The first year of the millenium continued to be a year of beginnings, as several big names continued to make waves on the Christian music scene. Here are a few more notable releases turning 20 as we head into the summer.
For more albums that have turned 20 this year so far, view our February, March, April and May 2020 editions.
Phil Joel - Watching Over You
Beloved Newsboys member Phil Joel is an icon. From his gentle New Zealand voice to those signature blonde dreadlocks, to his apparent inability to age, Joel has been one of the most recognizable presences in Christian music since he joined the band.
In the summer of 2000, Phil released his first solo album, Watching Over You. The album's title track became a big hit on Christian radio. The album, as a whole, felt very in tune with his work with the Newsboys. Phil had always sung along with Furler on some songs, so it wasn’t too strange to hear him leading some of his own songs.
Recently, Phil Joel rejoined the Newsboys under their United moniker. So, it’s a good time to look back at the first of several of his solo gigs.
The Normals - Coming To Life
Perhaps one of the lesser-known artists on this list, The Normals released their sophomore album in the summer of 2000. With a sound comparable to U2, the band proved itself as one of Christian music’s more artsy bands.
While crafting tunes that may not have become household names, they rewarded those who discovered them with something they wouldn’t be getting elsewhere. Lead singer Andrew Osenga would go on to a major presence in many projects over the years. His work includes stints with Caedmon’s Call and Andrew Peterson, as well as a prolific solo catalog.
Watermark - All Things New
Watermark was one of several popular husband/wife duos that specialized in contemporary pop. Christy and Nathan Nockels have achieved notable success over the years through various projects.
This was their sophomore album and came with some songs that would go on to become big hits on contemporary Christian radio, such as the upbeat “Good for Me” or the folksy “More Than You’ll Ever Know.”
Salvador - Salvador
Salvador injected a danceable Latin flare into Christian music with another of 2000s notable debut albums. Songs like “Lord I Come Before You” and “David Danced” would go on to become hits while Salvador would kick off a long career as one of the genre’s few representatives of Latin pop. As this album turns twenty, it’s a good opportunity to relive these tracks. Get ready to move your feet.
Brave Saint Saturn - So Far From Home
Brave Saint Saturn put out a trilogy of space-themed albums that nonetheless contained deep theological lyrics. This is the first of the bunch. Offering an alternative rock sound, this band would find status as a cult favorite in Christian rock circles.
Matt Redman - The Father's Song
Matt Redman had already released a few songs that would go on to become worship classics by this point. 2000’s The Father’s Song gives listeners a chance to explore some of his lesser-known offerings.
It would be just a few short years before Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name” would become one of the most iconic worship songs of the decade. By comparison, these songs have flown more under the radar, with “Light of the World” is perhaps the most known of the bunch. But Redman’s signature voice and songwriting are on full display and fans of his more known work will find a lot of quality praise songs.
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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