Something Everyone Will Contradict...
I was listening to Jars of Clay's "Much Afraid" the other day. It is definitely one of my favorite Christian albums, as a whole. I could listen to it repeatedly for extended periods. So choice.
That got me thinking. What are the top five best rock/alternative Christian songs of, say, the past 10-13 years? And here's what I came up with:
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
***All Star United, "Bright Red Carpet": I love ASU, and this song really captured the band's (early) greatness. There is some dispute over whether their second album killed that greatness (I disagree) but this song was awesome... By the way, the new album's good too.
***Guardian, "Lead the Way": Okay, I was a huge Christian rock fan in the middle-school, early-HS days, and this song was as close to hair-band arena rock as the christian kids could get. Guardian was like the illegitimate child of Stryper, and I loved them for it. Plus it has the lyrics, "I've got a psychic advisor that says get a lifeguard/I've got bad vibes off of your Deal-a-Meal Card". How can you not love that?
***P.O.D., "Southtown": I can hear the shouts of "Sellout" now, but it's not true. This band has stayed true to its message and style. And the song rocks, people. Some will argue "Rock the Party" is better, but "Southtown" really outshines it.
***Plumb, "Late Great Planet Earth": the least recognizable so far, but this song is a great car song, with a driving beat and a killer chorus. Plus, I have always been a sucker for girl-fronted bands. Female lead-singers...yowsa.
***Miss Angie, "Lift My Eyes Up": Again, great beat, and female lead. What else can I say?
NOW, THE LIST:
THE TOP FIVE BEST CHRISTIAN ROCK/ALTERNATIVE SONGS OF 1990-2003
5) Newsboys, "Shine": As much as I hate this song from overplay and overkill, it's still a great tune, catchy and upbeat. For that, I give it a place here. Someone please tell me I'm wrong.
4) Jars of Clay, "Flood": Any song made into three versions can't be that bad. This classic from the self-titled disc is one of JoC's best, and always a crowd-pleaser. Good video, too.
3) Third Day, "Consuming Fire": I put this one down, because it is one of the most moving songs I can think of. The swell of guitars as each verse leads into the chorus gives me chills every time (I've got chills right now, actually). And I think the song really strives to communicate the magnitude and majesty of God. And succeeds.
2) Audio Adrenaline, "Scum Sweetheart": this will probably be my most-contested selection, but c'mon, if you know the song, you love the song. The best metaphor for our struggle with sin I've ever heard, put to a groove that is so cool. And the live version's awesome. I love this tune.
AND THE NUMBER ONE SONG IS....
Do I even have to put it down? Oh, okay, okay...
1) DC Talk, "Jesus Freak": Yes of course, it's number one. This ubiquitous song, more predictably played than "Friends" at a Michael W. Smith concert, is the rallying cry of all the Christian kids of my generation. The first time I heard it was before a basketball game against Faith West, and I loved it ever since. I just hope it hasn't become hollow words for us. Because the time may come when we'll have to die for believing it.
So there you go. My list. Why did I do this? Because I want mail. I'm curious to see how many people actually read this. So, dear reader, send me your list, or just blast mine. Either works for me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org . I'll post the results at a later date. Thanks.