Various Artists

Christian Music's Best: Pop

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Christian Music's Best: Pop is a complement to another various-artists album called Christian Music's Best: Worship, and the distinction between the two CCM collections reflects their subject matter, at least to some extent. This disc opens and closes with what could be called "worship" songs, Matthew West's "You Are Everything" and Phillips, Craig & Dean's "Your Grace Still Amazes Me," but in between, some of the sentiments are not as focused on praise of God, or express that praise only by implication. Britt Nicole's "You" is one of those CCM songs that are understood to be about God in context, even though the lyrics as written and emotively sung might be about a really great boyfriend. Newsboys' typically anthemic, typically U2-ish "Something Beautiful" is clearly spiritually intended, even though it praises "love" rather than God per se. Elsewhere, God is part of the story, but not the center of attention, notably in Hawk Nelson's lament for the loss of romantic love, "Everything You Ever Wanted," in which "Jesus" is rhymed with "pieces," in the sense that things are falling to pieces emotionally, religious faith notwithstanding. And in the rap/rock-tinged "Gone" by tobyMac, the singer remonstrates with a friend whose inappropriate behavior has cost him his girlfriend, who takes comfort in her faith in God. The collection is thus a reminder that there are many ways for religion to come into everyday life, not just in prayerful worship of the deity.

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