The respected editorial team at ChristianMusicToday.com has named the Best Artists of 2004. Steven Curtis Chapman and Sanctus Real lead a list of honored EMI CMG acts that also includes Chris Tomlin, Switchfoot, and tobyMac.
Chapman, who released ALL THINGS NEW in 2004, is recognized in the Best Male Vocalist and Best Solo Artist categories. Summing up his artistic strengths, ChristianMusicToday.com writes:
"Chapman's music sounds more catchy and relevant today than it did ten years ago, fusing his familiar approach to songwriting with varied pop/rock sounds reminiscent of Five for Fighting, Coldplay, and John Mayer. And likewise, he sounded more energetic than ever on the ALL THINGS NEW tour last fall. As he sings on the new album, he's 'only getting started.'"
Sanctus Real is among the Best Band honorees while lead singer Matt Hammitt made the shortlist of Best Male Vocalists.
"Early in 2004, this Ohio band got off to a strong start by making the most of "Beautiful Day," a U2 cover that ironically got them nominated for a Gospel Music Award. Then they demonstrated that they were capable of even better with their much heralded sophomore effort, FIGHT THE TIDE. Power chords, cool guitar licks, and strong vocals?cHammitt strikes a nice balance between loud and melodic. Check out the high notes he belts on choruses like "Alone" and "The Fight Song."
Chris Tomlin, who released his best-selling ARRIVING album last fall featuring the #1 hit "Indescribable," is another Best Male Vocalist. ChristianMusicToday.com declares, "One of the most respected worship leaders and songwriters of today also has one of the strongest and most underrated voices."
Switchfoot, still gaining momentum with its double platinum album, THE BEAUTIFUL LETDOWN, made the Best Band list as well. The Web site says, "They've become the hottest thing in Christian music today, and we can hardly wait to see what artistry and opportunities arise next."
tobyMac tops the Best Solo Artist list, the editors calling him, "an eclectic rock/hip-hop act, a record label executive, and an industry leader. WELCOME TO DIVERSE CITY is one of the year's best albums, but more importantly, tobyMac is making great strides in the spotlight and behind the scenes uniting people of diverse races and tastes under the banner of Christ."
Read the full Best Artists of 2004 report at ChristianMusicToday.com.