This past year has featured some incredible new worship albums and songs. I have had the privilege to worship along with more than 40 new worship albums this year, and this has been one of the best years in recent memory to "sing to the Lord a new song" (Psalm 96:1) with amazing offerings by all of these artists. As a believer, one of my daily devotionals is to spend time worshiping my Lord and Savior Jesus by singing Him worship songs in adoration of His majesty and love. These are my top 10 worship albums of 2018. I’d love to know your favorite worship album and which worship songs have resonated in your hearts this past year. God bless!
1. Phil Wickham – Living Hope: This album provides listeners with songs that proclaim acceptance of God’s love in any circumstance. Living Hope provides words of appreciation and adoration of God. Phil’s enthusiastic and reverent style of writing and singing praise and worship songs has consistently been a draw for me. His prayerful sentiments are consistently filled with his personal adoration of God. I've felt that he's improved with each new album and this is my top worship album of the year. It is a completely worshipful album, in the style of Phil's previous offerings of enthusiastic praise and worship. Phil Wickham has breathed several new worship anthems into the Church, like "You're Beautiful," "Cannons," “This is Amazing Grace,” “My All in All,” and “Your Love Awakens Me.” We sing all of those songs at my church on a regular basis and you’ll want to add “Living Hope,” “Great Things,” “Till I Found You” and “Song in My Soul” to your worship set-lists immediately.
2. Lauren Daigle – Look Up Child: Lauren consistently writes and sings piercing, relevant and moving songs. What's especially cool about this album is how Lauren invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. She dwells on prayerful yearnings, lays out spiritual truths and worships God all at the same time with the standout songs, “Still Rolling Stones,” “Rescue,” “This Girl,” “You Say,”“Remember” and “Rebel Heart.” The thesis statement of the album could be the lyrics, “Lord, take this rebel heart and make it Yours.” Lauren’s excellent songwriting, singing and captivating songs have made her my favorite female worship songwriter and singer. This is the most spine-tingling female led worship project I've experienced this year, and all of these songs are completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. There are no weak songs, and this album is truly a masterpiece. Finding our identity in Christ is a theme that weaves its way throughout this stellar offering. Lauren sings with an amazing passion, with unashamed praise and gratitude to our Savior that is very inspiring and emotionally moving. All of her songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics. Look Up Child is one of the top worship albums of the year.
3. Hillsong Worship – There is More: There is More is loaded with several stirring new worship songs that set me in the proper mindset to praise God for His love. I really enjoy the exciting musical vibe of this album, loaded with stellar vocals, catchy melodies and solid lyrics reflecting unashamed faith in Jesus. If you're looking for additions to your Sunday morning set list, I especially recommend "The Passion," "Remembrance," "Valentine," "Touch of Heaven," "New Wine" and one of my top worship songs of the year, "Who You Say I Am." I eagerly await each new Hillsong release, and There is More is a truly stellar offering of worship, my all-time favorite Hillsong album. There is More is a wonderful reminder that there is immeasurably more to our God that we can think or imagine, and this album captures that sentiment.
4. Passion – Whole Heart: These passionate worship songs are sung with vocal sincerity and reverence, with Biblically based lyrics. For your worship setlists, I especially recommend "Whole Heart," "God, You're So Good," "More Like Jesus," "All My Hope" and my worship song of the year, "Reckless Love." All of the songs are catchy, exciting and worshipful. I'm impressed by the consistent quality and fresh, worshipful songs that come from Passion. This album is no exception. Passion: Whole Heart is about proclaiming the "reckless love" of God and crying out for His Presence throughout this incredible worship experience.
5. Steffany Gretzinger – Blackout: Blackout is about proclaiming the majesty of God and crying out in awe and wonder for His Presence. All of the songs are memorable, personal and worshipful including the standout songs, “Save Me,” “Confident,” “Sing Your Way Back” and “Blackout.” These moving and reverent recordings are poignant songs of adoration. Every song is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. Steffany's powerful and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings. The standout songs each feature an engaging and emotive musical style while phrasing her prayer-filled songs in a creative and personal way, making it one of my top worship albums of the year.
6. Pat Barrett – Pat Barrett: Many of the songs are arranged in a very sing-able and catchy style. Pat’s passion is to make creative music that inspires the worship of Jesus Christ and to point listeners to Him. The theme of emptying ourselves in order to be filled by the Holy Spirit and celebrating God’s great grace is found in "Into Faith I Go,” “The Way (New Horizon),” “Everything is Sacred” and “Build My Life.” I greatly enjoy the musical vibe of this album and the melodies and lyrics are all catchy and rooted in Scripture. The creative use of biblical language is a highlight and there are no ambiguous lyrics, which is refreshing and great for the Church to boldly proclaim praises to Jesus. Fans of Hillsong Worship, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship and Passion should enjoy this solid gourmet worship album, one of the year's best.
7. Vertical Worship – Bright Future Bold Faith: The beauty and majesty of our King Jesus is reverently captured throughout the album with anthem after anthem. Every single song could be added to your worship set. A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song. This is yet another solid entry in this great series. These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically based lyrics. There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning set-list including “Open the Gates,” “Yes I Will” and “Over All I Know.” All of the songs are catchy, exciting and worshipful. Bright Future Bold Faith is a must-have for your praise and worship collection. This is a truly fresh and catchy set of excellent songs for the church.
8. Elevation Worship – Hallelujah Here Below: If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially, "Won’t Stop Now,” “God of the Promise,” “Here Again” and “Here Comes Heaven." Every song released by Elevation Worship completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration of Jesus. All of these songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics. This is one of the top worship albums of the year. It is truly a moving and prayerful worship experience. These anointed worship leaders have consistently impressed me with their mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. Worship is really about submission, and our roles as worshippers are really defined in this album: to just be amazed and in awe of God.
9. Rend Collective – Good News: Listening to the opening tracks "Life is Beautiful," "I Will Be Undignified" and lead single "Rescuer (Good News)," it's clear that the themes of clinging to the Good News of the Gospel and coming together in unity regardless of our differences runs throughout this excellent album, the best overall album by one of my favorite bands in any genre. Good News is one of the most meaningful and uplifting albums I've ever heard. In this era of bad news, it is so refreshing to hear a celebration of God's Word, of the truth that Jesus gave His life to redeem all that was lost. This album includes a solid mix of folk-style indie tinged worship. The musical and lyrical excitement of Rend Collective's engaging live performance is perfectly captured in these recordings. Good News is Rend Collective's best overall album to date. Do yourself a favor and buy this album immediately.
10. Alisa Turner – Miracle or Not: These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically based lyrics. A sincere desire for the presence of God is found in every song. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Alisa tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus to Jesus. There are several personal songs that melt my heart, especially "Lift My Eyes,” “Not Only Now” and “Safe.” There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning set list. I especially recommend "My Prayer for You,” “Miracles" and one of my top worship songs of the year, “Only My Jesus.” All of the songs are memorable, reverent and worshipful. Inheritance is a must-have for your praise and worship collection. These are truly poignant songs of adoration for the church.
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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