Perhaps nothing makes the year 2000 in Christian music seem so far away as the abundance of genre releases that we simply don’t have anymore. As we look at April’s list of albums turning 20, we find niche offerings amidst some of the more classic contemporary Christian releases. This is quite the time capsule to another era in music.
For more albums that have turned 20 this year so far, view our February and March 2020 editions.
KJ-52 - 7th Avenue
KJ-52 is one of the premiere Christian rap artists. He plans to retire the name this year. So, this is a great time to revisit some of his past work. And, why not start with his national debut? Initially, the album was considered a commercial failure by his record label. But, it would later be re-released after KJ-52's popularity grew on subsequent releases. Bet you his former label wishes they stuck with him now, huh?
Carolyn Arends - Seize the Day and Other Stories
Carolyn Arends was one of many female voices in contemporary Christian music in the ’90s. Her iconic hit, “Seize the Day,” was everywhere during its initial run as a single. She released a greatest hits project with some new recordings in 2000. You’ll find a lot of her early hits on this collection, as well as live renditions and a stirring rendition of “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.”
Watashi Wa - Lost A Few Battles...Won The War
Watashi. Now, here's a name that will make you go “who?” or take you way back. In a time when punk and pop/punk were still commercially-viable genres, Watashi Wa spent five or so years releasing a handful of albums. This debut offers some good throwback goodness to the sounds of your youth.
Nicole C. Mullen - Nicole C. Mullen
Nicole C. Mullen produced some of the industry’s biggest hits of the 2000s, some of which are found on her national debut album. “On My Knees” and her signature hit, “Redeemer,” would garner a lot of airplay. In a way, songs as iconic as these feel like they’ve been around even longer than 20 years. And, at the same time, they feel as fresh and relevant as ever.
Relient K - Relient K
In just a few short years, Relient K would be one of the biggest bands in Christian rock music, with notable crossover success. While they had an independent release under their belts, their self-titled debut was their first real exposure to a national audience. And, it was something else. Everything you love about Relient K shows up in their raw, unrefined glory on this album. You can see all the ingredients of the sound and lyrical humor that would define their career, just waiting to be mixed. You may even recognize a few early hits like the witty “My Girlfriend” or “Softer to Me.” For a band that so many of us grew up with in the 2000s, doesn’t it make you feel old to think that their debut album is turning 20 this month?
Five Iron Frenzy - All the Hype That Money Can Buy
Remember the masters of ska music, the alternative rockers Five Iron Frenzy? Don't remember the band? Or, have no clue what ska even means? What a time to be alive in 2000. Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica. To better acquaint yourself to the ska sound, listen to Five Iron Frenzy's All the Hype That Money Can Buy. This was the third album from one of Christian rock’s premier ska bands. If you’re looking to rediscover that more innocent time when pandemics were only something in history books and movies, or if you’re just trying to figure out what ska music means, give this album a listen to and see what the hype is about.
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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