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Sounds like … a mixture of Christian music's freshest rock and roll, grunge, punk, hip-hop and hardcore music rounded out over an energetic hourAt a glance … X 2005 is an accurate representation of today's hottest bands (though not necessarily their biggest hits) that fall within the alternative genres. Track ListingMore Than Useless—Relient KHypnotized—PillarGone—tobyMacBreak Me—Seventh Day SlumberExit Calypsan—Falling UpEveryone Like Me—Thousand Foot Krutch Lay Down My Pride—Jeremy CampEverything About You—Sanctus RealIt's Like Me—KutlessAre You Real—KJ-52Reinventing Your Exit—UnderoathDetainer—Day of FireOpen Wounds—SkilletOut of Control—John Reuben California—Hawk NelsonBowling Ball—Superchic[k]Sooner of Later—SwitchfootEven When—Seven PlacesLet This One Stay—DizmasApparitions of Melody—Kids In the WaySerial Sleepers—House of Heroes
The WOW CDs are usually considered Christian music's key compilations, but it often overlooks the material that falls outside of contemporary pop/rock. Thankfully the X series debuted in 2003 to fill in the blanks, covering cutting-edge artists (who often appeal most to youth) and their top hits. Though the inaugural 2003 project was a double-disc collection, subsequent single-disc installments have still been generous with content.
The latest X 2005, subtitled "17 Christian Rock Hits!", includes four bonus cuts and a total of more than an hour's worth of offerings from today's top alternative artists. The collection ranges from tobyMac's hip-hop attack "Gone" to Relient K's slap happy punk of "More Than Useless" to the hardcore roar of Skillet's "Open Wounds." Along the way, there's a little bit of everything else thrown in, such as the nü-metal nuances of Seventh Day Slumber's "Break Me," the rock and roll rollick of Sanctus Real's "Everything About You" and the rhyme -filled raps of KJ-52's "Are You Real."
Still, the CD doesn't always live up to the promised "hit" factor; here, it's odd that most of the artists are represented by smaller radio successes or even their non-hits. The most noticeable are lesser-known songs from Jeremy Camp and Kutless. Even more peculiar is the inclusion of Switchfoot's "Sooner Or Later" from 1999's New Way to Be Human. Apparently red tape between record labels prevented a more recent or representative cut from the popular band for this otherwise scattershot, though well-rounded and mostly worthwhile effort.