Category Archives: Features

Top 50 ‘Christian’ songs sung by mainstream artists!

Happy Easter everyone. It’s been about a year since I last said ‘Happy Easter’ to you all, and to my friends and family; and been about 2 years since the last time before that. Gee how time flies! Well on a serious note, it’s that time of year where some of us religiously go back to church, even if we don’t believe in Jesus; and it’s also that time where probably all of us crank up the volume and listen to our favourite worship artist or album. Maybe some Chris Tomlin or Hillsong Worship; Meredith Andrews or Kari Jobel Phil Wickham or Crowder; even Leeland or All Sons and Daughters. There’s tons of worship music to choose from and plenty of songs that vividly describe Jesus’ death and resurrection, so that we can be more in tune with what Jesus actually went through all those years ago. And probably all of us at one point or another have done this- listened to worship music at greater intensity during this time in order to feel closer to Jesus. We’ve actually written two other blogs here and here that briefly touch upon some of the most impacting songs about the cross and the grave. But maybe you don’t want to listen to the same old worship songs year in and year out. Perhaps you want variety, and perhaps you’re not sure where to look. However, songs about Jesus that you probably never knew existed, are closer than you think.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 40 (Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey)- So that particular album is in your head! Now what?

Last Friday I was trying to review several albums on my day off from work. I succeeded in part- I reviewed 2 albums (which you can view here and here!), but I was distracted for the most part. While I was reviewing these two albums, I was listening to another album. See Danny Gokey’s album Haven’t Seen It Yet released last week, and I was listening to the 13 songs. I think I listened to that album straight through about 5 or 6 times that day. I wasn’t planning on reviewing the album- and I’m still not; I’ll leave that for Jon to review!- but there was something about these songs that made me keep coming back to them time and time again. I had set aside a block of time to review many more albums that day, but what actually happened was that I ended up listening to Danny’s new album over and over instead! Why is that the case, you say? Was there some divine lesson that God was teaching me through Danny’s music, that He wanted me to see that couldn’t be found through any other music at that time? Did He want me to learn something profound to impart to you guys, or was there one particular song on that album that was relevant to perhaps at least one of your readers? Did He want me to review this album (and hence ‘steal’ it from Jon, who had claimed he was reviewing it as soon as he knew about Haven’t Seen It Yet)?

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 9: MARTINA MCBRIDE

Just a couple of weeks ago, I delved into the realms and musical genres of country music, discussing about Carrie Underwood, and her relevance and influence in today’s society, the history of music as a whole, and just the overall arching umbrella of inspirational music that can encourage and impact. Here we are, just two weeks later, again delving into another country artist- Martina McBride. Never in my own wildest dreams did I ever think I would listen to country music. Sure, I heard a few songs from Carrie Underwood here and there, and I always knew that CCM rockers Third Day somehow skirted the fine line between southern Rock, CCM and country quite a bit. But if you were to let me know a year ago that in a year’s time, I’d be listening to artists like Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride, I’d be laughing, wondering what planet you’re from. Because for me, Martina’s music has only been thoroughly listened to on a regular basis this last week or so- her music, though so iconic and monumental over the years for so many listeners, has somehow been swept by the wayside unintentionally by myself… until now of course! Martina’s career is as long as it is respected and revered- a mainstay and icon in not just country music alone, but in music overall. An eye-opening occasion for myself (I didn’t know country- or even to a lesser extent country-inspired, can be such a positive experience for myself), Martina’s music is a generation behind Carrie Underwood, starting her career in the 1990s, and releasing albums at a steady pace from then till now…and that’s ok. In all serious, Martina’s style is very similar to that of CCM icons Natalie Grant and Amy Grant, and while Martina’s stint in the music industry has led to much success over the years, it has been her extra-album activities, like her love for cooking and the recent unveiling of her new cooking TV programme, that has solidified her standing as one of country music’s reigning singer-songwriters and performers, and all-round inspirational people, after all these years!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 8: OWL CITY

Owl City has always been, and always will be, a band that has such polarising views from listeners who either approach his music in one of two ways. There’s the first group, that love his music, that are die-hard fans, and appreciate every unique lyric and every nuance and imagery present in his music. Because there is quite a bit. Then there’s the other group, that casually like Owl City and listen to them once in a while, but with the drop of a hat, they’d criticise or have something harsh to say if the music isn’t up to a certain standard. And frankly, there’s been times during Owl City’s music career thus far where I’ve felt like the first group, and other times where all I want to be is to be the second group…but I can’t. Because in all honesty, Adam Young, the man behind Owl City (yes, this is a one-man-band!), has created a moniker and pseudonym that has received a lot of praise (and lack thereof) throughout the years.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 39 (Joyous and Cheerful Albums)- We’re saved by God, so let’s celebrate!

All throughout this week I’ve been agonising over a ‘relevant’ topic to write about this week- a topic not too close to the event that it seems insensitive when I do delve into my opinion (so that immediately strikes out the events in Christchurch a few weeks ago!), nor a topic too controversial (cause I’ve already blogged about George Pell!). I was at a bit of a loss, particularly as I missed last week’s post due to life getting in the way; and I didn’t want to make the gap between blogs too long. I thought about and seriously toyed with the idea of writing about why recently mainstream artists release Christian albums/songs and their own thought processes behind it- because I was fascinated and reminded of this gem when I was helping Jon and looking at previous Dove Award nominations in preparation for his Dove Award nominations predictions 2019 post; and found out that Snoop Dogg’s gospel album being nominated for a Dove Award last year. Then it hit me that an analysis of ‘Christian’ albums and songs by mainstream artists would take multiple weeks (which will in fact be coming soon!) and today had to be a post that was short. So that was it, I was frustrated, and it was back to the drawing board. Soon I was resigned to the fact that maybe Flashback Fridays would fade to oblivion, if I didn’t gain my passion back for the series which I so heavily posted in the front half of last year.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 7: CARRIE UNDERWOOD

I don’t think I have ever been a great big avid fan of country music, if I’m completely honest. Sure I would hear a few songs from time to time, but for me, it wouldn’t be a genre of music that I’d actively seek out and listen to, throughout my years on this earth. If I am being completely honest, I much prefer the safe confines of CCM and pop, compared to the country music that has the great big southern drawl, and the songs full of…well, full of disappointment and heartache, I would surmise, right? Maybe it’s just me, but prior to this week, I had a conception on what country music would be like- songs about relationships, heartbreaks, mess-ups, songs about trucks, girls and guys, having a good time, songs about God and Jesus and faith, songs about…well, anything that would sell records, right?

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BEST OF 2019- PART 1: TOP 20 SONGS OF 2019 (JANUARY – MARCH)

Hi guys, today is officially April Fool’s Day…and did you think we’d fool you by not posting our first Best of 2019 list for the year in our favourite songs of the first quarter of 2019? Well we’ve decided to cave into the pressure, and release the 20 songs of this quarter which have impacted us the most, and have impacted our walk with Jesus significantly! So without further ado, here are 20 songs that are our most favourite of January-March 2019.

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DOVE AWARD 2019 NOMINEES (PREDICTIONS):

This is a special post. Normally when we post predictions, we have shared what we believe to be a likely list of songs to be included on WOW Hits albums, annual compilations released each year encompassing that particular year’s radio hits. And while we may never really get it all right, predictions can be very fun, especially figuring out which songs are ‘worthy’ of selection throughout the year. Now for this type of post- predictions for the Dove Awards. The Dove Awards are an annual ceremony honouring Christian music, recognising the outstanding achievements of songwriters, producers and songs within a window of time (usually a year). Established in 1969, the Dove Awards encompasses awards presented across a myriad of musical styles- from pop and rock, to worship and rap/hip hop. While my predicted list of nominees don’t show us all the full 40-something categories, I have decided to state my two cents worth on a fair few categories myself. While this list is merely a prediction, I reckon some of my category predictions (worship album of the year… or even movie of the year) are spot on. Feel free to comment below, about which albums/songs etc you think could be nominated for certain categories in the upcoming Dove Awards, hosted in October 2019. Enjoy reading below and happy predicting!

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FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 38 (What If We by Brandon Heath)- When faced with someone uncomfortable, do we love them, or do we run away?

The other day I was on the train. I was coming home from spending heaps of money at Kooring- a Christian bookstore that was about 30 minutes via public transport from my home. It was my day off, and I figured that a trip to buy CD’s, books and DVD’s was in order- after all, it was 1 ½ years since my last trip (Jon went to Kooring plenty of times last year!), and I splurged. I bought heaps of stuff just for Jon and myself, and tons more for presents- for various people for different types of occasions at different points in the year. Safe to say, I think I’ve done all my shopping for a while. So there I was, on the train, when all of a sudden a man comes up to the front of our train carriage. He was dressed kinda scruffy, but also kinda okay-ish. His hair was like he just got out of bed, and I don’t think he knew etiquette- like the clothes he was wearing were inside clothes, not outside clothes like you’re supposed to when you’re going out. So I had no idea what he wanted to say. Perhaps he was a salesman, asking money for a charity or something. Mind you this thought process of mine was just for a millisecond. But when he opened his mouth and said that he was homeless and needed some money and a place to stay, I took notice. Not really looked at him (cause the situation was super awkward!) but my ears did pique up.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 6: JOSH GROBAN

To say that I am 100% prepared to write about this artist would be a lie. Because I’m not. Frankly, with everything that has been happening this week, from work to what has been suddenly portrayed on the news, the research for this artist has been minimal, to say the least. Nevertheless, what I have heard (and what I will continue to hear) has blown my own expectation of the genre of classical opera/pop that this artist is famous for, right out of the water. When I was younger, I used to have an aversion to anything of that musical variety. Not really sure why, but if I’m going to be completely honest, I’d say that I was too much in my CCM bubble not to notice the great quality music that exists (and continues to do so) outside the confines of whatever is to be sung on Sunday mornings at church service…I’m sure you get the picture, right? Music is a gift from the Lord, and it is up to us as stewards of this gift to bring hope and encouragement into the light, and to bring to listeners a sense of camaraderie and unity in times of difficulty, to ask questions that may not have been asked if it had not been for the music. There are many genres of music, and many people stand tall within their own genres. As I’ve discussed in these blog posts in previous weeks, artists like Michael W. Smith places a firm stamp on the CCM/Christian pop ‘genre’, while bands like Switchfoot and Lifehouse influence heavily on the rock music scene. Avril Lavigne’s music imprints a mark on pop/punk while Delta Goodrem is very prominent in Australian music. And so which artist stands out amongst the opera/pop genre? Well, Josh Groban, of course!

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