20 Sound Shapers – Worship that made me…

For My 100th blog post I wanted to do something special. So here it is.

Recently Worship Leader Magazine Released its list of the top 20 most influential worship Albums of all time. This sparked a new blogging trend among my worship leader friends. “The 20 Albums that Influenced Me.” Mike Mahoney, Joel Klampert, and Ed Rotheram, have all published theirs. Well, this is mine. Most of the albums here were released in this century. The reason for this is that I am only 25. In the year 2000, I was only 13, so it would be hard for many albums previous to this to really shape my sound. With each album, I will give you a brief explanation of why that album has shaped me. They are in order by Year.

  1. Rich Mullins – Songs (1996) // When I was a child, Rich Mullins was one of my favourites when I was a child, and I am very sad to see him fail to make a single list. The man had one of th greatest servants hearts. He had a voice that was probably a gift of the Holy Spirit, because it was that good. I am sure you know almost every song off this album. Many of these are church standards and have been covered. I love the mans voice, but his musicianship and arrangement is also brilliant. The Hammer dulcimer is a highly underrated instrument.
  2. Darrell Evans – Freedom (1998)  // I am honestly shocked that this hasn’t made anyones list. This was a brilliant album. with songs like “Trading My Sorrows,” “Freedom,” “I am in Love with You,” “Your Love is Extravagant” it shaped worship for at least 5 years. Many churches still sing these songs. It is truly a worship classic. This album also really ushered in the passionate lover side of worship. It probably wasn’t the first, but it was a big contributer. For instance “Your Love is Extravagant” was considered taboo by many because of its overt romantic themes.
  3. Robin Mark – Revival in Belfast (1999) // There is something to be said for Irish worship, and in 1999, Robin Mark showed us that. This CD had brilliantly written songs, but even more-so, the Celtic overtones it was a tonal masterpiece. I challenge anyone to listen to “Garments of Praise” and not find yourself dancing around the room during the instrumental portion. Simple as that.
  4.  Chralie Hall – Porch and Altar (2001)  // This album bridged the gap between contemporary worship and charismatic worship. Songs like “King of Glory” and “Holy Visitation” are just brilliant worship and are still ones I remember to this day. This album is a mainstay on my shelf, and now my ipod.
  5.  Jason Upton – Faith (2001)  // This album totally changed everything I thought I knew about worship. Most of these songs were not written for a congregation, yet they all cause congregations to worship. They broke the rules, and yet they worked. Jason went from a ‘nobody’ to a household name in the charismatic community. This album was just excellent all around.
  6. Delirious – King of Fools (2002)  // A list of influential worhsip would be a failure without delirious, and most people list “Cutting Edge, 1, 2, 3, 4” in thier lists, but I have to go with King of fools. I remember that this album came out right before Delirious came on their first tour of America. They opened for Petra, and I saw them in Cape May, NJ. It was an outdoor show and they did a stunt where they came running over the roof down a catwalk (fancy term for ladder) to the stage. Nobody at the show knew who they were, and had come for petra so I got right up to the stage where I got to shake hands with the guys. This was an amazing night and my introduction to the guys from delirious.. (when petra came out, it was only John Schlitt and some fill in musicians and they did a terrible show. So much so that people wanted Delirious, who had rocked, to do the encore.)
  7. Christ For the Nations – Glorious (2004)   // Hillsong had held the market down on the Big Team stadium worship feel, but by 2005 others were beginning to do it themselves. Between this and their 2005 album “Overtaken,” CFNI really shaped worship culture. This album had “Revelation Song” which went on to become a classic of modern worship. It also featured; “The More I Seek You,” “No Sweeter Name,” and “My Romance” This was also the album that introduced to both Kari Jobe and Rick Pino who went on to much success in the world of worship.
  8.  Jonathan Daivd Helser – The Awakening (2005)  // If you take Rich Mullins and Jason Upton and fused them together in a fugue of spirit and fire, you would come up with Jonathan David Helser. The Awakening was his debut album and was a live recording. On the whole I prefer the live albums to studio ones when it comes to worship, because a live album is an atmosphere. It is a body of believers united, and focused on the worship of the Lord and its amazing. This album is fantastic with a great mix of written music and spontaneous worship.
  9. John Mark McMillan – Songs Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down (2005)  // This album was perfect, it danced back and forth over the line of what do we call worship verses music. Some of the songs were very deep and passionate like “How He Loves” which didn’t reach the masses until 2010 or so. But some of the songs sounded like the kind of things you would hear at a local show at your neighborhood bar. It blurred the line because it wasn’t written for you and your church. It was purely the overflow of the heart of John Mark McMillan. He wrote what was in him and didn’t care if anyone else liked it. (Don’t worry, we did)
  10.  Justin Rizzo / Luke Wood –  EP (2006)  // Misty Edwards made a few lists for her work at the International House of Prayer. However, while I love IHOP-KC, Misty has never been my favourite. They have tons of worship teams and all of them are brilliant, but somehow Misty seems to be the queen. But, for me, Luke Wood and Justin Rizzo changed the game. All six of the songs on the EP were masterful, and I still sing “Glory Will Cover the Earth.” on a regular basis. This is the IHOP CD that really set them in my heart. (Both Justin and Luke have since release 2 albums each, and all of them are great. Another recommendation from IHOP is Jon Thurlow’s Strong Love album)
  11. Hillsong United – United We Stand (2006)  // Do I need to explain this? I don’t know many people who didn’t love this album, I think it is the best of any Hillsong album, youth or adult. Most of these songs have been covered dozens of times. And “Fire Fall Down” was a 10 ten worship song of its decade.
  12.  The Glorious Unseen – Tonight The Stars Speak ( 2007)  // In the midst of a worship revolution where Huge stadiums and large teams of pretty people is all the rage, 2007 brought the emergence of some of the best worship leaders and writers, yet they didn’t fit that feel. This album in particular was a much more drawn back album. It had the feel of an acoustic set you would do in your small group while being fully electric and meant for the full church. I listen to it all the time, and still find myself thinking about the songs here in my private worship times.
  13. Jesus Culture – We Cry Out (2007)   // This album was Jesus Culture’s breakthrough album. Building off of Hillsong United’s success, Jesus Culture continued to show that youth could have intense worship and passionate worship, and could set the tone for even the adults they worshiped alongside. While this song was purely covers, it showed the passion of the youth at Bethel Church. Bethel Worship and Jesus Culture are now household names in the world of worship. This would never have been possible if it weren’t for this album.
  14. Rick Pino – The Undiscovered (2008)  // Earlier I mentioned Rick Pino when discussing CFNI’s Glorious. However after graduation from the School of Worship at CFNI, Rick has gone on to being a highly popular worship leader, and has done events all over the world. This is his Third Album. I am not even sure if it is his best, but this album had some brilliant moments and pushed Pino out into new territories.
  15. Phil Wickham – Singalong (2008)  // This is one of the greatest live albums in worship history. A man, his guitar, and a church full of people. He blended his brilliant songs (face it Phil Wickham is a phenomenal songwriter and you are jealous of him) with classic hymns. It is simple, and passionate. Its just great. What made it even better is that this album was a free download. FREE. What could have easily been a 15 dollar purchase was given away to promote worship in the earth.
  16. Gungor – Ancient Skies (2008)  // Its interesting most people who chose Gungor picked his “Beautiful Things” Album, but I have to go with Ancient Skies, it was his transition album. It shifted him from the traditional modern worship scene where he fit with guys like Hughes, Tomlin, and such. Now he is a unique creative in his own right. This album had so much goodness that is often overlooked but worship leaders.
  17. Rend Collective Experiment – Organic Family Hymnal (2010)  // When discussing Revival In Belfast I mentioned that I love Celtic music, and this combines the Celtic music with brilliant Irish Folk. These guys are changing the way we look at worship because they are a constant reminder that worship is not about songs, but about how we live life together. The songs on this album are both upbeat and passionate. It shows us that passionate worship can be filled with pure Joy.
  18. Benjamin Dunn & Friends – Circus of Love (2010)  // I love Ben Dunn, I love his worship, and I love his heart. This is I believe his Fourth Album, but it was his first major debut and shifted from just him to Benjamin Dunn & Friends. The music here is overflowing with joy and goodness. If you haven’t gotten this album you need to.
  19. Will Regan & United Pursuit – Live At The Banks House (2010)  // In the same respect as Phil Wickham’s Singalong, this is a group of worshipers, playing acoustic together. It was literally recorded in a home, and is just an hour of pure worship Some brilliant songs here that are sure to become church favourites.
  20. Josh Garrells – Love War & The Sea in Between (2011)  // Josh did something fantastic with this album. This album is not at all Congregational. Many might argue that it isn’t even worship, but it is, its deeply passionate and persona worship that questions the universe and allows Josh to pour his heart out on the recordings. Best of all is that it is free. Just go to Josh’s website and get it free, because soon it will not be free anymore.

Well, that is it. 20 Worship Albums that shape my sound and my view of worhsip. i don’t think its even close to looking like any of the others that people have posted. I would love you to share some of your thoughts, and if you have written a blog post like this, please feel free to share the link in the comments section.


About matreames

I am a Man on a Mission, A Missionary. I worship, I Love the Word, and I love the Glorious Gospel. How can I help you pursue Christ more?

Posted on March 7, 2012, in music, Music You Should Know, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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