Is There Any Decent Christian Music?

I’ll be honest… I haven’t always been a fan of Christian music as a whole.

Don’t hate me. I just like good music, and the selection of quality Christian artists hasn’t always been abundant. I’ve found several good ones, but I’m always on the lookout for more. Let’s just say- it’s been quite an adventure trying to find stuff my family likes.

I’m not alone.

Parents always ask me, “Can you please suggest some decent Christian music that my kids will actually like?” A good example of this was a few weeks ago when my daughter Ashley and I spoke at a local church about parenting and making “Biblical media decisions.” Ashley shared a little insight into the music we listen to in our home, and the guidelines we’ve set for downloading music. You see, we allow secular music in our home as long as it isn’t against Biblical principles. So my kids will come up to me and ask me, “Dad, can I download this album from The Fray or this song from Bruno Mars?” We always end up having a good discussion about music content (I spend a whole chapter in my parenting book talking about this, there’s an excerpt of that chapter, “Dad, Can I Download This Song?, here).

In our talk, Ashley and I shared how we start off the first hour of our day and end the last hour of our day in our house with worship music (an idea that I heard my buddy Al Menconi share years ago in his parent seminars). We don’t think there’s anything wrong with secular music, but I’ve personally noticed a difference in attitude and behavior from my kids when they start and end their day with Crowder’s “How He Loves Me” rather than “Row, row, row your boat.” (A very clean secular song, mind you.)

After Ashley and I spoke, a parent in the audience talked with us and asked me something like this:

“My kids all listen to secular stuff, but we want to listen to some Christian stuff. I’ve tried to get them to listen to the Christian radio with me, but they don’t like much of it. Is there any good Christian music?”

After exchanging emails, I answered her with the following, providing my two cents on “good Christian music.” Check out my list, and then use the comment feature in this blog to chime in with your two cents. I wanna hear what Christian music you like:

CHRISTIAN MUSIC MY FAMILY LIKES

 

RAP:
A guy named Lecrae– songs like FAR AWAY, JESUS MUZIK (these are about the closest you’ll find to good Christian rap that’s mainstream. There are a couple other hardcore rap Christian guys like Tedashii… but that’s not really a sound like the typical popular LIL WAYNE or 50 CENT. Lecrae is probably the best.
A group called Grits– their song OOH AHH and FLY AWAY recently are pretty good.
RAP/POP:
Toby Mac– Let me explain. At first, some new Christians might initially think that Toby is a white boy wangsta. I think that’s a little harsh. I’ve found that when I play his songs for a while, kids (even unchurched kids)  will like several of his songs- he has some good hits. My kids grew to like his songs like CITY ON OUR KNEES, BREAK OPEN THE SKY (reggae), and most the songs from his album PORTABLE SOUNDS, songs like LOSE MY SOUL, ONE WORLD, etc.
Group 1 Crew have been compared to Black Eyed Peas- I wouldn’t go that far. But I like their song PLEASE DON’T LET ME GO.
A guy named Mat Kearney who does a nice blend of guitar and a little white boy rap- songs like UNDENIABLE, NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE, CRASHING DOWN, GIRL AMERICA

 

POP/ROCK:
Flyleaf has a good song ALL AROUND ME
Switchfoot is awesome- a more pop/grunge sound. Songs like YOUR LOVE IS A SONG, DARE YOU TO MOVE, THIS IS HOME, THE BEAUTIFUL LETDOWN….

 

Some kids like some of the harder rock sounds coming from Christian bands like Skillet (I like their song COMATOSE), Red (I like their song BREATHE INTO ME) or Thousand Foot Krutch (their song FALLS APART). Personally, I’m not really into music this hard (I only like one or two songs from each of these bands). And frankly, the majority of mainstream kids aren’t into this genre either (read my words carefully, I said “the majority” of kids, that doesn’t mean “no kids.” Some really like this genre). Unfortunately, most Christian concerts are primarily bands like these. No offense to these bands, but it would be nice to see some of the other genres emerge into Christian circles.

 

WORSHIP:
David Crowder is awesome at worship music that actually sounds good. His songs HOW HE LOVES, EVERYTHING GLORIOUS, SMS (Shine), THE GLORY OF IT ALL…  I love these guys! (that’s why this announcement was hard to hear!)
Anything from Chris Tomlin, especially I WILL FOLLOW, INDESCRIBABLE, HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD, HOLY IS THE LORD
Your turn. What Christian music would you play for kids that aren’t used to Christian music?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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74 Responses to Is There Any Decent Christian Music?

  1. Scott Egan says:

    -Kristian Stanfill… Along the lines of David Crowder Band. Solid Worship music
    -Thousand Foot Krutch
    -The Almost
    -The Afters
    -Needtobreathe… ALLTIME AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
    -Flatfoot56 for the Irish Punk Rock fans…
    -Third Day
    -Relient K
    -Hillsong

  2. Katie says:

    What about the kids who like hardcore? Seems all the adults forget about us teens. Many teens love harcore post hardcore. Suggestions for harcore Christian bands:
    UnderOath
    Oh, Sleeper
    The Devil Wears Prada
    Disciple
    Family Force 5
    Haste the Day
    August Burns Red
    Texas In July

  3. I haven’t forgot about you Katie… I’m just casting my vote for all the other kids. Currently, the “grunge/rock” category dominates the Christian concert scene, while most unchurched kids listen to Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Black Eyed Peas, Lil Wayne, etc. I just think it would be cool if there were a few more Christian groups with that sound. As you can see from my list, there are VERY few, in my opinion.

  4. Kyle Bueermann says:

    Completely agree that Needtobreathe is amazing! They’ve had some crossover success too – Something Beautiful was included on the soundtrack to “When in Rome,” and they opened for Taylor Swift on one of her recent tours. So, you’ll have a lot of kids who don’t listen to Christian music who are familiar with some of their stuff.

    Personally, I think it’s great when “Christian” bands crossover. You can even check out Switchfoot’s wikipedia page and see that they weren’t too excited about being marketed as a “Christian” band because they knew that would automatically limit their audience.

    I’m a fan of good music (everything but rap…and I even like a little) of that. I would love to see some GOOD country thrown into the “Christian” music scene. So much of the Christian music is pop-rock or harder rock. Where are the solid Country musicians in the “Christian” music industry? 33Miles has kind of a country sound, but they are the only ones who come to mind that aren’t in the Southern Gospel genre (which, by the way, I like as well).

  5. Jennifer Roloff says:

    Casting Crowns, Tenth Avenue North, Chris Tomlin, The Afters, Newsboys, Reliant K
    Rap: Lecrae, Grits, KJ-52 who is often compared to Eminem
    Thousand Foot Krutch, Manafest, Kutless, Skillet

    Until just a few years ago, I was still listening to secular music. I didn’t like what they talked about, but I loved the beat. Finally I heard Thousand foot Krutch and Manafest and that changed everything! I had never heard christian music that I liked and could rock out to 🙂 I recently discovered 99.1FM in Sacramento, the “Positive alternative”. I love it and my kids do too.

  6. Chris Reardon says:

    Worship :
    Gungor
    Aaron Gillespie (from Underoath)
    All The Bright Lights (Compare to Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai [Instrumental / Worship]
    Anathallo
    The Brilliance
    Hillsong United
    John Mark McMillan

    Worship / Pop :
    Brooke Fraser [Singer from Hillsong United]
    Chris August
    Phil Wickham
    Robbie Seay Band
    Will Retherford
    Josh Garrels
    Sons and Daughters

    Bluegrass / Countryish :
    Can I say Mumford and Sons (Despite the F-word in one song :D) *There parents are worship leaders at a Vineyard church in Europe
    The Civil Wars [Former Christian Pop artist Joy Williams]

    Jon Foremans Solo Albums (In a category of its own)

    Sufjan Stevens (Again…another category)

    Rock / Club:
    Mute Math (Former Christian Band Members from Earthsuit)
    Owl City (Not sure if Adam is a Christian, but some strong lyrics and songs would suggest otherwise [i.e. “Meteor Shower” and his cover of “In Christ Alone”
    Seabird
    Anberlin
    Angels & Airwaves (*Probably not Christian, but please listen to “Heaven”)
    Courrier
    Future of Forestry
    The Myriad

    Hard Core : (To Add to Katie’s list)
    Emery

    Rap :
    Trip Lee
    Flame

    Sorry for the long post…but I could go on and on.
    I really would like to know / see your thoughts on the bridge between “Christian” and “Secular” labels.
    I lean more to the side of not listening to “Christian” music, because there are so many artists that have unbelievable music and present a message of truth that speaks more volume to non-believers and many more people in the world than a “Christian” band/artist may be able to reach.
    The “Christian” term for music tends to give off the separatist vibe…I mean does anyone really respect the Dove awards beside the “Christian” community?
    I don’t want to not respect the Christian music scene, because there are great artists out there who are trying to reach the lost, to reach the broken, and much more that God wants them to do, but there are some “Christian” artists, who abuse that label, and have hurt themselves and their Christian surroundings who they represent.
    I have been pressured into the “Christian” music category, due to the fact people judge you when you listen to artists who aren’t on a local Christian station. I strive to use all avenues of music, that have messages of truth that can relate to circumstances in peoples lives, that can bring me closer to them in a way that I can let God’s light shine through whatever circumstance to show His truth.
    Sorry again for the long post…
    Thanks for your blog Jonathan, always enjoy your posts from the heart!

    • Anna says:

      I LOVE mumford and sons… but they aren’t Christians. When they are asked if they are they actually get very angry and defensive. Their song Broken Crown just shows their angry toward Christianity….. I don’t really think its the best influence but it has religious themes

      • Anna says:

        *anger

      • Tolkein says:

        Actually “Broken Crown” is based on a poem by JRR Tolkein (devout Christian) called Mythopoeia that is one of the finest pieces of Christian poetry written in the 20th century. Just because a band doesn’t focus on the “happy” side of Christianity don’t count them out. U2 has always freaked people out by how gritty they get, but the incarnation (God becoming man and getting his hands very dirty (yet without sin) leaves plenty of room for that in our art). And honestly lots of Christian music sounds, well, prissy because of its lack of honesty about how ugly life is – even life as a Christian.

  7. Greg says:

    I want to keep this very simple (as I believe Jonathan did a good job covering some of my favorites already!). Here’s what I suggest:

    1. The song “Thank You” by Tedashii

    2. Everything (as in ALL SONGS) by Matt Maher. Not only is he very impressive musically (not just simple G C D guitar chords, etc.) but his lyrics are also incredibly deep and soul-stirring (something I really enjoy/desire with music). His music continually brings me closer and closer to the Lord. Seriously, go buy all of his stuff as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed!

  8. I’ve found a few great “bands with Christians in them” that a lot of students I work with enjoy:

    -Jimmy Needham (pop/jazz… think a modern-day Sinatra with Christian lyrics)
    -NEEDTOBREATHE (All the guys in this band are Christian, but they have enough mass appeal that they are opening for Taylor Swift this summer)
    -Phil Wickham
    -John Mark McMillian (Especially great for high school students… he’s a bit hipster)
    -Family Force 5 (rapcore group, great for middle schools students)
    -Mosquito Fleet (Up-and-coming band from Indiana)
    -Mumford & Sons (Ok, so they’re not openly Christian, but most of their sons have Christian values in them. Only problem is Little Lion Man, but the radio version takes care of that “f-word” problem)

    All of these bands have been on repeat in my iTunes for the last few months, and I’m only 21. I definitely would have listend to them in high school!

  9. Tom Bilderback says:

    I think about every Christian artist has been mentioned or discussed that I know of. Honestly the excuse that the quality isn’t the same is kinda lame, which i hear from Christians. I think its like the people who never go to church and say I dont like the church. They have no real reason except they just aren’t involved. When you never give it a chance then youll never have a chance to like it. I left secular music altogether one summer because I felt the messages weren’t edifying or helping me grow. Some years later I started listening to some of my secular stuff again and it’s all good. Still I love the artist who are speaking words of life and truth into my life more than the message of the world. It isn’t our message.

    Want to download some great indie bands who give away FREE albums in hopes of ministering into lives? Check out http://www.comeandlive.com . Give Ascend the Hill and The Ember Days a listen.

  10. Jon Forrest says:

    Jon, I have followed your website for a long time and have always enjoyed it, however I’m wildly offended to see that you consider “row row row your boat” a clean secular song. Hello!? “life is but a dream”? It’s the anthem for postmodern existentialism.

    By the way my tongue is squarely in cheek. I’m not even positive what “postmodern” or “existentialism even is.

    By the way Sanctus real and starfield are great.

  11. Brandon says:

    My two all time favorite Christian bands are Relient K and Mat Kearney, so good job hitting on that that one. I really liked the “raps” Kearney used to do in his songs. Unfortunately, he quit rapping on his last album; I imagine somebody at his record label told him he’d get more plays if he quit doing it. He has a new CD coming out soon.

    Another artist I really like, who has gotten a lot of publicity in mainstream music recently, is Owl City. Contrary to what somebody said earlier, the guy is a professing Christian. I have read several blogs and interviews, where he speaks very openly about his faith in Christ, as Savior and Lord. The only bad thing with Owl City is that I think they are one of those bands you either love or totally hate. I personally think their music is great, but a lot of people I know can’t stand it.

    I don’t listen to a lot of female singers, so I can’t attest to her music personally. My fiance and several of the girls in my youth group though, are crazy about Francesca Battistelli. So that might be a good suggestion for girls you know.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Brandon says:

    Also forgot to mention, I have a kid in my youth group who LOVES Eminem and Lil’ Wayne. I’ve introduced him to both Lecrae and KJ-52, and he said he thought they were both good and liked their music. Still hasn’t gotten him off Lil’ Wayne though hah.

  13. Andy Robertson says:

    Downhere
    Remedy Drive

  14. Joseph says:

    I feel what you’re talking about, Jonathan… I honestly have pretty much stopped listening to new Christian music. I keep up with worship music because I lead worship at my church, but in terms of stuff that I just listen to because I like the music, not so much.

    Christian music (mainstream, Top-40 Christian music, mind you) has finally hit a point where you can tell it’s Christian music just by the sound. It used to be the lyrics that set CCM apart from mainstream secular stuff, but we’ve developed our own sound now, and to be honest I think it’s boring.

    Every once in a blue moon or so a really good CCM group will come along. Most recently for me, it was NewWorldSon. They’re a pretty good mix of blues/soul/motown with a little bit of reggae and modern CCM mixed in. And, in typical Christian Top-40 fashion, their biggest radio hit by far has been “There Is A Way”, which is the least representative song in their catalog.

  15. amy richards says:

    First my fave: Relient K – you cannot beat Matt Thiessen’s awesome quirky lyrics plus the great sound they have developed over the years – a truly great pop/punk sound.

    Here’s my take on all this. There are some phenomenal musicians in the Christian music scene, but getting kids to listen to them won’t work as long as the kids are hooked into the local pop radio station. The reason those songs become popular isn’t because they are quality music – a few are – but mostly it’s because kids hear it over and over and over again. They play the same 3 or 4 songs every hour it seems! My kids (and me) go from hating a song the first time we hear it, to really liking it, to being sick of it in a week because the radio plays it to death.

    The key is getting kids exposed to the good Christian stuff that is out there – like taking them to a huge Christian music festival where not only do they see thousands of people jamming to Relient K or LeCrae, but they associate other great relational experiences with that music.

    The web, via MySpace, PureVolume, Slacker radio, Iheartradio, etc can be a great way to turn kids on to the “underground” sound of less well known but very good bands. There’s a segment of kids who take pride in listening to bands that “no one else” knows about. During youth group events have a kid who likes a less well known Christian band type in that band’s name in Slacker radio. Then Slacker will play other bands in that genre. Give kids the choice to “favoritize” or “ban forever” the songs that come on.

    My daughter discovered Needtobreathe, Dead Poetic, and a few others this way. More kids are listening to music on the web, using their computers as their jukebox while they do their homework. or they stream music through their iTouches, hooked into the family’s wireless internet. So pushing a few good “alternative Christian” webradio stations their way can be a good way to turn them on to great Christian music.

  16. Joe says:

    I see that someone already listed them, but I wanted to give another shout out to Seabird. I saw them open for Crowder a couple years ago and I was highly impressed. They have a coldplay type sound, and are really talented.
    I also agree that most of the mainstream Christian bands out there fall into the rock/alternative genre. I take our youth group to the Creation Music Festival each year and about 80% of the artists fall into that genre. Thankfully Lecrae will be there this year, and he’s even a main stage speaker. I’m hopeful that it will open up his fan base even more. We need more solid (biblically and musically) hip hop and pop artists!

  17. Jo-Hanna Ho says:

    Good Christian bands I like are:
    -Switchfoot (of course!!)
    -The Afters
    -Casting Crowns
    -Jesus Culture

  18. Brooks F says:

    Got to love a little August Burns Red and As I Lay Dying. I also likey Thrice’s newer albums that have some very heavy Christian influences. For worship I enjoy both Phil and Evan Wickham’s stuff. For a more indie sound, I really enjoy the bands Sleeping At Last, Lovedrug, and Copeland.

  19. Crystal says:

    Jonathan you did a great job & I have seen a lot more great suggestions here. There were some people saying they didnt know any “girl” artists the only one I saw listed was Francesca Battistelli who I love, but thought I would help out…

    Barlow Girl
    Britt Nicole
    SuperChick
    Addison Road
    JJ Heller (sounds kinda like Colbie Caillat)

    Other Artists I like that havent been mentioned are…
    (Punk)
    Hawk Nelson
    Fireflight
    Flyleaf
    (Worship)
    Blue Tree
    Brandon Heath
    Leeland
    (R&B/Rap)
    Mary Mary
    Souljahz
    Trip Lee

    I’m a youth leader my youth listen to Air1 Radio in California, there is also an app to listen on android and Iphone as well…
    I could go on and on… Hope this helps! =]

  20. Patrick Garrett says:

    All I will say is follow the label Tooth & Nail: the best since 1993.

  21. Brian King says:

    I just want to toss out Mars ILL, one of the best rapper/DJ combos. Tough to recommend to kids though because manCHILD (the rapper) is an “MC’s MC” (won the 2009 Red Bull freestyle) and not the “Christian version” of anyone out there, (and they play in bars more than churches). Deep, complex lyricist and not a knock-off of anyone. Maybe I’ll just have to enjoy them by myself…but I was stoked to hear that after 12 years, they still have another album coming out in a few months. Hip hop is still alive!

  22. Grace says:

    I love the quirky rap of John Reuban. His songs offer quite a bit of commentary about the fickle entertainment industry. Check out his video for “Word of Mouth”. He is a real performer in concert – he can sure engage a crowd.

  23. Tracey says:

    Great comments and suggestions. Not many girls listed. Superchick is great, also Natalie Grant, Nichole Nordeman and Bethany Dillon ( she is married to a Shane) You just can’t beat Reliant K forsounding like mainstream music and having great lyrics! I agree with Chris Reardon and others. I don’t usually listen to Christian radio, they play the same stuff over and over, and so much of it is OLD. There needs to be an oldies station for Christian music now! You can find great Christain themes in secular music, and that leads to a great discussion. I admit that I also like some music that is probably thought to be inappropriate, because of the beat amd the catchy lyrics. I was truly shocked a couple years ago when Poker Face was played at a Christian wedding I attended. For me, that was too much.

  24. iraida says:

    i think there are lots of cool Christian music, though, most kids are more secularized…i can say my daughter loves a lot of Christian bands, 3 of her favorite are tobi mac, hawk nelson and david crowder.. she is 14…. my son love lecra, tobi mac, red, skillt… but he recently start listening more to secular music, and his actituded has chg quite a bit, following more the world… though he is listenign the music i used to listen when i was his age, 70’s-60’s…i don’t like it but i rather that music than gaga, lil wayne and such

  25. I hear man! I’m not crazy about rock n roll like I used to be, I’m more into writing and recording acoustic music for the Lord. Music can help us find God, and ourselves in the process.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, these are tough times raising kids today.

    Thanks, Mark

  26. David says:

    I would add:
    Demon Hunter
    War of Ages
    Project 86
    For Today
    Becoming the Archetype
    Dark Lay Still
    ItheBreather
    Living Sacrifice
    Sleeping Giant (one of the most outspoken Christian bands I’ve ever seen and heard).

    To the Hardcore list.

  27. Tonya Berry says:

    Jonathan, you completely ignored an entire genre that a lot of Christians don’t want to admit exist in Christian music: Metal! And it isn’t just “fringe” kids who like it, at least not here in Ohio. Skillet and Kutless are great, but they are mom and pop music compared to Antestor, Tourniquet and frosthardr. I know you don’t like that kind of music, but what do you do when you meet kids who are into Disturbed and Marilyn Manson? Actually expect them to like Skillet? Night and day, Jonathan, night and day. No offense – again I know you and a lot of people don’t like metal and don’t want to steer kids toward it, but if they’re already listening to something that sings about the band’s ‘lord satan’, wouldn’t you rather them listen to Horde’s Wounded Bleeding Dying Antichrist, or Savior Machine’s songs that are almost all based on the book of Revelations? Just a thought. 🙂 (By the way if you have never heard of these bands – blame the judgmental Christian music industry who refuses to acknowledge the validity of these styles of music as ministry despite the huge success of events like BobFest in Norway and Cornerstone in Bushnell Illinois).

  28. Tonya Berry says:

    @ Grace: A huge THANK YOU for acknowledging John Reuben!!! His mom is on our ministry’s Board of Directors and is one of my best friends EVER! (Side note to Jonathan and anybody else who is not into harder music – she’s a Christian metalhead!) 😉 Love you guys, love to pick on ya.

  29. Justin Brown says:

    -Check out 4th avenue jones a driving force behind the Hip/Rock/Soul movement.
    -Canton Jones is also good he is more of an uplifting soulful hip-hop artist.
    -Israel Houghton the worship leader of the largest church in the U.S.
    -Hillsong good worship.
    -Francesca Battestelli soulful and inspirational music.
    -Addison Rodes.
    -Britt Nicole a modern day pop sensation in the christian world.
    -Cory Asbury.
    -Coffey Anderson very talented musician and vocalist.
    -Dj Maj smooth hip-hop
    -Barlowgirl amazing all female rock group.
    -Manifest Hip-Hop/Rap
    -P.O.D. heavy metal
    -Shawn McDonald worship.

  30. JD Scott says:

    Jon Go to a Hillsong United concert? or purchase the album Aftermath, and watch their documentary- We’re all in this together.

    I think your family would love it. -bigjohn

  31. Kelsey says:

    A lot of these are Repeats but I found this list and I liked the way it listed similar bands.

    1. A Dream Too Late – Jimmy Eat World, All American Rejects
    2. Anberlin – Bloc Party
    3. Barlow Girl – Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Saving Jane
    4. Big Daddy Weave – Jon McLaughlin meets Big & Rich
    5. Building 429 – Life house, Vertical Horizon
    6. Casting Crowns – Edwin McCain
    7. David Crowder Band – Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5
    8. Day of Fire – Seether, Velvet Revolver, Stone Temple Pilots
    9. Delirious – Coldplay
    10. Disciple – Three Days Grace, Hinder, Saosin
    11. Dizmas – As I Lay Dying, Evans Blue
    12. Family Force 5 – Beastie Boys
    13. Fireflight – Tsunami Bomb, Lacuna Coil, Damone
    14. FM Static – Blink 182
    15. Becoming The Archetype – Slipknot, Slayer
    16. Jonah 33 – Trapt, Seether
    17. Krystal Meyers – Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch
    18. Kutless – Nickelback, Trapt
    19. Leeland – Coldplay, U2
    20. Mae – Jimmy Eat World, Copeland
    21. P.O.D. – Mudvayne
    22. Pillar – Halifax, Disturbed, Crossfade
    23. Demon Hunter – Zao, the Agony Scene, Machine Head
    24. Hawk Nelson – Hellogoodbye, Blink 182, The Almost
    25. Underoath – Norma Jean, Botch, Atreyu
    26. Relient K – Fall Out Boy meets Beach Boys
    27. Project 86 – Rage, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring
    28. Stellar Kart – Good Charlotte, Blink 182, New Found Glory, Weezer
    29. The Supertones – Mighty Mighty Bosstones
    30. Decyfer Down – Three Days Grace, Daughtry
    31. Cross Movement – WuTang, Jurassic 5
    32. T-Bone – Juelz Santana, D4L, T.I.
    33. KJ-52 – Eminem, Fort Minor
    34. Soul P – Redman, Prodigy
    35. The Ambassador – Mims, Ludacris
    36. Flatfoot 56 – Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly
    37. Flyleaf – My Chemical Romance
    38. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster – Lovehatehero, He is Legend, Comeback Kid
    39. Mourning September – Fall Out Boy, Funeral for a Friend, Death Cab for Cutie
    40. Red – Third Eye Blind, Unwritten Law, Hurt
    41. tobyMac – Limp Bizkit, Kirk Franklin
    42. Nate Sallie – The Fray, Rob Thomas, Gavin DeGraw
    43. Jeremy Camp – Daughtry
    44. Thousand Foot Krutch – Korn, Trapt, Rage Against The Machine
    45. Third Day – Daughtry, The Wallflowers
    46. Run Kid Run – Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
    47. Skillet – Crossfade, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Finger Eleven
    48. Starfield – Maroon 5, Driving East
    49. Salvador – Los Lonely Boys
    50. The Showdown – Korn, Metallica

  32. Kelsey says:

    Also I really like DJ Triune

  33. Ashley says:

    I can really relate to this. It’s so hard to find good Christian music alternatives to the secular music I like. For example, I really like Black Eyed Peas… their music is funky and upbeat… but I grow tired of the references in their lyrics.
    First band I found that seems to have their upbeat and fun feel, was ‘Family Force 5’. I’m 28 and absolutely love their music… not just for middle schoolers 😉 They’re definitely unique (in my opinion). I’ve heard their sound be compared to LMFAO, but I’m not sure if that’s quite right. Whatever it is, I like it!
    Another group I recently came across was ‘Rapture Ruckus’. They’re from New Zealand and not well known in the states. On their Myspace page, they label themselves as a Pop / Rap / Rock group. I think they have a bit of a Black Eyed Peas feel to them too.

  34. ryan says:

    Propaganda is another really good artist I just discovered. He blends spoken word and rap in most of his songs, and he does some solely spoken word stuff that is really good as well.

  35. Sophia says:

    Christain rappers:

    LeCrae
    Flame
    KB
    PRo
    Thi’sl
    Json
    J.R.
    Tedashii
    Sho Baraka
    Trip Lee
    Andy Mineo
    Jai
    Swoope
    Pastor AD3
    KJ-52
    116 Clique
    Manafest
    Toby Mac
    V.Rose
    B. Reith
    Steve “Stone” Huff
    Kirk Franklin
    Grits
    Shai Linne
    Beckah Shae
    Montell Jordan
    Mouthpi3ce
    Da TRUTH
    Ambassador
    T-Bone
    Canon
    R-Swift
    Trinity
    Jin
    D-M.A.U.B
    theBREAX
    K-Drama
    Trubble
    Suzy Rock
    Cam
    Lil Prophet
    Rhema Soul
    John Reuben
    The Rep
    Shonlock
    Pettidee
    Rozie Turner
    Mary Mary
    Bizzle

  36. Lynn says:

    the book “Christian Music Sucks!” delves into this issue about why Christian music well…sucks. Not well-known, the book hits home about how Christian music IS a business, and how most Christian artists are “copy-cat” musicians who try to replicate popular bands by simply “Christianizing” their styles instead of being truly original…most importantly, Christian radio is notorious for catering to middle-aged Caucasians (for $$$). Listen to your city’s largest Christian radio station and count which artists are white…in my city, I checked the playlist for the primetime airtime (4 pm – 7pm), and their were only 2 songs that weren’t done by Caucasian artists.

    http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Music-Sucks-ebook/dp/B005JTC1B8

  37. Kristie says:

    I’ve gone off the beaten path. I don’t listen to CCM much anymore.
    Josh Garrels is an awesome singer/songwriter
    Waterdeep sings real songs for real people
    Brooke Fraser -never heard her on the radio-found her on itunes – amazing singer/songwriter

  38. ApologiaNZ says:

    I gave up on Christian music a few years ago, but have recently stumbled upon some really good Christian music.

    — Gungor — beautiful — check the YouTube videos
    — Josh Garrels — This guys voice is incredible. Loving the latest free album.
    — Josh White — Really great Dylan-esque sound (I hate pretty music with a passion)
    — John Mark McMillan — super voice — see his YouTube videos
    — e Daniel — best rapper I have come across and I really like this guys stuff — http://expansionmusic.com https://twitter.com/#!/iamedaniel

    — Others — Jon Foremans 4 albums are really excellent.

  39. Sierra says:

    all of These are certainly the BEST of the best in FREE christian Rap! No joke almost all of these can be found on noisetrade.com allright 🙂 here we go
    Zone out – by KB (FREE)
    Robot – by Trip Lee (FREE)
    Circa MMXI – this is a GREAT album (FREE)
    Who is KB – by KB this a HIGHLY recmended FREE album (FREE)
    Formerly known – by Andy Mineo. this is an album. also highly recomended (FREE)
    PSA volume two – by PRo . This is a great album. awesome rapper (FREE)
    until then – by Kareem Manuel . This is an album.I like this guy. (FREE)

  40. Rachel says:

    Wow! Everyone has a lot of bands on their list!
    Can someone give me some good Christian music that sounds like LMFAO or can be used for breakdancing? ….and suitable for an eight year old? I’m just not familiar enough with all the secular bands to find a comparison!

    • Rachel… good question. I haven’t found a lot of great hip hop music in Christian circles. Like I’ve mentioned before, I like LeCrae… but not much else. Take a peek at some of the comments here and sort through them, let your kids hear them and see what they think.

    • Meros says:

      try Group 1 Crew

  41. Heather says:

    I found an AWESOME YouTube site! This group took popular secular songs and re-made them using christian lyrics…some of the songs sound soooo much like the original!! Here’s the websites for it if you wanna look it up:

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCDDBECE8E02A4AB&feature=plcp

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA75C633B666C840B&feature=plcp

  42. Jake says:

    I’m a teenager and it seems like most Christian rock bands are too soft such as reliant K or are too hard such as demon hunter, I like the sound of Skillet but I’ve heard their songs 5,000 times each. It’s becoming old, I feel like that’s the reason I’ve started to walk away from christian music if you could find new bands that I haven’t listened to too many times that are in my preferred music types that would be awesome.

  43. Jake says:

    Since posting my last comment I have found a new band they are exactly what I am looking for, the name of the band is Forthangel I especially like their song white light. Check them out they’re crazy good.

  44. Rob says:

    POP:
    Mandisa (My kids and wife love her)
    Britt Nicole “GOLD” – Geared to a teen type audience, but very good.

    RAP:
    Of course Lecrae. Very good stuff.

  45. Rob says:

    A lot of Christian artists are just repeating the same message over and over again. The message is good but where is the passion and poetry and originality. Songs played on christian radio are borring. Sorry!
    My short list
    Waterdeep
    Steven Delopoulos
    Josh Garrels
    If you want to rock your face off listen to Brian Head Welch
    Jon Foreman-winter, spring, summer, fall
    burlap to cashmere

  46. Kay says:

    It is a CRIME that Starflyer 59 has not yet been mentioned in this discussion. Also, unless I’m mistaken, The Fray actually does have ties to Christianity/Christian music– no, it’s not their main focus, but you wouldn’t be running into any real problems with their music.

  47. Helio Lago says:

    I know what you mean Jon. I’m brazillian and I share the same felling as you. Im tired of hearing band with the same lyrics, same chords, always more of the same. I’ve been looking for something that surprises and amazes me and found some interesting things like:
    – Jimmy Needham (some kind of pop, jazz)
    – Forever Jones (pop, eletronic, whorship, ambient)
    – Jonathan David Helser (a real surrended worship)
    – Leeland (Worship, very intense… looks sometimes with Coldplay)
    – Newwordson (some kind of pop. Looks like Maroon 5, but less eletronic)
    – Method Echo (this one looks a lot like Maroon 5)
    – Sufian Stevens (music full of a lot different influences)
    – Salvador (pop, mixed with latin music. Looks like Santana sometimes)
    – Crombie (this one is brazilian. Is a mixed of reagge, bossa jazz, MPB)

  48. Kaleigh says:

    Chris Rice.

  49. anthony says:

    for those metal heads and shredders try christian metal like Demon Hunter, memphis may fire, For Today, Sleeping Giant, and there is a lot more just go on Youtube and search up Christian metal bands or Christian Rock bands. trust me you’ll find a whole crap load of them like I did.

  50. I’m going to stick my neck out here and invite you to listen and download my album at http://www.sandyharless.com. My friend’s daughters really love the song “Hold on to the Mountain” – Maybe yall will like it as well….or some of the others. “Here I am Again” was a song I wrote while leading youth worship. There is a lot of good indie music out there as well as the above listed names. 🙂

  51. Christin says:

    I just listen to Air1 radio (www.air1.com). They play almost all of the musicians/groups you mentioned and they have a good mix.

  52. K. says:

    I am a music lover that used to listen to secular music until I decided within myself I would only listen to music that gives God glory and praise while uplifting me and giving me courage and strength to do what God wants. These are the Christian bands I now listen to besides what you have listed already:

    Tenth Avenue North (My personal favorite), Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Sanctus Real, Third Day, Newsboys(both bands; lead singer changed in 2010 and they have two awesome albums), Matthew West, Josh Wilson, For King & Country, Francesca Battistelli, Downhere, Bulding 429, Brandon Heath, and Moriah Peters. These are just off my head. I will make a list of songs for you to try by these bands/singers.

    *Tenth Avenue North – By Your Side, Love is Here, Hallelujah, Healing Begins, Strong Enough To Save, You Are More, House of Mirrors, Losing, Don’t Stop The Madness, Grace, Worn, and Shadows are some of my favorites.
    *Jeremy Camp – Give You Glory, Beyond Measure, Let it Fade, Walk By Faith, Jesus Saves, The Way, Take A Little Time, No Matter What, There Will Be A Day, I Still Believe, Take You Back, and This Man.
    *Kutless – Strong Tower, What Faith Can Do, Amazed, God of Wonders, Redeemer (Medley), and You Save Me.
    *Sanctus Real – Forgiven, Lead Me, The Redeemer, Take Over Me, I Want To Get Lost, Whatever You’re Doing, and Promises.
    *Third Day – Lift Up Your Face, Children of God, Trust In Jesus, Revelation, and I Need A Miracle.
    *Newsboys – Born Again, Build Us Back, Escape, Miracles, Jesus Freak, God’s Not Dead, Revelation Song, I Am Second, and You Are My King.
    *Matthew West – The Motions, You Are Everything, Save A Place For Me, Life Inside You, My Own Little World, and Strong Enough.
    *Josh Wilson – Before The Morning, I Refuse, Fall Apart, and Saviour Please.
    *For King and Country – The Proof of Your Love, Busted Heart (Hold on to Me) and Middle of Your Heart.
    *Francesca Battistelli – Free To Be Me, I’m Letting Go, “Beautiful, Beautiful”, This Is the Stuff, and Motion of Mercy.
    *Downhere – Here I Am, How Many Kings, Let Me Rediscover You, Something Heavenly, and Coming Back Home.
    *Building 429 – check out their album called “Listen To The Sound”.
    *Brandon Heath – Jesus In Disguise, Give Me Your Eyes, and I’m Not Who I Was.
    *Moriah Peters – Well Done <- Awesome song I repeat when I listen.

    I hope I have helped in your quest to find good christian songs/music as well as anyone else. I love music that gives God glory and is about him and what he can do, so I feel these were good choices. I listen to the JoyFM on the radio. They play Christian music and this is the best place to hear new artists and songs that I know of. Here is a link if you'd like to listen online: http://georgia.thejoyfm.com/page/listen-live Hope you enjoy!

  53. Alex says:

    If you like Lecrae then you will love Canon. And I came across another Christian rapper named B. Reith, he has some good and funny songs.

  54. Dat says:

    from K-LOVE radio: Phil wickham, Casting Crown, etc…

  55. Emily says:

    Contrary to popular belief, there is actually good Christian music. Christians aren’t all boring people who don’t know good music or how to have a good time. Some good Christian artists are All Things New (soft rock),Britt Nicole (pop),Chris Tomlin (worship), Eleventyseven (electronic, not sure if Christian but pretty sure), Jamie Grace (pop), The Jellyrox (electronic), Owl City (electronic), Passion (worship), Relient K (soft rock), Skillet (rock), Tenth Avenue north (rock), and tobyMac (rap). There are many others, but those are some I have on my iPod and really like.

  56. ken says:

    I know this is an old article but, but seriously what you call hard is barely rock music. Grunge died in the 90’s the reason you see this style so much is because it’s just hard enough to keep the HxC kids from loosing thier minds and mainstream enough for the pop kids to be like oh I think I recognize this song. Now that I have that off my chest I can say I appreciate your position on secular music . By the way I’ve been studying Christian music for 20 years and can honestly say we have come a long way in some areas and others well, its like we’re going backwards.

  57. Livie says:

    I’m a 16 year old christian who loves all kinds of music. From classical to dubstep to country to metal but i feel that you are lacking in the metal side of the christian music. You might find that a lot of metal music might be really hardcore with too much screaming and bad words but if you look closely at the lyrics, some of these songs can really pull people through depression, bullying, and self-harm (i know since i have been through those three myself). One of my favorites is Memphis May Fire. They are Christians and almost all of their song mention God in them. Their lyrics mention addiction and trying to find himself or herself again and among other things. One example of a song from them is vices. It is the first song i’ve heard by them and it hit me right in the heart. The lyrics are so powerful they can bring tears to my eyes. Sleeping with Sirens’ lead singer Kellin Quinn is also a Christian although it is not as apparent in their songs, but just as beautiful. His cover of Iris is amazing along with many other songs such as roger rabbit and with ears to see and eyes to hear. Black Veil Brides is another one of my favorites. The lead singer Andy Biersack is atheist but grew up in a Christian family. He however is fascinated by many aspects of the Catholic faith (hence his band’s name) and does mention God in many of his songs. But his lyrics are simple but produce a very strong message. Songs such as knives and pens (a song about bullying) and in the end along with other songs are good influences on teens like me or even on younger kids. Also a match into water by pierce the veil (although not exactly a christian song) produces a sad but strong song about a girl who is dealing with self harm, bullying, depression and etc. Look up some of the lyrics to these bands songs. Even though you may think that the screaming might be a little too strong or a bad influence, just remember, the screaming is a technique to sing anger or sadness or frustration, not a tool to harm anyone. 🙂 i hope that you like these people. They’ve been a big part of my life, and maybe in your family’s too.

  58. Tom Walker says:

    If you a real lover of good Christian music, how could you add the automatic Nashville pop sound of Christ Tomlin ? Everything sounds the same. David Crowder ? The guy is awesome but he could not carry a tune in a tin tub. There is all kinds of good Christian music out there but most of it is not being played in the mainstream Christian radio industry. Most of the stuff they play is formulated to make money and it all sounds the same. If you’ve heard one you’ve heard them all. Take a look around and at least suggest some Israel Houghton, he has some original sounding stuff. Also don’t forget old singers like Keith Green who has absolutely profound lyrics.

  59. Sun Starr says:

    I’m a teen, and me and my dad love these Christian songs-
    1) Open your eyes By: Maylene & the Sons of Disaster
    2) Stronger By: My Heart’s Cry
    3) Whatever It Takes By: Pillar
    4) Kill Lies By: Reform The Resistance
    5) My Sweet Escape By: Run Kid Run
    6) Dagger By: Spoken
    7) Everything is Beautiful By: Starfield
    8) E For Extinction By: Thousand Foot Krutch
    9) Fly By: We As Human
    10) Savior By: Worth Dying For
    11) Change By: Above Only
    12) Castaway By: Chasen
    13) Fail-Safe By: Éowyn
    14) Not Hollywood By: ForthAngel
    15) Saints & Sinners By: I Am Empire
    16) We Were Shipwrecks By: Ilia
    17) Stronger By: Love Like Gravity

  60. Lee says:

    I can’t believe “oh how he loves” was listed as a song but not the definitive John Mark Mcmillan version from The Medicine

  61. Thetha says:

    Michael W. Smith’s songs are beautiful 🙂

  62. Lydia Skylar says:

    I reaaaalllyyy hate contemporary Christian music…in all honesty, it’s awful. That’s my opinion and it’s absolutely fine if you disagree! I like David Crowder, but it feels like I’ve heard all of his songs a million times. I just want a decent band. This has been a stumbling block for me so much lately. I try listening to Christian songs, but I always revert back to Panic! At the Disco, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, and other secular bands. I LOVE music, and I get really passionate about the bands I like. So just give me one or two good ones and I’ll be hooked.
    You said that we need more pop, mainstream-sounding music. BUT THATS LITERALLY ALL WE HAVE. Christian artists, ESPECIALLY the stuff they play on Christian radio, are very popish and non-original. To me, it doesn’t even feel like they’re praising God. There have been secular songs that make me feel closer to God, than most Christian music. What we need are young, new, fresh Christian artists that know what teens like. I feel like many Christian vocalists (no matter how talented) are middle-aged, mom-jeaned parents who think they’re getting through to a young crowd. I’m so sick of it. We need people we can relate to. I don’t know about you, but I can’t exactly relate to 30+ y/o folks. We crave new artists. We NEED new artists ;-;

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