It’s pretty much all gospel and CCM artists on the chart right now. These genres are not my personal favorites but I am glad for their successes. No notable debuts made the Billboard 200 this week. Here is the selected summary:
The only notable new album released last week was God, Love & Romance by Fred Hammond. At #8 it was the highest debut ever for the gospel legend, who has been placing higher with every new release. Hammond’s charting history:
Speak Those Things: POL Chapter 3 – 2002 – #38 (N/A)
Somethin’ ‘Bout Love – 2005 – #35 (N/A)
Free to Worship – 2006 – #29 (N/A)
Love Unstoppable – 2009 – #25 (20,000)
God, Love & Romance – 2012 – #8 (26,000)
Several new albums appeared on the Billboard chart this week, led by Kari Jobe landing at #10 with Where I Find You. Jobe’s discography:
Bethlehem – 2007 (N/A)
Kari Jobe – 2008 (N/A)
Le Canto – 2009 – #67 (N/A)
Where I Find You – 2012 – #10 (25,000)
Another debut came from Bethel Music with Loft Sessions at #44. I listened to some of this album on Rdio and it seems to feature some stripped-down or more acoustic versions of some of the previous hits that have come out of Bethel. Farther down on the chart we see the latest Homecoming Celebration by the Gaithers and a worship album from Myron Butler. It was a pretty well-rounded week for Christian artists.
This album features the nice songwriting talents of JJ Heller, who lightly picks her guitar as she sings lullabies to her child and encouraging declarations of surrender and simplicity. Her husband David adds subtle harmonies and musicianship. Great for relaxing at the end of the day when you’re seeking peace.
Lyrical Standout: When I hold you in my arms, Love
It’s the strangest feeling
The things that used to matter
They don’t matter to me
Lyrical Standout II: Oh this silly heart of mine
Looking for new things to buy
Nothing really satisfies
In the end, in the end
Here is my review of David Crowder Band’s double-disc opus Give Us Rest!
It has plenty of electronic loops and layers, but this is far from the dance party we experienced in Church Music. It has bluegrass renditions of classic hymns we haven’t seen since A Collision. It has acoustic guitar riff action we haven’t heard since Illuminate. It’s got banjo grooves borrowed from Mumford & Sons, and dynamic instrumental sequences spanning Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Explosions in the Sky. It delivers its theme – a plea for rest – and reprises it throughout the album as it explores a journey that ends by coming home. Pretentious? Maybe. But full of fun and joy and worship? Definitely.
Gospel singer James Fortune & Fiya debuted at #7 last week. I’m not familiar with them but it’s supposed to be Fortune’s best debut to date. The final album from the David Crowder Band dropped off a bit in its second week but should stay on the chart for awhile. There were a few other albums suddenly reappearing on the chart this week that may have been related to promotions or re-releases or something. The Courageous soundtrack probably sold more due to the DVD releasing last week.
They say Give Us Rest will be the last album ever released by the David Crowder Band. The double-disc opus landed at #2 on the Billboard 200, the best ever for the band both in position and in sales numbers. Blocked by Adele at #1, DCB joins Underoath, Casting Crowns, Red, and Skillet among the Christian acts that have hit #2 on the Billboard charts.
David Crowder Band’s selected charting history:
Illuminate – 2003 – #84 (N/A)
A Collision – 2005 – #39 (N/A)
Remedy – 2007 – #22 (32,000)
Church Music – 2009 – #11 (36,000)
Give Us Rest – 2012 – #2 (50,000)
Nothing new on the charts last week, although Switchfoot and Skillet made it back into the Billboard 200. We look forward to seeing David Crowder Band’s last album on the next chart.
There were not a lot of albums by Christian musicians on the Billboard 200 from the week that began after Christmas, as many of the Christmas albums fell off, and many previously popular albums reappeared on the chart as people bought albums with Christmas gift cards.
I am honored to have my musical “Best of” list featured on IndieVisionMusic for the second year. Personally I like to call it my “favorites” list since “best” is kind of subjective and I’m always changing my mind about my old lists as I discover more music from that year that I initially missed. Anyway, I thought I would use my personal blog to go through my list with a little more detail and some links. Hope you enjoy! (It looks like a lot of these albums are on sale right now for $4.99 on Amazon MP3… so get them soon if you’re interested! – I finally picked up HANDS and Dominic Balli just yesterday!)
JJ Heller – Deeper; Sleeping Giant – Kingdom Days In An Evil Age; A Plea For Purging – The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging; August Burns Red – Leveler
30. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Fun rock album that makes me feel like I’m playing Guitar Hero or something. Most of the album is pretty standard but the message and passion of the closing track alone is enough for it to make my list.
Favorite Track: “Walk”
I’m on my knees / I’m praying for a sign / Forever, whenever / I never wanna die / I never wanna die…. I’m dancing on my grave / I’m running through the fire / Forever, whatever / I never wanna die….
Release Date: April 8, 2011
US Sales Info: 640,000 so far; 1st #1 album with 235,000 first-week sales
Amazon Link | Wiki Link
29. Weird Al – Alpocalypse
The King of Parody does it again with his first full album in five years. It’s hit and miss, but the hits are fantastic, from a ruthless Gaga mockery to the technology-minded original “Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.”
Favorite Track: “Party In the CIA”
Yeah, we’ve got our black ops all over the world / from Kazakhstan to Bombay / Payin’ the bribes like yeah / pluggin’ the leaks like yeah
Release Date: June 20, 2011
US Sales Info: #9 debut (best ever) with 44,000 first-week sales
Amazon Link | Wiki Link