The secularization of music sometimes makes us forget that, by and large, many forms of music originated in church. I, for one, find it very soothing when someone on a competition show sings a song such as “Amazing Grace.” From Christmas tunes to songs of strength (e.g., “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban), music with a spiritual twist has the power to elevate the masses.
I got curious one day and ventured into the Christian music world — thanks, iTunes — and never left. Having no prior experience whatsoever with Christian music, I was intrigued to see whether my notions matched the reality. They did not, so I’d like to introduce you to a few Christian artists I’ve come to know and love. I hope you’ll come to love them, too.
1. Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp has a pop-rock sound and a strong, passionate voice. (And may I mention he’s kind of a looker? Can I do that?) One of my most favorite songs of his, with more than 2 million hits on YouTube, is “Same Power.” The strength of his lyrics brings me peace, and my whole family enjoys his music. His most recent album, I Will Follow, is available on iTunes. He’s currently touring with former American Idol star Mandisa Hundley.
Sounds most like: Daughtry
2. Chris Tomlin
I rarely play music on repeat, but Chris Tomlin’s “At the Cross” is a song I’m guilty of repeating. He has the power to subdue even the most savage beast. He’s also on tour this summer, hitting major venues such as The Forum near Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York. Do your soul a favor, and check out his 10th album, Love Ran Red.
Sounds most like: The Calling
3. Francesca Battistelli
Twenty-eight-year-old songwriter Francesca Battistelli is my girl-power Christian artist. She’s fresh, vivacious and writes standout, modern and relatable lyrics. Her albums encourage faith, truth and inner strength, and her single “Free to Be Me” is a wonderful gift for any young woman in your life. Check out my favorite album of hers, If We’re Honest.
Sounds most like: Shania Twain
4. Hillsong United
Hillsong United is a beautiful coed musical group born at Hillsong Church in Australia. Both the church and their band have grown their reach all over the world. Their original music is breathtaking, and they are currently on tour — lucky you! Check out their most recent album, Empires, on iTunes.
Sounds most like: Lady Antebellum
5. Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns is Christian band on which my husband and I both agree — and that says a lot. Existing on a steady diet of Chevelle and Shinedown, he rarely gets into praise-and-worship bands, but we both enjoy their strong harmonies and gritty rock style. Check out their album, Thrive, which has been in my revolving lineup since the first time I heard it.
Sounds most like: Nickelback