156. City On a Hill – Various Artists
CITY ON A HILL (2000)
Very few “various artists” album are included on this countdown. The handful were chosen based on their originality and performances. One one is a collection of songs from other albums and is included based on its importance to the birth of Jesus Music and one is simply the best tribute album ever. The rest of unique and powerful projects worthy of inclusion like “Streams” and “Brow Beat.”
City of Hill proved that good worship songs could simply be good songs, performed well and passionately and beautifully delivered. The brainchild of members of the Choir and their friends, City on a Hill became one of the biggest selling collections in CCM history, and for good reason.
The initial reason was the debut of the now “classic” (in the truest sense of the word) worship favorite, “God of Wonders” by Mac Powell of Third Day and Caedmon’s Call. It, along with “I Could Only Imagine” are representative of the best of worship music in a pop setting. But that was not the only song of lasting value or of great presence.
Jars of Clay’s “The Stone” is stunning in its simplicity while Third Day’s “I’ll Remember You” is both an amazing song and proof that Gene Eugene is one of the greatest songwriters of his generation. Eugene also appears on “Marvelous Light.” “Merciful Rain” proved to be the best song in FFH’s entire history.
Sixpence None the Richer, The Choir and Sonicflood also take part on this amazingly beautiful album that has proven to be a lasting project. Subsequent albums in the series came across like money grabs as the material was nearly as strong and were quickly rushed into the market though the Christmas album would be an exception (and owes quite a bit to the wonderful “Noel” album).