Hugh's Lyrics Collection of Christian Contemporary Singer/Songwriters




Okay, let's admit it. The world of CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) is often thought of as a haven for musicians who could not make it in the secular market. Many people think the artists there have little real talent, no matter how "spiritual" or "moving" their motives might be. Well, I beg to differ. There are many extraordinary talents out there in the current CCM world, and here are a few of my favorites. The genre is definitely getting stronger and more popular as more and more people realize the improving quality of Christian music out there.

 

Current Artists:

STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN

Steven Curtis Chapman - The Glorious Unfolding
Just Released: "The Glorious Unfolding" on September 30, 2013 featuring the new single "Love Take Me Over".
Latest Release: "Deep Roots" on March 11, 2013
Holiday Release: "JOY"
(Christmas Album) - October 16, 2012
2011 Release: re:creation on Aug 9, 2011 with the first single, "Do Everything"
2009 Release: "Beauty Will Rise" on Nov 3, 2009 with the first single "Heaven Is The Face"
2007 Release: "This Moment" released October 23, 2007
First Single: "Miracle of the Moment" - 1280x1024 Wallpaper
My SCC/Casting Crowns Bible Verse Songfinder Search Engine
By His Wounds - from "Glory Revealed"
All I Really Want for Christmas (Oct 2005)
Remembering You - from "Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia" (Sept 2005)
"All Things New" (Sept 2004)
Declaration (Fall 2001)
All About Love (February 2003).

More Steven Curtis Chapman info...

Steven writes and performs some of the best music out there period. Plus his persona comes across as just another humble man trying to understand his place in God's world. His vocals are genuine, his guitar playing incredible, and his songwriting leaves you "speechless". The Official Site has just about all the lyrics to all of his songs from his own albums. Plus a nice message board.
Chris Smith's elaborate site has a lot of good information on Steven, and so does the Heaven in the Real World site.
Another lyrics only site is here.

Songs not on his own albums:
Sometimes He Comes in the Clouds - one of my favorites from a fantastic various artist album
Faithful Friend - great duet with Twila Paris.
I Will Not Go Quietly - great song from the "Apostle" sountrack (and "WOW 1999") which fits very well both musically and subject wise with "Live Out Loud".
Parent's Prayer (Let Go of Two) - song by Greg Davis that Steven performed several years ago on a few wedding and love song CD's.
Heartbeat of Hope - from "Prince of Egypt: Nashville".
Out There - duet with MWS from "Roaring Lambs".
Remember the Day - Song written for the 9/11 Tribute
I See Love - from "The Passion of the Christ: Songs" with Third Day and MercyMe

MARK HALL (of Casting Crowns)

Casting Crowns - Thrive
Latest Album: "Thrive" released January 28, 2014
Previous Studio Album: Come To The Well - October 18, 2011

Previous Studio Album: "Until the Whole World Hears" - November 17, 2009
My SCC/Casting Crowns Bible Verse Songfinder Search Engine

Since I added Nichole after just two albums, I can officially add Mark Hall to my list. I know the rest of Casting Crowns contribute to many of the songs, but he is the primary songwriter for most of their current studio albums. Luckily all of their albums have been hugely successful, so it is easy to locate their lyrics on-line using our good friend Google, so I do not feel a need to post any here on my site. Of course he did co-write two songs with other artists on my list here, "Voice of Truth" with Steven from the debut album and "Stained Glass Masquerade" with Nichole from Lifesong. They even won a Grammy, however meaningless those actually are. And Mark joined Steven, Mac Powell and Brian Littrell on "By His Wounds" from the "Glory Revealed" project.

JON FOREMAN (of Switchfoot)
DAN HASELTINE (of Jars of Clay)

Fading West Inland
Latest Albums: "Inland" released August 27, 2013, and "Fading West" released January 21, 2014.

Previous Albums: "Fading West" & "Jars of Clay Presents The Shelter"

I had a tough time deciding whether to put Dan Haseltine here or Jon Foreman, so I put both. Whereas Jars of Clay is definitely more a group ensemble in writing and performing, Jon Foreman is the creative force behind Switchfoot (as Mark Hall is in Casting Crowns). However Dan does write most of the lyrics they perform in their original songs. What both Jon and Dan have in common is in writing personal lyrics that are intelligent and meaningful, but also catchy and radio friendly. Musically, I would give Jars the edge over Switchfoot, but they both write some pretty great sounding music that promote a Christian message to the mainstream without being preachy.

AARON SHUST & BRANDON HEATH


Aaron's Fifth Album, "Morning Rises" released July 16, 2013 with the new single "God of Brilliant Lights"
Brandon's Latest Album, "Blue Mountain" released October 9, 2012 with first single "Jesus in Disguise"
Aaron's Fourth album, "This Is What We Believe" (August 23, 2011) with the singles "My Hope Is In You" and "Risen Today"
Brandon's Third album, "Leaving Eden" released: January 18, 2011
Aaron's Third album, "Take Over" released: August 4, 2009
Brandon's Second album, "What If We" released: August 19, 2008
Aaron's Second album, "Whispered and Shouted" released: June 5, 2007
June 2007: Added Aaron to my "Bible Verse" Search Engine
Brandon's First album: "Don't Get Comfortable" 2006
Aaron's First album: "Anything Worth Saying" 2005

Now that I have heard four full studio albums from Aaron I will add him to my list. Like many folks I was worried he might be a "one hit wonder", but luckily he has proven not to be anything of the sort. He came out strong with the hit single "My Savior My God" a few years ago, but the rest of his first album plus his latest releases shows no sophomore slump. I like to think of him as the best of Chris Tomlin and Jeremy Camp thrown into one (and I love both of them!) His songs have the easy singability and direct praise stylings of Tomlin with more of a fresh sound and rawness of Camp (plus he is exactly in my singing range!) Buy any of his albums from his web site. They all ship in cardboard sleeves which seem much more green and more sturdy than the typical cheap plastic ones. He also has great liner notes which are fairly substantial booklets. He writes a page on each song, then has the full lyrics for each one on the opposite page. He should be an author!

I am also adding Brandon Heath in Aaron's section here, since after reading the liner notes for "Take Over", it seems like Brandon helped write three of the songs. Add Brandon's four great albums and I think the two of them should be listed together. Plus they seem to be good friends, and I like this video of Brandon with Aaron's son.
Artists Who Inspired Me Who Are No Longer "Active":

downhere

On The Altar of Love
Latest Release: "On The Altar of Love" on August 23, 2011, with the new single "Let Me Rediscover You"
Previous Studio Album: Ending is Beginning, released Sept 23, 2008
Wow, I thought "Wide Eyed and Mystified" was good, but this new album is even better. I am adding downhere to my top list now since they write and perform such consistently top notch music. I just love how the two vocalists play off each other two. It just sounds fantastic. We got to see them perform live and it was incredible!! They released a Christmas album at the end of 2009 and in the summer of 2010 they released "Two At A Time" which includes two new songs (like their single "You're Not Alone") and also nine older B-sides that never made it on albums. It now appears that they will no longer be touring together after January 2013.


TWILA PARIS

Twila Paris - Small Sacrifice
Latest Album: Small Sacrifice

The first artist that showed me there was more to Christian music than Amy Grant and Micheal W. Smith (not that they aren't talented, but it is hard for two people to singlehandedly represent all of Christian music). Not a powerful vocalist by common definition, Twila instead replaces "power" with a subtle gentleness that really carries both her contemporary and worship pieces. She writes hymns worthy of placement in hymnals everywhere, as well as powerful pop and worship pieces that have kept her in demand for over 20 years.
Chris Mazie's site is the most complete Twila site out there
This site has a bunch of lyrics too.
Lyrics to He is Exalted: Live Worship album.
Lyrics to House of Worship album.
Lyrics to new tracks on Greatest Hits album.
Lyrics to Bedtime Prayers: Lullabies and Peaceful Worship
Another good site with lyrics
Individual Tracks not on Chris's site or other lyrics site
Unique, original pieces from "Sanctuary"
It's So Easy from Keepin' My Eyes on You
Keepin' My Eyes on You from Keepin' My Eyes on You
Come On In from Warrior is a Child
Do I Trust You from Warrior is a Child
Fountain of Grace from Perennial
Every Heart That is Breaking from For Every Heart
I Will Never Go from For Every Heart
Could You Believe from True North
Carry the Light from Carry the Light

Steven and Twila on the same album

One of Steven's best songs and one of Twila's best songs are on the My Utmost for His Highest album. And it appears that these lyrics are not on the various SCC sites or on Chris's Twila site. So I put them here. And if we mention Steven and Twila together the obvious reference should be their duet Faithful Friend from Twila's Where I Stand album.

NICHOLE NORDEMAN


Latest Project: "Music Inspired by The Story" where Nichole wrote all the songs.
Greatest Hits Album: "Recollection" (The Best of) released Mar 6, 2007 - includes two new songs "Sunrise" and "Finally Free".
I Will Believe from "Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia" (Sept 2005)
Nichole Nordeman has a great knack for writing intelligent lyrics along with very melodic and catchy music. Unfortunately she has been on prolonged hiatus after releasing just four full studio albums (she also released a live concert album, "Live at the Door" too). I believe that raising a family has taken precedence for her. More power to her for that! Here I have collected all the lyrics from her first two albums, and the lyrics to her third, Woven and Spun, and her fourth, Brave are here too. Many of the lyrics were on her official site but not all the lyrics are there now and they are only available to members. I have also collected other lyrics that Nichole has performed on some "various artists" albums. Great stuff.

CINDY MORGAN


Latest: Cindy released a new album March 9, 2010, "Hymns: Some Glad Morning".
Here is a great artist who refused to be the "dance pop" artist her record company wanted her to be. Her last three full albums ("Listen", "The Loving Kind", "Elementary") demonstrate the variety and depth of her music, as well as the incredible song Blessed she co-wrote with Ginny Owens for Rachel Lampa and "Letters from War" with Mark Schultz. Mike Janke's wonderful Cindy Morgan site has returned!. As for lyrics, I grabbed some here and have compiled a FULL discography with links here. Thanks to an anonymous contributor (you know who you are!), I now have all the lyrics to the songs on her albums. Elementary was released 2001. Here is Cindy's new official site.

RECENT RELEASES I'VE BEEN ENJOYING:

2011
  • Jan 18, 2011 - Brandon Heath: "Leaving Eden"
  • August 9, 2011 - Steven Curtis Chapman: " re:creation" with the single "Do Everything"
  • August 23, 2011 - Aaron Shust: "This Is What We Believe" with the single "My Hope Is In You"
  • August 23, 2011 - downhere: "On The Altar of Love"
  • September 27, 2011 - Switchfoot: "Vice Verses"
  • October 18, 2011 - Casting Crowns: "Come To The Well"
  • 2012
  • March 26, 2012- Sidewalk Prophets: "Live Like That"
  • May 22, 2012 - MercyMe: "The Hurt & The Healer"
  • August 21, 2012 - Chris August: "The Upside of Down" with the single "The Center Of It"
  • August 21, 2012 - Tenth Avenue North: "The Struggle" with the single "Losing"
  • September 25, 2012- Matthew West: "Into The Light" with his single "Forgiveness"
  • October 9, 2012- Brandon Heath: "Blue Mountain" with the leadoff single "Jesus in Disguise"
  • November 6, 2012- Third Day: "Miracle" with the leadoff single "I Need a Miracle" (not to be confused with "I'll Be Your Miracle" from "Move")
  • 2013
  • January 8, 2013 - Chris Tomlin: "Burning Lights".
  • February 5, 2013 - Sanctus Real: "Run" with the lead single "Promises".
  • February 12, 2013 - Jeremy Camp: "Reckless".
  • March 12, 2013 - The NEW Audio Adrenaline: "Kings & Queens" with the lead single "Kings and Queens".
  • April 16, 2013 - The Afters: "Life is Beautiful".
  • April 23, 2013 - Matt Maher: "All the People Said Amen".
  • July 16, 2013 - Aaron Shust: "Morning Rises".
  • September 30, 2013 - Steven Curtis Chapman: "The Glorious Unfolding" featuring the new hit single Love Take Me Over"
  • 2014
  • January 14, 2014 - Casting Crowns: "Thrive"
  • January 21, 2014 - Switchfoot: "Fading West"
  • February 25, 2014 - MercyMe: "Welcome to the New"
  • UPCOMING RELEASES!!

    These are the upcoming albums I am awaiting:

    Wow, I haven't added many lyrics lately -- I must be too busy!
    If you are looking for guitar chords, I suggest www.christianguitar.org. If you live in St. Louis and want to hear some excellent guitarists playing Christian music, I suggest you visit our church, Mount Zion United Methodist church (in unincorporated West Saint Louis County between Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights) and listen to our contemporary praise band, Joyful Noise, when we play.

    Other favorite Christian artists of mine include: The Afters, Audio Adrenaline, Chris August, Jeremy Camp, MercyMe, Sanctus Real, Sidewalk Prophets, Tenth Avenue North, Chris Tomlin, and Matthew West. Does U2 count, too?

    Note that I also like many other Christian and secular musical artists as well, including pop/rock, R&B, country, Broadway, jazz and classical music. The family CD collection numbers around 160 selections, with Christian artists comprising over one third of it. (Do Martina McBride, Alan Jackson and Sara Evans get to count too?) Now that most of my music purchases are electronic I no longer add them to the large CD tower in the living room. How sad!

    I am proud to say all of my site contains NO ANNOYING POPUPS. I find it irritating to google for lyrics and end up on some lyric site with pop-ups, pop-unders and annoying banner ads everywhere. I have added simple Google ads to the top of this page, but that is all!
    Hugh Chou -  E-Mail me!