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.

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7 responses to “CT’s Top Albums of 2009”

  1. thewritingwriter says :

    NIce to see Mewithoutyou getting some recognition, man they’re awesome.

  2. Joel says :

    Mark has done something great, but don’t sell yourself short — I too am really happy to see CT beginning to take music as seriously as they take movies, and I think people like you & me who have been writing about this stuff for years are part of the reason for the change. Hooray!

    I actually think the top 12 is pretty much schlock-free, with the possible exception of Switchfoot (and maybe U2 if I’m feeling uncharitable – but I’m not). I did see my two least favorites from the voting show up in the “ones that got away,” though :)

  3. Josh Hurst says :

    I’m not big on either the Switchfoot or the Derek Webb, but I can see why both of them have their defenders– though a #2 slot for Switchfoot is a bit of a stretch!

    My LEAST favorite album out of the bunch might actually be the Prefab Sprout one– which is, as far as I know, not a CCM album. For whatever that’s worth.

  4. Kevin says :

    No Christian music list is complete without Kutless…therefore, this list is crap!

  5. Josh Hurst says :

    I think you mean… krap.

  6. Gavin says :

    Josh, I was surprised to see that you put Dave Perkins as your Almost Made It instead of Richard Hawley or various other albums.

    Overall, good CT list.

  7. Josh Hurst says :

    Unfortunately, Richard Hawley didn’t quite meet CT’s criteria for inclusion on the list, as outlined in the little endnote on page 3. Of course, it surely would have received a mention otherwise!

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