As 2020 rolls along, we come to March, and another batch of classics turning 20 years old. Which of these do you remember when they were new? Click here to read last month's edition of this series.
FFH - Found A Place
In hindsight, it’s almost mind-boggling just how many hits from FFH I heard on the radio as a kid. They had such a low key and, yet, impossibly upbeat sound. It always felt like they didn’t have the iconic status some of their contemporaries achieved. Nevertheless, their instantly recognizable and singable hits just came one after another. Their 2000 album, Found A Place, was the band’s sophomore record signed to a label. This came years after releasing independent music. The album includes iconic numbers, such as “When I Praise,”“Daniel,” “Because of Who You Are,” and the album's title track. These songs are 20 years old. And, yet, I don’t really hear many dated vibes on the album. While the band has been quiet lately, looking back on this album is a good reminder of why they would be a great candidate to make a comeback.
Clay Crosse - A Different Man
While perhaps better known for hits earlier in the ’90s like "I Surrender All” and “He Walked A Mile,” contemporary vocalist Clay Crosse was at a point of transition in 2000. After overcoming some difficulties in his personal walk with Christ, Clay found himself more drawn to ministry than Christian entertainment. A Different Man reflects a lot of these changes in his vision and shows his growth as a man and artist. While he continued to make music, it could be argued that A Different Man was Clay's last album on the CCM A-list. Album songs, like “Arms of Jesus” and “More Like You,” did achieve some success.
Luna Halo - Shimmer
Luna Halo didn't achieve the same chart success as other Christian rock bands. But, they had that quality raw style of rock, which was popular 20 years ago. I hadn’t heard of Luna Halo before researching this article. But, it’s surprising that these songs didn’t achieve more notoriety. For those looking to discover an under-the-radio band from two decades ago with a nostalgic rock sound, listen to Luna Halo.
Andrew Peterson - Carried Along
Andrew Peterson’s storytelling folk songs are a style unlike any other in Christian music. 2000’s Carried Along was his sophomore album. Peterson’s music has always sort of stood outside the sound of the year, which more or less negates any dated feels, as this album turns 20. If you're looking for thoughtful folk numbers telling a lesson or story, Andrew Peterson is a name to check out. And, with this album turning the big 2-0, why not start here?
Mark Schultz - Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz started off the 2000s with his self-titled debut that would kickstart a successful run of albums for the rest of the decade. This album had a lot of engaging radio hits, like “I Am The Way” and “I Saw The Light.” Songs like “Remember Me” showcased Schultz’s softer side. But, perhaps it’s the story-based songs that became Schultz’s claim to fame. While “When You Come Home” is an understandable fan favorite, it’s the emotional gut-punch of “He’s My Son,” which is one of the most haunting and powerful tracks in revisiting this album. The song tackles dealing with having a child with a life-threatening illness. It’s a profound topic not often touched so specifically upon in Christian music. And, even 20 years later, the song still stands as one of the industry’s more emotionally resonant cuts.
J.J. Francesco is a longtime contributor to the NRT Staff. He's published the novel 'Because of Austin' and regularly seeks new ways to engage faith, life, and community.
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