Our annual list of the year's most impressive worship albums often reflects a trend in worship music over the months represented, and this year is no exception. In 2005, we saw renewed interest in hymns, emphasizing the importance of arrangements in giving fresh performances to old favorites. The 2006 list called attention to many of the best songwriters who are crafting music for the church today.
Between October 2006 and September 2007, our two worship leaders on staff with Christian Music Today kept a lookout for the albums offering the most to worshippers around the world. New albums with fresh accessible songs for the majority of churches were somewhat scarce in those twelve months. But 2007 proved a particularly strong year for alternative worship projects—albums that wouldn't necessarily work as well in a corporate setting, but still very effective for personal listening, youth worship services, and informal settings. Read on for a mixed list of selections ranging from rock and pop to gospel and jazz.
Brand New DayJonathan Butler (Maranatha! Music)
One of the smoothest entries in our list comes from Jonathan Butler, a light jazz artist who's already made a name for himself in gospel/worship through collaborations with Israel & New Breed, Juanita Bynum and Kirk Whalum. Brand New Day isn't necessarily the type of album that blows people away, but it's all so delicately handled, so inspirationally rendered, it has the potential to usher you into an intimate time of worship. All of this through Butler's expressive voice, soulful arrangements, prayer-like sentiments, and the occasional moment of celebration. For proof: the Maranatha! classic "O Magnify the Lord," which sizzles like ...1