Top 25 Christian Albums of 2012

In any given year, there's usually a dominant style that emerges in Christian music. We’ve seen The Year of Worship, The Year of the Singer-Songwriter and The Year of Pop. (There was even a year when boy bands and tween groups took over, but we’re trying our best to forget that.) What’s notable about 2012 is the lack of one defining subgenre rising to the top.

Undeniably, one of the biggest stories of the year was TobyMac’s hip-hop flavored Eye on It crossing over on the Billboard charts and causing the mainstream market to sit up and take notice -- or at least ask, “Who the heck is this guy?” Lecrae also had a hit on his hands and brought some funk to the often too-white Christian music world. Singer-songwriters received their due, too, with Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson, Brandon Heath, Matthew West and Dave Barnes making it look effortless. Rock and harder bands were plentiful as well, ranging from Demon Hunter and Anberlin to Third Day and Thousand Food Krutch. Derek Webb, Andrew Osenga and Owl City kept it interesting with more experimental fare, while worship proved it’s here to stay via big releases from Passion, Kari Jobe and others. Meanwhile, gospel acts like Israel & New Breed and Mary Mary continued to make their voices heard. At the same time, favorites like The Choir and MercyMe returned with well-received records, while our old friends David Crowder Band bid us farewell. (We’re still not sure if we miss the music or the interesting facial hair more.) Fortunately, the future looks bright thanks to newer acts like Moriah Peters and Chris August.

So with the year summed up, there’s nothing else to do but count down my picks for the Top 25 Christian/Gospel albums of 2012. Also, listen along with my Best of Christian 2012 playlist, including the year’s top singles and a few personal faves.

25) Demon Hunter, True Defiance
24) Moriah Peters, I Choose Jesus
23) Passion, White Flag
22) Israel & New Breed, Jesus at the Center
21) The Choir, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard
20) Flyleaf, New Horizons
19) Andrew Osenga, Leonard, the Lonely Astronaut
18) MercyMe, The Hurt & the Healer
17) Tenth Avenue North, The Struggle
16) Thousand Food Krutch, The End Is Where We Begin
15) Dave Barnes, Stories to Tell
14) Mary Mary, Go Get It
13) Owl City, The Midsummer Station
12) Third Day, Miracle
11) Brandon Heath, Blue Mountain
10) Derek Webb, Ctrl
9) Anberlin, Vital
8) Andrew Peterson, Light for the Lost Boy
7) Chris August, The Upside of Down
6) Matthew West, Into the Light
5) Lecrae, Gravity
4) Kari Jobe, Where I Find You
3) David Crowder Band, Give Us Rest or (a Requiem Mass In C [the Happiest of All Keys])
2) Bebo Norman, Lights of Distant Cities
1) TobyMac, Eye On It

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