CT’s Top Albums of 2009
Somewhere along the way, I seem to have become the go-to guy for Joe Henry blurb-writing. First I was asked to pen a brief synopsis of his Blood from Stars album for Stereo Subversion’s top albums of 2009 list, and now I’ve done the same for Christianity Today. Not that I’m complaining, of course; it’s a masterful album, and I’m both thrilled to see it appear on so many end-of-the-year lists and honored to have the chance to write about it.
As for the rest of the CT list, let me say that I’m very impressed with it; the music writers at CT, lead by the ever-courageous Mark Moring, have made a big step toward embracing meaningful, artful music without regard to where it comes from– that is to say, they’re looking to music made from outside the quote-unquote Christian music industry. Yes, there are still plenty of CCM albums on this list, but this is Christianity Today we’re talking about, so that seems both obvious and appropriate. That their list also includes Joe Henry, U2, Buddy and Julie Miller, The Mountain Goats, and mewithoutYou— many of whom would have never even been considered in past years– shows that the CT team is being discerning and thoughtful in their selections.
As for the CCM choices: I am not, personally, enamored of each and every one of them, but I can at least appreciate them all and have no qualms about their presence on such a list. And the #1 album, given to Sara Groves– who has taken CT’s top honors several times in the past– is well-deserving. Her Fireflies & Songs is an exquisitely beautiful album, one of the most profound and inspiring albums about marriage I’ve ever heard.
So, kudos to the CT team. And a reminder to my own readers: The Hurst Review’s picks for 2009’s best albums will be unveiled next Monday, Lord willing.