Some "Gems" from the CCM Genre

Monday, May 2, 2016

I have found, all too often, that the task of finding artists in the Contemporary Christian music genre who are UNIQUE, ORIGINAL, or SUBSTANTIAL can be rather difficult.

So many CCM artists today have songs that pretty much reiterate the exact same things, just rearranging the wording somehow. Or they simply follow the same chord progression over and over...and you really can't tell which song it is until it gets to the chorus. They remain incredibly surface-y, and...well...for lack of a better word....kinda "hokey" a lot of the time.

I was very much turned off from CCM music because of this for a very long time.
I wanted to hear songs that were fully rooted in biblical truths. I wanted songs with lyrics that ran much deeper and that could make me think. Music is in my soul, and it's how I connect with just about everything, and that's how I like to connect with God too. But all of the songs I was hearing on the radio just were not doing that for me.

For so many of us, the struggle is real!  I've seen Facebook statuses, and Twitter posts about this! I've had several conversations with people in my life about this! Why does it seem that there are so few Contemporary Christian artists out there who offer biblical and "non-cheesy" music? Well, I've been doing some digging...and I've managed to weed out some great ones! Just to help the rest of you out ;))

In no particular order, here are some incredible CCM artists that are so worth listening to, and whose lyrics go deeper than just scratching the surface...

Danny Gokey
He was an American Idol contestant, and has an absolutely killer voice! His lyrics speak with genuine conviction of painful, challenging, real life experiences...and the hope that has seen him through all of it. The words in this song were ultimately what brought me back around to listening to Christian music again...

Singer Tiffany Lee, aka Plumb, knows about stuff, let me tell you! She writes about deeply personal this song bravely written about self injury. And, in my opinion, her voice kind of reminds me of Amy Lee from Evanescence.

Brandon Heath
Brandon has a beautiful testimony of God's grace in his life. His songs reflect all of that on his own personal level, but his words will resonate with just about everyone. But even so, songs like this one will really get you thinking about certain things that you may just overlook or take for granted in every day life. {oh! And p/s....he also has a great Christmas album!}

Matthew West
Another great guy with great stories, but there is one thing in particular that I love about Matthew West...His songs are inspired by the stories he hears from OTHERS!  Real life people with real life struggles, who have found hope in Christ themselves! Like this one, based on the story of a woman who nearly lost her daughter in a serious car accident, and learned what strength that comes from the Lord truly is. {and yes, he also has a fantastic Christmas album!}

Meredith Andrews
Meredith bravely speaks out about her struggles with doubt and fear throughout her lyrics. And yes, it's true that doubt and fear are things that every Christian struggles with at one point or another, but Meredith is so honest about how low she actually was!
This line here, "You cry yourself to sleep, because the hurt is real, and the pain cuts deep. All hope seems lost, with heartache your closest friend, and everyone else long gone. You've had to face the music on your own..." described so perfectly what life was like for me when I went through a really dark season of deep depression. And to me, Meredith clearly understood what that meant.

Okay...where do I even start with these guys! They are awesome! First of all, not a single one of their songs sounds like the one before it. They are the very definition of unique! Secondly, I think that NeedToBreathe has some of the most biblically grounded truths in their music that I've ever heard from A Christian group. I had a hard time choosing just one song of theirs to share with you here {seriously! They are all just THAT good! Go find all...the...songs!!}. But I do think this one is my favorite, especially going back to how wonderful and unique just their SOUND is, as well as the words! Really though, if you don't listen to any other song on this list, just listen to THIS ONE!!

Caedmon's Call
Beautiful acoustics, beautiful vocals, originality that I've literally never heard from anyone else! And they are way lesser known than they should be! They've pretty much disappeared over the last few years, which is unfortunate. I love listening to them!

This is kind of a "bonus" one, as Switchfoot isn't exclusively a Christian band, although they do have multiple songs that mention God directly. BUT, sprinkled throughout ALL of their lyrics are truths on which to build our lives. In this way, lead singer and songwriter Jon Foreman ministers to and influences Christians and non-Christians alike. This one's my personal favorite...

Hope you were able to discover some great new music here! Or maybe you were reminded of a song or artist you forgot about and need to listen to again! Either way, there's some great Christian music out there, friends! And it's not all cliche!

Did I leave anyone out? Who else should I have included on this list? Comment below!

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