The One21 Essential 100 Pt.5

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2
Check out Pt.3
Check out Pt.4

Eso Charis
Eso Charis
Eso Charis

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
At the turn of the century, the genre known as metalcore was trying to kind its holding in the hearts of extreme hardcore and metal fans. Like many new trends, the combination of hardcore and metal was having a hard time coming off as anything BUT a trend, and then came Eso Charis. Interesting, creative, aggressive, and passionate were words that surfaced in almost every review of the self-titled debut (and sadly final album for the band). Every track on the album plows forward in such angry progression you would swear the members of the band might reach through the speakers and pull you back with them. The two key things though that made Eso Charis so great though was the extremely unconventional song structure and the worshipful lyrics. Each song featuring a rollercoaster of starts and stops, twists and turns that didn’t lend much to the accessibility of a fan’s first listen, but allow it to stay interesting after the 20th. The lyrics cry out to God for change, and banish the devil from the band’s hearts; so it is no wonder the screams sound so painful. This album is what metalcore could achieve if the passion behind it was righteous, and Eso Charis continue to show people how it was supposed to be done.
Highlights: The Judas Swing, Processed Bodies, The Narrowing List

Kate Miner-Prodigal Martha
Prodigal Martha
Kate Miner

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Simply a masterpiece, both musically and spiritually. Using a dizzying array of musical styles and instruments Kate Miner builds her case for stripping away the trappings of Christianity to truly worship Christ. Kate explained, “It starts in that really broken place. The chorus of the title track goes “Father I know it’s here. It’s been so long since I’ve sat at your feet, will you recognize me?” It’s a great journey. I think it’s quite relevant for people in the church. I believe that we all get hung up in that. We’re all doing good work. It’s not like I slipped and went into prostitution and had a heroin addiction. I just kept doing ministry things.” The Kate Miner we love is here with her declaration of Christ, “Jesus”, which opens with “Does anybody here need Jesus? I got something to say . Does anybody here need heaven? You may hot here what I have to say? The she bursts into a rocking declaration of Jesus Christ. Finally, the heart breaking “Who Will Cry” touches on our weaknesses and our sadness and how we just walk past each other.

Then there is the voice, raw, powerful with a heart wrenching tone. Kate Miner uses her voice powerfully and tenderly to touch just the right string in our soul. Finally, Prodigal Martha features maybe the best worship song of the 21st century, “Covered.” Simple piano and percussion underneath a whispering Kate singing quiet, worshipful words of submission and praise. She then let’s looses with “Covered by grace, covered by light, covered by the fullness of you.” I defy you to listen without stopping to worship.
Highlights: Covered, Come To The Water, Who Will Cry For Me?

Innocence Mission-Glow
The Innocence Mission

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Glow is a musical treasure that immediately starts with a dreamy riff, taking you by the hand for a journey of tunes and floating guitar evoking the feeling of spring fever. “Keeping Awake”, probably the most famous song on the CD, communicates peace and calm, but it’s the little details that stand out. The imagery is evocative: family members sitting under trees in a dreamed-for tomorrow; a girl dancing into her room; the sense of peace at having everyone home; and, most of all, the sense that “My room is held in someone’s arms,/my bed is held in someone’s arms.” This last little detail — God holding the speaker’s bedroom — points to the often subtle ways in which The Innocence Mission communicate their Roman Catholic faith. Glow evokes a sense of drinking cold sweet lemonade on a sun drenched porch, or driving your car with the top down on the first fresh, warm day in spring.

If you’ve never heard The Innocence Mission before you must know that they require you to listen. Sparse quiet guitars, with some piano and percussion you barely notice, The Innocence Mission delivers music in a whisper, but what a whisper. You will be blown away by Karen Paris’ vocals and poetry, think Natalie Merchant meets Bjork . The childhood memories displayed on this album are moving, and the songs paint incredible pictures with an economical use of words that hint at larger vistas. Glow can still grab you from beginning to end more than a decade after its 1995 release.
Highlights: Keeping Awake, Speak Our Minds, Brave

Brooke Waggoner-Heal For The Honey
Heal For The Honey
Brooke Waggoner

Buy this album: iTunes
Heal For The Honey is what can happen when talent is expressed in its most pure form. Heal For The Honey is the creation of Brooke Waggoner, a young songwriter making her way through the underground indie scene in Nashville. With only an EP under her belt, Waggoner wrote and recorded her 2008 full length with hauntingly beautiful results. Heal For The Honey is creative, delightful, and most of all progressive. Most songs sound more like small symphonies than pop songs, combining piano, strings , and percussion in a way that both feels classic and innovative all at the same time. Earlier when I said Brooke wrote Heal For The Honey, I mean SHE WROTE everything you hear in the album; including all the string arrangements.

Heal For The Honey also puts Brooke Waggoner‘s lyrical abilities on display in full force. While most of the songs may come of as introverted, she paints such a lovely picture of the world with memories of cold winters, deep forests, and lite hearts. It will be hard to listen to Heal For The Honey and not be alble to completely fall in love with every single aspect of it.
Highlights: Beaut, Live For The Sounds, Tender Mending

Jason Upton-Faith
Jason Upton

Buy this album: iTunes
When Faith came out in 2001, most people had no idea who the passionate worship leader named Jason Upton was. It also didn’t take most people very long to figure out that Jason Upton was a very special man of God. Faith is an album like no other, filled with prophetic lyrics, progressive song structures, and an air of improvisation as Jason leads a congregation in a worship service that would make the Brooklyn Tabernacle look like they conduct puppet shows for two year olds. Powerful isnt the word for this music, because that would simply put a limit on the energy behind these songs.

In many other ways, Faith is completely unique in its approach to worship, with more focus on the Holy Spirit than melody; songs like “Freedom Reigns” makes the listener yearn for as clear of an understanding into the heart of God as Upton has. These are the kind of songs that change things. They penetrate, and work their way into the heart of the listener. No matter where you are, or when you hear it, Faith has the power to stir things in your spirit you didn’t even know existed, and change the way you see worship music forever.
Highlights: Freedom Reigns, No Sacrifice, I Will Wait

eMusic Is The Coolest

One of the biggest surprises since we have started One21music is the lack of interest our readers have shown in eMusic.
Download 25 FREE songs at!
This was the first ad we put on our site. We thought people would flock to get 25 free songs. No one has explored the trial subscription, so I thought I would give you a testimonial from an excited subscriber. But first let me explain eMusic.

eMusic is the #1 site for independent music, with a library of over 4,500,000 MP3s.  eMusic sets itself apart from other well-known subscription music services (such as Napster and Rhapsody) because eMusic customers truly own the music they download.  The files available for download are in the MP3 format, making them fully compatible with all digital music players, and free from digital rights management Hippo software restrictions such as expiration dates, or copying or CD burning limitations. eMusic’s MP3′s play on any portable music player (including the iPod and Zune), can be downloaded to unlimited computers as well as burned to CD.

Here is how it works.  You can subscribe to download  25 to 100 songs each month based on the subscription level you buy.  The base subscription is 25 songs ($11.99 per month), then grows in 25 song increments (50 songs for $14.99, 75 songs for 19.99, 100 songs for $24.99).  eMusic offers about 25 different plans bu these are the most popular.

I have been a subscriber for over a year and my co-founder has been a subscriber for about nine months.  We love, l-o-v-e, eMusic.  Ian maintains a list of over 100 CDs and uses up his subscription on the first day it is available.  I like to save my downloads to use over the month.  Today is May 8th and I have already downloaded 65 of my 100 songs, so I am not such a good saver.

These downloads are just like buying the CD’s or downloading songs from iTunes, except they are cheaper and you own them.  If you really like music, or if your CD store is the electronics section at WalMart or if you are just cheap; eMusic is for you.  I downloaded , on their release date, the highly acclaimed new CD from Beirut for @$2.75, the EP from Bon Iver for $1.00 and M.Ward’snew one for $3.50.  Beat those prices WalMart and iTunes.

But more than convienence and thrift, eMusic has great services to help you find music you will love.  You can browse by genre, editors’ picks, new music, free tracks, advance releases, members ratings and any combination of those categories.  eMusic has music journalists writing artist and genre features and reviews.

Finally, eMusic has an extensive collection of songs and CDs from artists we have profiled on One21music. See the list below.

I encourage you to at least give eMusic a try.
Download 25 FREE songs at!

By the way, eMusicalso has a similar service for ebooks if you like to listen to ebooks
Heard any good Audiobooks lately? Get one free!

One21Christian Music Artists on eMusic

Jason Upton
August Burns
Iris Dement
The Ambassador
Josh Garrels
Cold War Kids
Fiction Family
Enter The Worship Circle
Bodies of Water
Cool Hand Luke
Kirk Franklin
Brooke Waggoner
Buddy Miller
Nicole C Mullen
Pigeon John
Bosque Brown
Paper Route
The Welcome Wagon
Kate Miner
Bradley Hathaway
Jeremy Egnik
Mute Math
Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love
Brooke Fraser

Christian Artists To Know: Kate Miner


Kate Miner
Genre: Worship
Sub-genres: Rock, Folk-Rock, Singer-songwriter
Location: Southlake, Texas
Label: Floodgate Records
Christian label: yes
Category: The Spiritual whats this?

ESPN is running another of their silly special series where they select the Mt. Rushmore of sports for each state.  But, if I were to name the faces I would carve into my Mt.Rushmore of worship music artists the first face I would carve into the mountain side would be Kate Miner.

Kate Miner has a huge voice that she uses to great impact on her soaring pure, rock oriented worship anthems.  She employs the beautiful tone of her singing voice to bring intimacy to her soft worship poems. Kate Miner’s worship music possesses a raw emotional transparency that brings worshipers to their knees. Kate’s worship music leaves behind any traces of the pop country/jazz/easy listening 70s sound that has pervaded much of the praise & worship style since the early 80s.  When Kate Miner rocks, she rocks hard.  However, the real beauty of Kate Miner’s worship music is the quiet she brings to her ballads that demands stillness from her listeners.

We were visiting my son.  He had been touring with youth camp ministry “Wild Week” and we had not seen him in a month.  We rushed into the sanctuary to see him before one of our favorite worship acts Among Thorns started the service.  He excitedly ran up to us and said “I am glad you are here.  There is a guest worship leader playing with Thorns that is blowing everyone away.  Her name is Kate Miner.  She came with only her husband and the Thorns are begging to be her back-up band.”

A few minutes later a small blond stepped-up to the mic with her acoustic guitar and magic began to flow from the speakers.  Big soaring vocals fueled worship anthems of love and honor for God.  Then I saw the lyrics for the chorus of “Carry Me”:

I am human; I am spirit

I am bound though I am free

Bound by earth though I’m not of it

Carry me

Though the music was loud and drums were thundering, I was whisked away to an intimacy with God that is the only true test of quality worship music.

Kate Miner has sung with Tonio K, Pierce Pettis, Christopher Williams, Michelle Pillar, Randy Stonehill, Mark Heard, The Choir, and FunderburkMiner. She was on stage with Mark Heard at his final Cornerstone concert one month before his sudden death . In 1992, Kate Miner was named Female Acoustic Artist of the Year by the National Academy of Songwriters.

Kate Miner was a rapidly rising star in the Christian music scene.  By 21, she had a recording contract with Word Records and a co-publishing/development deal with Sony Music Publishing.The road to further music business success and celebrity stretched ahead and was seemingly hers for the taking.

Then, Kate Miner walked away.  She couldn’t help noticing that her involvement with the worship music at church was becoming more meaningful and gratifying than anything offered by the music industry. God was pointing toward a specific purpose for the talent He’d given her, and though reluctant at first, Kate Miner would ultimately refer to this new career focus as “the reason I was born.”

Kate Miner and her husband, David served as worship music directors for the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Malibu, in California, for several years.  Then, in 1999, she began releasing independent cds.  Kate Miner has since released six cds independently, selling over 50,000 of each without national distribution.  In 2005, she released a worship masterpiece on Floodgate Records, Prodigal Martha.

Kate Miner is bringing a level of artistry to worship music that is equaled by only a few.  She sings strong, direct, no-nonsense worship songs, straight from the heart.  Buy her cd’s, all of them and step into a rousing experience of redemption, grace and mercy.

I must end this post with bad news.  Kate’s daughter, Olivia, informed me that Kate has walked away from her music.  This is a great loss for modern worship music.  We wish Kate the best and I encourage all of her fans to pray for her.

We can still enjoy the blessing of the worship music God delivered through Kate.

You can find her Prodigal Martha and Live From the Strip at iTunes

Kate Miner

If you want to hold a cd you can get these titles from Amazon

Prodigal Martha

Live from the Strip

Look for the others at used CD stores or on eBay.