Something many of you probably don’t know is that I am a fan of Christian music. About 85% of the music I listen to is Christian (the rest is just stuff my sister recommends to me). Christian music is a really great genre because the songs sound very similar to stuff you’d hear on a secular radio station, except with positive lyrics about God and everyday life. WOW Hits 2014 is a compilation CD of all the popular Christian songs of 2013. Not all of the songs on the CD were actually released in 2013, but got (and still get!) constant airplay on Christian radio stations around the country.
Anyway, this is a 2-disc CD, so in this post I will be reviewing the first disc. Below each song I have included a YouTube link so you can check these tunes out for yourself. 🙂
1. Chris Tomlin-“Whom Shall I Fear”-This is a really great song that explains about how God is always with us, even when trouble looms in our future.
2. Big Daddy Weave-“Redeemed”-Another terrific song, which actually was the winning song at the 2013 K-LOVE Fan Awards. The lead singer tells about how God has “set him free” and how, with God, he is “not who he used to be”.
3. Matthew West-“Hello My Name Is”-When this song first came out, it was literally all over Christian radio. I remember one day, I heard it 4 times in the span of about twelve hours. How ridiculous is that? Despite its being overplayed at first, it is a very uplifting song. I remember really liking it the first time I heard it (before it was everywhere!). The wonderful Matthew West sings that because of God, he’s now a “child of the One True King”!
4. MercyMe-“You Are I Am”-Another awesome song by MercyMe that talks about all the great actions of God.
5. Kristian Stanfill-“One Thing Remains”-When I first got this CD, this song was definitely (and still is!) one of my very favorites. Although it is on the long side (the four-minute version on this disc is dubbed the “radio version”, because the original is six minutes), it is a wonderful song that talks about how God’s love absolutely never fails us.
6. Matt Maher-“Lord I Need You”-What a terrific song! Matt Maher sings about how we all need God, whether we’re in trouble, are lonely, or whatever. It’s so important for everyone to remember that. The amazing Audrey Assad sings backup on this song as well. Although I’ve never heard her other work, from what I hear on this track, I’m sure it’s great.
7. Casting Crowns-“Jesus Friend Of Sinners”-Basically a song about how we shouldn’t hurt or judge other people. Mark Hall (the lead singer of Casting Crowns) implores God to “break our hearts for what breaks Yours”.
8. Francesca Battistelli-“Strangely Dim”-A song that explains how when we focus on God, everything else in our world-including our doubts and worries-definitely don’t matter as much (or as Francesca puts it, “grows strangely dim”. 😉 ). A very good song. I do remember, though, that when this song was first released, it seemed to be on the radio all the time!
9. Steven Curtis Chapman-“Love Take Me Over”-All right, let me just say, I love this guy. Steven Curtis Chapman’s melodies are just so happy and positive. I can’t believe that when I first got into Christian music, I couldn’t stand him because he seemed to be everywhere. However, that was before I had ever listened to an actual song by him, so I’m glad I eventually did check him out. This song is really uplifting. The message of it is basically, if you ask God to work through you, good things will come out of your actions.
10. Matt Redman-“Your Grace Finds Me”-Once again, the version of the song on this CD is a “radio version”. To be honest, this song is not one of my favorites. It’s just too long and repetitive in my opinion. However, the song does give a good message: God’s grace is everywhere!
11. Jeremy Camp-“My God”-This is a song talking about the greatness of God. It’s not bad, but it’s also not one of my absolute favorites.
12. Sidewalk Prophets-“Help Me Find It”-A really nice song that discusses how God can help us do His will in our lives. What a great reminder for everyone who is faced with a tough decision in their lives.
13. Kari Jobe-“Steady My Heart”-I had never really listened to Kari Jobe before I heard this song. I really like her, though. In this song, Kari asks God to “steady her heart” when she is afraid or anxious, because she knows that God will always protect her. Really awesome message.
14. Brandon Heath-“Jesus In Disguise”-This song is by far my absolute favorite on Disc 1. Brandon Heath has such a great voice-plus he was one of the very first contemporary Christian artists I was ever introduced to, so he holds a special place in my heart. This song talks about how things that happen to you in life seemingly by coincidence actually come from God.
15. Amy Grant-“Don’t Try So Hard”-I’m sorry if you’re an Amy Grant fan, but I seriously do not like this song, which also features James Taylor. Her voice in this track just really ticks me off for some reason. The message Amy tries to portray in this song is not to try so hard in life, because God loves you no matter what. Although the lyrics are nice, I really think this is my least favorite song on the disc.
16. Tim Timmons-“Starts With Me”-A positive song about how God sometimes uses the weak to do wonderful things in the world. I don’t know any other songs by this guy, but I’m sure his other works are just as good.
17. City Harbor-“Come However You Are”-Alright, I really love this song! Before I got this CD, I had never even heard of this group, which makes sense, because I later learned that this song wasn’t released to the public until 2014. A great song, which talks about how you can just come to God, even if you’ve had a rough past.
18. Jason Gray-“Good To Be Alive”-Very positive-sounding song where Jason proclaims that he wants to “live like there’s no tomorrow, love like I’m on borrowed time”. He wants to give God a well-lived life to thank him for everything He has done for Jason. What a great example that all of us should live by.
19. Sanctus Real-“Pray”-While one of my least favorite tracks (it’s just too depressing in my opinion), this song does talk about the importance of prayer, and how God can help you with whatever you’re struggling with. It also discusses how it’s not good to let several days pass before you pray-you need to pray to God every day.
20. Chris August-“Restore”-A terrific song for this day and age. Chris August talks about the sacredness of marriage, and how you are supposed to be married forever. If you are having problems with your marriage, don’t split up-instead, pray to God, because he can help your marriage to be restored!
Well folks, that wraps up disc 1 of WOW Hits 2014. I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about each song and my opinions on them, and maybe you listened to some of them too. I will be reviewing disc 2 either later today or tomorrow, so stay tuned!