Whenever we put these best-of lists together, it's always interesting to note any trends that may be reflected in the selections. For example, past lists for worship albums have unintentionally celebrated the growth of alternative worship music styles or confirmed who the most popular worship artists are in music today.

In selecting our favorite worship albums from 2008, released between October 2008 and September 2008, we ended up with a list that champions the work of the lesser-known favorites in modern worship—songwriters and artists who have toiled for 10 years or more in some cases, but haven't quite earned the recognition of a Chris Tomlin, Chris Tomlin, or Darlene Zschech. As far as creative expressions of worship, it's been a very good year for these unsung heroes, so we celebrate their work here (listed unranked and alphabetically) with hopes that they will become more sung in the years to come.

Deluge: Live from Bethany World Prayer Center

Bethany Live (Integrity Music)

Read the original review here.

Russ Breimeier:

With so many live worship albums resembling Hillsong in style and energy, it sure is a pleasure to find some like this from Bethany Live's youth ministry. It's similar enough for fans of United and Jami Smith to embrace, yet different enough in key tracks to set it apart as something special. From the drumline that joyfully opens and The Police riff that carries "I Believe," to the rowdy Green Day styled shuffle of "Make It Loud" and the frenetic guitars that help "Crazy" live up to its title, it's great to hear this worship team doing something different with their God-centered praise, and thus making a more memorable worship album to him.

Andree Farias:

All of the songs you mention are indeed highlights, and their left-of-centeredness makes me hopeful about what the future holds for this group. Granted, they're still developing, as evidenced in some of the ballads in the second half of the disc, which stick much closer to worship music conventions. But Jonathan Stockstill is proving himself a rising and versatile worship leader—he can be a soulful piano man one minute, only to turn into a consummate youth worshipper the next. The more he and his teammates remain committed to place artistry over accessibility, the farther Deluge will go.


Today Is the Day

Lincoln Brewster (Integrity Music)

Read the original review here.