In a year with several notable debuts, summer of the year 2000 found several established names releasing a landmark album. It was also a month several new worship projects were offered. Alongside more debuts, this made for a very versatile release slate. This month, we take a look at six releases that are turning twenty.
Third Day - Offerings
By this point, Third Day had established themselves as one of the premiere rock bands in Christian music. Mac Powell's instantly recognizable vocals brought a Southern punch to the Christian rock and worship scenes alike. Offerings marked the band's first worship project and contained a mix of studio and live recordings. "King of Glory" became one of the band's more recognizable hits and several of the band's previous hits got a stripped-down live setting. The album was so successful that it even spawned a sequel a few years later.
4HIM - Hymns: A Place of Worship
4Him was one of the biggest presences in Contemporary Christian music in the 1990s. While the 2000s found them on the final leg of their journey, these seasoned artists continued to prove the merit of their experience. 2000 found them releasing an album of classic hymns. While the corporate worship industry was beginning to gain a real footing in the Christian music scene and the musical styles of worship were changing, there's a definite charm of this release decidedly going for older hymns and giving them a lush and modern performance. While by today's standards, the sound is definitely a reflection of the era, the album was a fresh and modern take upon release.
Wayne Watson - Wayne Watson
Wayne Watson was definitely a name contemporary Christian music fans of the 1980s and 1990s would remember. While he's released a steady stream of albums through even the later 2010s, this release was one of the last ones that left an impression as a national label release. With songs like "More Than A Little Unusual" and "Finest Hour," Watson proved he could still compete with the aces of the business.
Tammy Trent - Set You Free
Tammy Trent was one of many of the female pop vocalists that dominated airwaves back in the 1990s and early 2000s. Songs like "My Irreplaceable" are impossibly catchy and showcased the best of Trent's catchy music. Trent often got overlooked compared to some of her contemporaries. As this album turns 20, give it a second look and relive a style of music that radio has since drifted from.
Sammy Ward - My Passion
Another of the summer 2000 worship releases, Ward covered a plethora of worship standards of the time such as "Shout to the Lord" and "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever." "It's For You" added in a new option to worship to, with a groovy rock sound that was very much a popular option for the time. While these renditions aren't the landmark standards of the era, as this album turns twenty, it can introduce you to a release you may have missed before.
Scarecrow & Tinman - Superhero
While a lesser known name in Christian rock circles, Scarecrow and Tinmen developed a loyal fanbase during the latter part of the 1990s with 3 nationally released albums. Led by Chris Padgett, the group was one of very few Catholic artists in popular Christian music. Their third and final release as a band before Padgett released solo work was Superhero. The band was known to fans for theatrical concert antics and an eclectic blend of styles from hip hop to classic rock influences. While the sound is definitely quite dated, this is a band that liked to have fun, but also could showcase a serious side, such as in the haunting ballad "This Much." If you missed this act during their initial run, this is a great chance to go back and check them out.
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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