Top 15 Worship Releases 2012
Each year, all year long, Worship Leader’s editorial team and our external network of worship professionals, volunteers, teachers, and technicians, make mental notes. We write things down, we type them out, we keep lists, and we tuck websites and tech brochures away for that day we know is fast approaching. The Best of the Best issue is our annual guide for all the worship resources that released over the span of a year. Taking an exhaustive look back, we pour over the worship tools and resources that made us take note, and we compile the list. Here are our favorite worship albums released between Oct 2011 and Oct 2012. To see the full list of resources, subscribe today.
A master at his craft, Crouch blends pop, rock, world music, Latin, jazz, R&B, and more on this transformational release.
Key Worship Song: “God Is on Our Side”
Exploration of the deeper love of Christ through a scaled-down, yet just-as-powerful-as-any-anthem approach to singing songs of praise to the father. DiMarco makes childlike faith and vulnerability the voice of a new generation of worshipers.
Key Worship Song: “Awaken”
Completely filled with innocence and passionate surrender to the Father, there is just something about Kari Jobe’s voice that is so inviting. And this release is a fitting blend of personal and congregational tunes that shimmer in her singular ability to be pleasant and powerful.
Key Worship Song: “Love Came Down”
Pitch-perfect and gorgeously composed, Into the Glorious resonates with the journey of faith. Nockels’ vocals are the standout factor for the sound, and the name of Jesus as the focal point and foundation is the reason her voice matters.
Key Worship Song: “Waiting Here for You”
The worship release we have been waiting for from Phil Wickham, Response is desperate vocals crying out the songs of the people of God filled with awestruck devotion to the one who loved us first. It’s our Response.
Key Worship Song: “At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh)”
Dripping with the feel of communal contribution, and steeped in the sounds of Irish folk, these are the prayers of a people united in Christ—and people who are also able to groove a light jig like there’s no tomorrow.
Key Worship Song: “Build Your Kingdom Here”
This Desperation Band release is a studio offering filled with Christ-centered lyrics that are crisply written, easily graspable phrases and they are set to piano driven, guitar decorated anthems to catch the heart of praise in their emotional appeal.
Key Worship Song: “Strong God”
Deluge’s characteristic style merges a bit of classic-rock ’n’ ’80s-roll with some surprising hip-hop spirit and lively pop/techno dance grooves. And the pastoral heart of frontman Jonathan Stockstill comes through in full force as he helps listeners direct their attention to the healer within the storm.
Key Worship Song: “Your Joy”
William McDowell and guests (including Martha Munizzi and her twin sister, Mary Alessi) join an impressive band and vocal team to create an inspiring blend of classic styles in the gospel genre.
Key Worship Song: “Standing”
Portland power converges with a fascinating Irish folk, southern rock experimental mix in Revival where faith is poured out in a passionate heartrending plea throughout the entire release.
Key Worship Song: “My Soul Longs”
Thematically surrounding the topic of sacrifice and surrender, White Flag is also, about taking action in building the kingdom of God. The topic is covered with the typical guitar-driven anthemic sweep, polished pop-hooks, and crafted lyrics, and is their best release since ’05.
Key Worship Song: “White Flag”
The 21st live recording from Hillsong—the Sydney Australian Church that can certainly be counted as both leaving and living a legacy in the worship genre—is the as good as any of their previous recordings. And that’s saying a lot.
Key Worship Song: “Cornerstone”
It was Houghton’s intention to resource the worldwide church in all their beautiful diversity with theses songs. And regardless of your preferred worship mode, there will be a song for you. A song that points to, proclaims, and celebrates Jesus.
Key Worship Song: “Jesus at the Center”
The most complex, deliberate, expansive, majestic, ambitious, artistically progressive, musically engaging, thematically engrossing, and devotionally powerful record David Crowder*Band has ever released. Their ability to let the many facets of life and music creep into their ministry and sometimes even take the reins, yet through it all, keep the life, death, and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ the true center of every brush stroke, is an artistry worth emulating.
Key Worship Song: “Oh, Great Love of God”
Musician, teacher, songwriter, author, and at one time a reluctant worship leader, Paul Baloche delivered an offering for the Church this year that will last decades. The Same Love radiates an organic richness and musicality throughout. Along with Baloche’s vocal and instrumental contribution and his masterful lyrical and musical structure, there is an abundance of sonic layering rife with banjo, mandolin, lap steel, Dobro and guitar—plus a host of venerable guest vocalists. Paul has furnished the Church with a new set list, but he has also gifted us with songs for our times of private devotion. In a sea of swirling, growling electric guitars, the acoustic beauty and sweetly sung melodies of Paul and company are a refreshing and welcome alternative.
The Same Love and its tone-setting title track paint a picture and frame a heart of worship around God’s saving, redeeming, sacrificial love, creative power and intimate care for us.
The same God that spread the heavens wide
The same God that was crucified
Is calling us all by name
This release is a reminder and a prayer, it’s an offering and a gift, it’s a celebration and a cry, in effect, it is Paul Baloche using his tremendous skill and deep pastoral heart to help lead others in worship—pointing us to the love that has transformed and redeemed the entire world since the beginning of time and will for all eternity.
Key Worship Song: “The Same Love”
This is an excerpt from the feature in Worship Leader’s October, 2012 issue. Subscribe today to read more articles like this one.