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Top 20 Indie 08
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Indie
Length: 20 tracks/77:41

Top 20 Indie 08 compiles twenty emerging Christian artists from, a Christian independent musician's resource. The Top 20, picked for song quality, artist exposure, web traffic and other criteria, were chosen by a panel of Music Industry experts.

The release also will support Misson Of Mercy's Swaziland Mercy Center in Africa, The Mercy Center serves orphans from pre-school through age 18 in the world's highest known area of HIV/AIDS. Mission of Mercy is a Christian-based humanitarian organization helping to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children in poverty-stricken areas of the world.

There is so much quality music here. Sensory overload, for sure. 

Every song gives out and out glory to God lyrically. No real rockers here. Chris Duran comes closest with the energetic "Lead On." Rend the Heaven's "As Long As You Want Me" and Mile 7's U-2, David Crowder-ish "Back to Life" lean to the rocking side, but in the main, adult contemporary with some forays into Americana with  Alli Rogers' "If I'm Brave," "Alathea's "My Roots Go Deeper" and Sarah Mc Cracken's "Grace Upon Grace"  are all among the best tracks.

J.J. Heller, Mitch McVicker, and Bran Reynolds offer acoustic folk tracks. 

There are a few stand alone tracks. Abbie Walker's bluesy "Save Me" bubbles and boils under the surface as she stammers her request for help from the Lord. You will be drawn to "Change" by Dave Pettigrew for his honest, heart-on-his sleeve lyrics and a catchy chorus begs 'If you are ready for a change, if you are tired of imagining, if you're ready for a change, if you are tired of the same old thing, then follow me." Opener, "Passengers" goes hand in with Pettigrew. Michael Blakemore tells us that we are just passengers looking for a better life. 

Kerry Crocker and Sharon Wilber give us very commercial, engaging tracks. They both belong on the radio NOW! The former's "Brand New" has a great singalong chorus. Wilber's rhythmic "Ain't a Nobody" is so easy to get into. Sort of along the lines of Amy Grant's "So Good For Me" with more of a beat, you will find yourself singing along in no time.

In addition to artists culled from, the album features new music from GMA in the Rockies talent competition winners Crystal Stark and Rachal Hurt. Two very different artists, Hurt's "Aware" is one of the very best of the twenty tracks. Featuring a gritty vocal over choppy, acoustic rhythms, this self-penned beauty speaks of waking up to what the Lord gives us.  Deceptively simple in sound, the lyrics are deep and revealing. Stark's "Leave Everything Behind" sports an equally important, though a more obvious, lyric, but her presentation is more along the lines of Darlene Zchesch and Sandy Patty.

The final two tracks are outstanding modern praise and worship. McHenry, Mississippi's Broken Vessel, with one of  most sincere and compassionate vocals I have ever heard. Jenn Weber wraps up this set with the quiet strength of "Sanctuary" a beautiful,simple melody. Perfect for congregational or individual worship, It is my favorite song on this set. 

An honorable and very listenable collection. Make sure you check out for more of this wonderful music.

Bob Felberg


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