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New Zealand Worship Leader Tops Christian Music Today List of 2008 Albums

Contact: Russ Breimeier, ChristianityToday.com, 630-260-6200 ext 4390, rbreimeier@christianitytoday.com

CAROL STREAM, Ill., Dec. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian Music Today, the online music website for ChristianityToday.com, has published its selections for the Best Christian Albums of 2008, an annual list that is regularly one of the year's most-read articles on the site.

"As we went back into the process of selecting the year's best albums, some of our panelists expressed initial concern that there weren't enough great releases in 2008," says online music editor Russ Breimeier. "They quickly changed their tune after the nominations came pouring in and we whittled our way down from 40 albums to a top 12."

The final list includes a mix of relatively unknown independent releases and new bands making their national debut, as well as some more familiar faces. According to Breimeier, that's exactly how it should be. "We don't make these lists to affirm popular artists or to be different for the sake of being different. It simply reflects the favorites across the diverse cross-section of our panelists. But my hope is that the list still reminds readers of some of their favorite music from the year while also introducing something new that we feel creatively articulates the Christian faith."

Topping this year's list is an admittedly unusual choice for Best Album--Brooke Fraser's Albertine. The album originally released more than two years ago, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Fraser's worshipful alt-pop finally found its way to the U.S. There's nothing strange, however, about the mature and elegant style of this worship leader, who also writes and performs as part of Hillsong United. With comparisons to Sarah McLachlan and Nichole Nordeman, Frasier's music is described as "credible, relevant sounding and created with artistic excellence."

The runner-up is equally unusual, as the panel agreed to consider Jon Foreman's Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall EPs as one collective work. Released over a 12-month span and representing 26 songs, the solo work form Switchfoot's frontman delivers "poetic songwriting [that] alternates between the relational and scriptural, sometimes reworking biblical passages into inventive outpourings to the Almighty."

You will find the full list with commentary and honorable mentions at http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/reviews/2008/2008bestof.html.

Christian Music Today was started in 2000 as the online music magazine for ChristianityToday.com, offering weekly album reviews, interviews, and other features.