Two decades ago, during the summer of 2000, we continued to see big names dropping new albums. Several landmark debuts from female artists dropped, among other notable releases from veterans such as Bob Carlisle to an all-star worship collaboration. See which releases you remember in this look back at albums turning 20 years old this month.
For more albums that have turned 20 this year so far, view more in this editorial series from February, March, April, May, June and July. Rachael Lampa - Live For You
Another debut from 2000 saw a new female solo powerhouse vocalist take the Christian music stage by storm. With hits like the title track, "Lift Me Up" and "God Loves You" becoming iconic entries in Christian pop history, Rachael Lampa immediately grabbed the attention of listeners. With an accessible modern pop sound that sounded great on radio coupled with Lampa's powerhouse vocals, it made for a winning combination.
Stacie Orrico - Genuine
August 2000 delivered a one-two punch for the ladies of contemporary Christian music, with another pop debut to become a smashing success. Stacie Orrico's debut album would eventually be certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Notable hits included the title track and "Don't Look At Me." The album's success propelled Orrico to several years of success in both the Christian and mainstream markets.
ZoeGirl - ZoeGirl
Make that a one-two-three punch. August 2000 is fairly legendary for female Christian pop debuts, boasting the first releases for three powerhouse voices. The ladies of ZoeGirl would go on to much success in the coming years. "I Believe" became one of the first of several mega hits. ZoeGirl's debut bursts with that early 2000s contemporary pop sound.
Various Artists - City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise
It's always fun when artists sing together on a project. The City on a Hill series, comprised of four albums, was full of such songs. Lots of A-list Contemporary Christian Music talent lent their vocals to the project. This volume was the inaugural one. "God of Wonders," Volume 1's lead song, became an iconic worship anthem. Perhaps you know it.
This Mac Powell hit didn't start on a Third Day record; it started on Volume 1. Artists like Sixpence None The Richer and Jars of Clay contributed original compositions to this project, with Jars of Clay finding radio success with their offerings, "The Stone" and "This Road." The perfect pairing of "I Remember You" and "Precious Jesus" offer great contemplative fare for the Easter season. Songs like the latter make for some of the most enjoyable listenings as it features several of the artists collaborating on one track.
Having grown up with these songs, it's hard to think of them as 20 years old. Several compilations have tried to replicate the success of The City On a Hill series, but few can compare to what is definitely the gold standard of collaborative worship projects.
Bob Carlisle - Nothing But The Truth
Bob Carlisle had a successful career singing for the Allies. He also had one of the most successful crossover singles in Christian music history with "Butterfly Kisses." By the time 2000 happened, his popularity had simmered. "Butterfly Kisses" had become a wedding song staple. But, its success didn't garner any further hits for Carlisle. 2000's Nothing But The Truth is, as of this writing, Carlisle's final full-length project. He has contributed songs to various projects over the years. Songs like "Heaven" and "Watched by an Angel" carry Carlisle's signature heart. While some covers such as "Love is the Answer" or a surprising take on Amy Grant's iconic "Baby, Baby" make for a unique versatility to the project.
Knowdaverbs - The Action Figure
One of Christian hip-hop's premiere artists, Knowdaverbs's sophomore release finds him tackling tough subjects to 90s style hip-hop. Born Michael Boyer II, Knowdaverbs worked with several Christian hip-hop pioneers, such as Grits. Boyer also featured several other popular artists of the day on this release. These include Out of Eden, 4th Avenue Jones, and The Katinas.
Ace Troubleshooter - Ace Troubleshooter
In contrast to many of the aforementioned releases targeting a pop or contemporary audience, this release was pure punk rock. This was Ace Troubleshooter's third album and their debut on BEC Records. Pop-punk was a driving force in much of the Christian rock sound of the early 2000s, and Ace Troubleshooter was a premier member of that class. Pop-punk no longer has the same popularity. But, this album anniversary gives you the chance to relive your youth and check out one of the genre's signature offerings.
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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