Holy Spirit.
 
All I need you to do is watch this video and fall in love with the Body of Christ in its REAL form without hype. We, as the Body of Christ, are the people with REAL answers. "You are perfect in all of Your Ways. You're a Good Good Father."  Fall in love with House Fires! "You are the one thing that I need. Jesus, You are."
 
 
 
 
 

EP of the Year -

Lauren Daigle - How Can It Be

 
Come Alive  -This song is our church's calling to go after the wanderers and the broken and speak to the dry bones to come alive. This is going to be one of my life songs, I know it. Love, love, love all of these songs on this EP by Lauren Daigle.
 
 
This girl can SING, she can write, and she made friends with some of the greatest people in Nashville, Jennie Lee Riddle and Michael Farren. She has my vote for being awesome! She is also getting great radio play with How Can It Be. That is a bonus for her.
 
Let me know when you are coming to Dallas, Lauren, and I will help you anyway I can.
 

 

SINGLE of the YEAR -

Bunni Pounds - Life Eternal

 
Would it be wrong to list my own song? Probably, but I am doing it anyway. This song has taken me deep in God this year. I have had a revival in prayer since last December and it is only going to continue into 2015. Life Eternal has been one of my favorites to sing, to worship with, and to pray with. I am thankful for what God has been stirring in my heart again to write biblically based prayer songs to Him.

Starting Tuesday, I go into the studio to record an EP of prayer songs called TEACH US TO PRAY that will be coming out in 2015, Lord willing. If you like devotional worship songs, keep an eye out for that or subscribe to this blog. (I know that was really low, but this was really my favorite single of year...LOL!! ....)

 
Help me record more music - Get this Single on ITunes


Thank you for walking with me through some of my favorite music in 2014.

If you would like to look back at my lists from PAST YEARS - here are the links.
Tons of great treasures here that you might want to discover....

My top 10 list from 2013 (#1 Matt Gilman - Awaken Love)

My top 10 list from 2012 (#1 Aaron Keyes - In the Living Room)

My top 10 list from 2011 (#1 Leeland - Great Awakening)

Here is my half year list for 2014. Surprisingly a lot of the projects held on to the top 10 list.

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