2. KIRK FRANKLIN         
The Fight of My Life
(Zomba)

Though technically a late 2007 release, Franklin once again shined this past year with yet another powerhouse project. The gospel/R&B/hip-hop/rocker continues to raise the bar with every album, and this is by far his most diverse disc to date.

3. BROOKE FRASER
Albertine 
(Wood & Bone)

Talk about a left of center surprise! This New Zealand superstar’s an incredibly vivid storyteller who’s just as engaging as she is charming and not afraid to showcase her faith (despite the mainstream nature of this album).

4. DECEMBERADIO
Satisfied 
(Slanted)

These rock ‘n’ rollers are really the only Christian band in history to give classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and the Black Crowes a legitimate run for their money. Satisfied also avoids the sophomore slump thanks to a fresh take on its snarling Southern sound.

5. ANBERLIN
New Surrender 
(Universal Republic)

Major mainstream breakthrough that’s been building since the band’s indie success from day one, though this is ironically its most spiritual album to date. Stephen Christian is one of the few who can get as high as The Smiths’ lauded Morrissey, while the band weaves between booming ballads, infectious dance and fist-pumping alternative rock.

6. AFTER EDMUND
Hello 
(Slanted)

Distortion never sounded so delectable thanks to this disc packed with ethereal knob twirlers, cutting-edge programming, electricity-doused instrumentation, and perhaps most importantly, culturally relevant songwriting.

7. NEWWORLDSON
Salvation Station 
(Inpop)

Incredibly eclectic multi-instrumentalists wrapped around production that’s crisp but not overcooked. One of the best live bands in Christian music today with the CD also showcasing the band’s improvisational abilities.

8. THE MYRIAD
With Arrows With Poise 
(Koch)

Given its newfound mainstream platform via MTV, the group balances well along the fine line of reaching out with relevance without watering down its faith roots. A mixture of atmospheric rock, ’80s dance/pop and artful dreaminess that never sounds stale or regurgitated

9. JON FOREMAN
Fall, Winter
Summer, Spring
 
(Credential)

Switchfoot’s singer hits four EP home runs. Truly brilliant poetic phrasing and verbiage that’s extremely thought-provoking and moving (think Bob Dylan, but with a better range).

10. MARY MARY
The Sound 
(Integrity/Columbia)