Don't see this as me sticking this album on at the end of my list, because I really debated moving it up quite a bit. downhere is simply one of the best debuts to come along in quite a while. They're a band from Canada with a great acoustic alternative rock sound. Many people who have discovered this album are saying that they're "wearing it out" in their CD player … including myself! The quality of the musicianship and lyrical content for such a young group is astonishing. I can't wait to hear how far these guys will go with future albums.

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Talk About It

Nicole C. Mullen

If stage presence could come through on a non-live album, this might very well be that one. Nicole commands attention on stage (see her sometime if you haven't!), and she is equally captivating on Talk About It. Nicole deservedly won the Dove Award for Song of the Year in 2000 for her song, "My Redeemer." This year's winner from her will most likely be "Call On Jesus" — it's that good, though it's certainly not the only stunner on the album. You'll find quite a few flavors of music mixed up in this one. That Nicole managed to outdo her debut album is truly an achievement. Make sure you give this one your attention and then talk about it with other music-lovers you know.

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This project may not have made it to number one on my list, but it had to be in here for sure. Satellite is quite possibly the most influential album of the year. How so? Consider the mission of these guys. They grew up in some of the roughest streets of our country and they know the reality of what that situation can bring, yet they can't stop talking ...

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