2014 brought us some great worship music. Here is my Top 10 list of 2014…
Top 10 of 2014
#10: Don’t Ever Stop – Chris Tomlin
This high energy tune opens the 2014 Passion Album “Take it All”. The song’s soaring chorus reminds me of the truths of Phillipians 4:8 and blends an energetic EDM influence with the soaring Passion sound.
#9: Wake – Hillsong Young & Free
No other band had a greater influence on worship music in 2014 than Hillsong Young & Free. Y&F replaced ‘Hillsong United’ as Hillsong’s student ministry focused band as the ‘United’ generation graduated college and headed for adulthood. The over-the-top EDM energy and modern vocals make for a great track of hope and never-ending grace.
#8: I Am – Crowder
David Crowder released the first album with his new band ‘Crowder’ in 2014 after he and the David Crowder Band finished their run. Crowder continues to create innovative sounds in the new genre of ‘Folktronica’ while his D*CB counterparts launched their first album as ‘The Digital Age’. His single ‘I Am’ headlines the CCM Album of the Year ‘Neon Steeple’ and reminds us to look to the great “I am” in the storms of this life.
#7: Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
The Charlotte based Elevation Church continues to create a solid worship music culture that is having an impact far beyond North Carolina. The song ‘Only King Forever’ has a great hook in the chorus that combines uplifting lyrics with uplifting tones.
#6: Oceans – Hillsong United
Off of Hillsong United’s 2013 ‘Zion’ album – Oceans took the CCM scene by storm throughout 2014. The song has 16.5 million spotify plays alone. That is 10 million more plays than their 2007 hit ‘Lead Me to the Cross’.
#5: Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) – Hillsong Worship
Using the timeless lyrics of ‘Amazing Grace’ set to an inspiring new sound, Broken Vessels points to the Cross and the Love of Christ. The new sounds help to remind us of timeless truths.
#4: Alive – Hillsong Young & Free
The headlining track off of Y&F’s 2013 ‘We are Young & Free’ album has exploded all across the country. The EDM sounds of the song beat out anything on Top 40 radio right now, and have hooked the current student generation. The new EDM sound is a bit foreign and uncomfortable to some of the older millennials who were raised on the soaring guitar driven sounds of U2, but the unforgettable lyrics and beats have brought many of us back around.
#3: Cornerstone – Hillsong Worship
The timeless verses of Edward Mote’s 1837 hymn ‘My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less’ rang out in churches more in 2014 than it has in many years thanks to Hillsong’s 2012 song ‘Cornerstone’. Adding a new melody and chorus, Cornerstone still points to Christ being the solid rock and foundation in which we build or lives.
#2: This is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham
Phil Wickham can write a hook like nobody else. We learned this in 2007 with his song ‘Cannons’ but instead of the soaring guitars, an electronic keyboard hook took our ears by storm. The lyrics ask questions that point to the power of the King of Glory. The song’s bridge has some of the greatest impact with the simple lyrics “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain – Worthy is the King who conquered the grave”. Make sure you listen to the ‘album version’ of the song… Some of CCM Radio only would play a radio edit that downplays the electronic sounds for muted guitar riffs.
#1: My Heart is Yours – Kristian Stanfill
The 2014 Passion Album is called ‘Take it All’ because of the chorus in Kristian Stanfill’s ‘My Heart is Yours’ track. The song builds with strong lyrics and melody to the familiar bridge of ‘All to Jesus, I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.’ The bridge being the first verse of the classic hymn ‘I Surrender All’. The songs soaring guitars and energy breathes new life into those timeless lyrics for a new generation to embrace and live out.
Next week I will point out a few tracks that I think are going to have a big impact on 2015!
Check out a spotify playlist of all these songs and more here.