Almost halfway through our look back at the year 2000 in Christian music and we've covered a lot of notable releases. It's hard to believe how much the industry has changed in twenty years, and yet also how much it hasn't. 2000 was a great time for new artists emerging who would go on to become heavy hitters in their respective genres. Seeing these new debuts join with new installments from established artists is always a treat. Here are seven albums from May of 2000 ready to celebrate their two decade birthday.
For more albums that have turned 20 this year so far, view our February, March and April 2020 editions.
John Reuben - Are We There Yet?
The year 2000 was quite a year for debuts. As the new millenium got underway, a new generation of artists emerged. John Reuben was another hiphop heavy hitter who got his start 20 years ago. “Do Not” would be the rapper’s first music video. And this album would kickstart a long and prolific career that’s still going strong. Take a look back at where it all started.
Shine - Do It Right
Shine (also known as ShineMk) were a European pop band that you may not know just by their name, but anyone familiar with Christian radio at the time would know some of their hits. Another debut that made quite an impact on charts, songs like the title track or “Do You Believe In Love” brought a timely dance/pop vibe to contemporary Christian radio. While the band wasn’t meant to have too long of a run, this debut definitely left some classic hits worth revisiting as the album hits the two-decade mark.
Mary Mary - Thankful
Here is another landmark debut for 2000. Gospel duo Mary Mary were quite huge for a stretch of albums in the early to mid 2000s. This debut album is actually certified platinum for attaining a million in album sales. Woah! Even more contemporary Christian music fans may remember songs like “Thankful” or “Shackles (Praise You)” on the radio.
Skillet - Ardent Worship
With Skillet releasing albums 3-4 years apart for the last 17 years, it’s tough to imagine a time when they dropped 2 projects in a single year. 2000 was such a year. Mere months after they released their industrial rock third album, Invincible, Skillet released Ardent Worship. They were one of three artists on Ardent records selected to record a live worship album that year. Until after Awake, Skillet was known to include a worship song in every setlist. Never ashamed of their faith, worship music is a very natural outlet for Skillet. Songs like “Sing to the Lord” and “Who Is Like Our God” were upbeat and energetic worship numbers that went well with Skillet’s energetic personality. (Who, admittedly, hadn’t yet evolved to the hard rock powerhouse we know them for today.) The band’s signature “Angels Fall Down” is a definite highlight of this overlooked collection, with a slow buildup to a powerful finish.
MxPx - The Ever Passing Moment
MxPx was a huge presence in the Christian punk/rock genre that was still popular at the turn of the century. While their previous full length Slowly Going The Way of the Buffalo from 1998 is the one that has attained RIAA Gold status, 2000’s The Ever Passing Moment isn’t anything to scoff at. With a minor mainstream hit in “Responsibility,” the album helped the band find some notable success supporting several mainstream rock acts of the time.
Nichole Nordeman - This Mystery
While perhaps more known for hits such as “Holy,” “Legacy,” or “Brave” that would hit radio in the coming years, this sophomore release from Nicole Nordeman still did a lot of legwork in establishing Nordeman was one of the A-list vocalists of contemporary Christian music. Songs like the title track or “Every Season” still left a mark on radio and proved Nordeman could compete with the big names.
Plus One - The Promise
Plus One was one of the biggest newcomers to Christian music back in 2000. Many saw them as Christian music’s answer to the boy bands popular in the 90’s. Plus One applied that popular sonic style to a Christian message. They even appeared on popular shows like Touched By An Angel around the release of this album. Songs like the title track and “Here In My Heart” are like nostalgia bombs now. These songs were all over Christian radio back in the early months of the new millenium. While it’s tough to escape the “90’s boy band” vibes when listening in 2020, this album is sure to be packed with memories if you’re in a mood to relive a simpler time.
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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