A fantastically fresh exploration of several genres, expanding the group’s soulful R&B formula with a barrage of brass, funky bass lines and hooks galore. Equally suitable for the dance floor or personal moments of prayer.


Grace S. Cartwright, Contributing Writer

1. BROOKE FRASER
Albertine 
(Wood and Bone)

Stunning songwriting anchored by soaring vocals and crunchy piano ballads. Watch out United States, Brooke Fraser is here to change your music world.

2. MATT WERTZ
Under Summer Sun
(Universal Republic)

Finally creeping out from the independent shadows… The acoustic release of the year… punchy love songs and sleepy guitar, courtesy of Mr. Wertz.

3. RUSH OF FOOLS
Wonder of the World 
(Midas)

The guys from Alabama slam out an album that shows their hit single “Undo” was just the tip of the iceberg. They will also endear fans with new love song/single “Never Far Away.” (Everybody say “Awwwwww…”).

4. JASON GRAY
Acoustic Storytime
(Centricity)

He may be one of Christian music’s best-kept secrets. This album captures the essence of Mr. Gray’s live show.

5. LAURA STORY
Great God Who Saves 
(INO)

No, Chris Tomlin didn’t write “Indescribable”! Laura Story did! And there’s more where that came from… This is a must-have for any fan of authentic, singable worship.

6. BRANDON HEATH
What If We 
(Reunion)

Do I need to say more? Single “Give Me Your Eyes” speaks for itself.

7. TENTH AVENUE NORTH
Over and Underneath 
(Reunion)

Maybe the next Switchfoot (Did I just say that?!). Single “Hold My Heart” will hit listeners with its believable earnestness and simple musicianship.

8. JON FOREMAN
Limbs and Branches 
(Credential)

Speaking of the San Diego rockers, I could have cried when I found out that Jon Foreman was releasing his solo EPs. And oh the glee when I discovered select songs were being released on a full-length album!

9. BEBO NORMAN
Bebo Norman 
(BEC)

The one artist who can actually sing a song about Britney Spears, pull it off with conviction and panache and make it into a single-of the-year. Go Bebo!

10. SHAWN MCDONALD
Roots 
(Sparrow)

Infused with African tinges from his recent trip overseas, acoustic master Shawny Mac pulls out the best album of his career. Innovative, thought-provoking and ministry-minded.


Matt Conner, Contributing Writer