Contemporary Christian music hot this summer
August 17, 2003
MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine” has been all over mainstream radio. Superchic(k) provided more music for “Legally Blonde 2.” And Stacie Orrico is a staple on MTV’s “Total Request Live.”
Contemporary Christian music is very popular this summer — but you wouldn’t know it from the news media. Journalists generally aren’t interested in topics involving religion unless there’s a whiff of scandal. Perhaps that’s why a reader asked how to find out what’s topping the genre’s charts.
I can fill part of that vacuum by adding a list of best-sellers to the bottom of this column from now on. Fans will have to turn to the Web to fill in the rest.
The best source is Billboard magazine, but you normally can’t get to its listings on the Internet unless you are a subscriber. If you’re really into it, go to www.billboard.com and sign up.
R&R magazine keeps track of radio airplay. Its Christian listings are at: www.rronline.com/Formats/christ_home.htm.
If you are simply interested in news and trends, check out the site for CCM magazine at www.ccmmagazine.com or the Musicforce page at the site for Christian Book Distributors at www.christianbook.com.
“Testify to Love: The Very Best of Avalon,” Avalon. This adult-contemporary group has made a lot of fans happy by putting all of its best music on one CD. With its 12 hits spread among six albums, listeners had to take the good with a lot of so-so. Now, they can focus on the best — with only a little so-so mixed in. “In Not Of,” “Adonai,” “Testify To Love” and the other hits are still catchy and uplifting but the three new songs seem relatively routine. The best is “New Day,” which contains the harmonies and sunny lyrics that make Avalon popular but doesn’t soar to the level of past hits.
On the charts
Top contemporary Christian albums as reported by SoundScan, according to The Associated Press.
1. “Almost There,” MercyMe.2. “Worship Together: I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” Various Artists.3. “Stacie Orrico,” Stacie Orrico.4. “Spoken For,” MercyMe.5. “WOW Worship (Yellow),” Various Artists.6. “Unclassified,” Robert Randolph & the Family Band.7. “The Beautiful Letdown,” Switchfoot.8. “Offerings II: All I Have to Give,” Third Day.9. “Rise and Shine,” Randy Travis.10. “Adoration: The Worship Album,” Newsboys.