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So Far From Home - Brave Saint Saturn (2000)

When Five Iron Frenzy's lead singer and lyricist Reese Roper started writing songs that didn't fit the usual Five Iron music style, Brave Saint Saturn was born. This side project was created by Roper as an outlet for his thoughts on such subjects tragedy, sorrow, and hardships, things he thought too dark and emotional for Five Iron Frenzy. His Five Iron Frenzy band mates Keith Hoerig, and Dennis Culp contribute their talents to the album along with former Five Iron member Scott Kerr.

Shimmer - Luna Halo (2000)

Equation: two guitarists of the now-defunct Reality Check plus two of their friends to fill the vacant rhythm section equals an outfit that makes a nice debut, but are obviously music freshman, right? Wrong—with Luna Halo, the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts, and Shimmer works as both a pop, rock, and worship album. First track "Aliens" emits a swarthy meditation on panting for purity of mind and motive.

Lay It Down - Jennifer Knapp (2000)

Not long ago she was just "a little white girl from Kansas" pouring her heart into songs that she played for close friends and church members. Today Jennifer Knapp enjoys the phenomenal success of her music that witnesses to people all over the world. She's not in Kansas anymore. No one expected the manner in which the Christian music industry would enthusiastically receive such a new comer, but Jennifer has managed to be no stranger to the spot light, receiving national acclaim and numerous awards, and landing a spot on the Lillith Fair Tour.

Underdog - Audio Adrenaline (1999)

Reflecting on God's strength in our weakness, Audio Adrenaline takes that topic into circumspect with their latest studio release. Underdog is a unique mixture of all of Audio A's best, including the original sound and style fans have grown to love over the years without slacking on the message. Of course, with several various musical genres on the album, there's bound to be something in Underdog to please everybody, from straight-up hard rock to rockabilly to a mock coffeehouse song!

Much Afraid - Jars of Clay (1997)

Riding high on the success of Christian music's best-selling and highest acclaimed debut, four guys faced more pressure and expectation for their 1997 follow up than most artists face in their entire existence. Would Jars of Clay be a one hit wonder? With Much Afraid's release, all agree that question is certainly answered in the negative. Eleven tracks of profound honesty, undying passion and tender insight, with the listener gaining as much from the acoustic backdrop as the multidimensional lyrics.

Jesus Freak - dc Talk (1995)

Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max finally "unrapped" themselves back in 1995 when they released what would soon be the best known album in the Christian music industry, Jesus Freak. Five years later, the album has been certified a platinum status and is quickly on its way to double platinum. To the delight of most fans, dc Talk was able to change their sound without changing their style throughout the 13 tracks on this release, as the early rap-core title cut proves.

Upbeats and Beatdowns - Five Iron Frenzy (1996)

At first glance, this gang may seem a little strange, maybe a little demented. Their lyrics heathen and their music too loud, but second glances show that this crew has a heart for Jesus. One of the top ska bands of today, Five Iron Frenzy is rating up there with groups such as Supertones and Insyderz. Their lyrics are truthful, their music jumpy and exciting, and the band members have such a sense of humor that you can't help but love them.

The Elms EP - The Elms (2000)

Unassuming and ungaudy, the first band of the year to be added to Sparrow Records’ roster, The Elms, give modern music fans a savory taste of their upcoming full-length project in this impenetrable self-titled EP. “Goodnight Rosa” thrusts listeners into the Elm’s polemic observations on “love ~ and all the crazy things it’ll make a person do.” With a one-two punch of tight, strong vocals and a pop-yet-rock chording, Owen Thomas (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Chris Thomas (drums, vocals), and James Thompson (guitar, vocals) show promise even with just the first cut.

Bleach - Bleach (1999)

Since their last album, Static, Bleach has evolved quite significantly, noticeable through their lyrics and their style. Sporting this new attitude and a new band member, former Seven Day Jesus drummer Russ Fox (who now plays bass guitar), Bleach has finally released their self-titled project in hopes of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ even further. The question is, will these changes affect how they do the job?

Bloom - Audio Adrenaline (1996)

It's an album the band has found hard to top, an uncontrolled statement of trust, energy and salvation urging listeners to Bloom. The opener screams the "Secret" of God's immeasurable love, unhindered in it's rock bombardment. "Never Gonna Be" stands it's own as one of the hottest Christian singles of all time, a strong melody stressing humility and the enduring glory of Jesus. Though it's easily forgotten first time through, "Good People" thanks the everyday fans and folks who AA have met, and see as their role models.

Drummer Boy EP - Jars of Clay (1995)

Jars of Clay's Christmas EP, Drummer Boy, was originally released on Essential Records in 1995 (a second version was released in 1997 on Silvertone Records). This follow-up to Jars' self-titled album includes new versions of well-known carols and Jars tunes, uniquely arranged and gracefully performed. It takes its audience on a flashback to the early sound of Jars of Clay, while celebrating the joyous birth of Jesus.

International Anthems for the Human Race - All Star United (1998)

If you've heard ASU's first release , you've already noticed that this is no ordinary Christian rock band. True to their name, All Star United has toured worldwide since their self-titled debut; to Sweden, Russia, Belgium, India...the list goes on. Their sophomore release, International Anthems for the Human Race is a reflection upon those experiences.

Jars of Clay - Jars of Clay (1995)

Back in 1995, the world fell in love with a fresh-out-of-college band who called themselves "Jars of Clay". Their first single, "Flood", smashed the Christian/mainstream radio barrier and set the standard for today's Christian music. Although the Jars' guys comment they had relatively low expectations at first, they were unaware that their self-titled debut would eventually sell over 2 million copies, gaining them a double-platinum status, more than any other Christian group or artist at the time.

If I Left the Zoo - Jars of Clay (1999)

If I Left The Zoo, the much anticipated third release by Jars of Clay, is being hailed by some as the best album of the year, and with good reason. Jars of Clay has an ongoing record of unforgettable CDs, including the famous self-titled album that made the jars boys legends in the Christian music industry and the award-winning sophomore album, Much Afraid. Jars of Clay has continued their tradition of excellence with their latest CD, released on November 9, 1999.

Point #1 - Chevelle (1999)

Call them intellectual punk, relaxed fit rock, or concentrated bass groove-the only label that sticks for Squint's new band is Chevelle. Brothers Pete (vocals, guitar), Joe (bass) and Sam (drums) Loeffler pack a real punch in their debut's eleven tracks, journeying from fallen nature ("Point #1"), to the healing, vision and freedom God wills. Distorted and grating at its core, "Open" rocks out the project with an intense mix of track two's progression. The title cut rebukes the folly of adding our loss in light of Christ's immeasurable love.

With Abandon - Chasing Furies (1999)

From the melodious piano solo that opens the CD to the ear-pleasing sound of the electric guitar that is woven throughout it, With Abandon, the debut album from Chasing Furies, takes the listener on a non-stop joy ride. Siblings Sarah (vocals, guitar), Rachel (piano, bgv's) and Joshua (vocals, guitar) Meeker, make up Chasing Furies, a band that has taken Christian music by storm. This album's lyrics leave the usual cookie cutter lyrics of most albums behind in a cloud of dust, as Sarah and Josh dare to take the listener deeper into their minds, feelings and personal experiences.

Kansas - Jennifer Knapp (1998)

Jennifer Knapp starts off her first CD with her a cappella "Faithful to Me," which conveys so much truth through her beautiful voice and honest lyrics: "Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile ~ To One Who sees past all I see ~ Reaching out my weary hand, I pray that You'd understand ~ You're the only One Who's faithful to me". It then jumps right into "Whole Again", which questions if giving up our life is what God really wants us to do. The driving guitars and soaring vocals of Jennifer all through the CD are worth Kansas itself.

Starlight Wishlist - Glisten (1999)

Direct lyrics and an inescapably tough sound attack pride and mediocrity with Glisten's forceful integrity in both focus and feeling. "Untainted," with it's distorted, yet recognizable progression, sets a frenetic pace for of faithful commitment for Starlight Wishlist, an at least unique album concept. Gentle electric characterizes "Abandon All," an outline of moving past the first step of surrender, while "Choose Me" cries with a grating metal earthiness in it's appeal to Jesus for wisdom on relating to the world.

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