From the Vault...


Various Artists
"WOW Hits 2009"

© Word/EMI Records

Year of Release: 2008

track listing
  • "Every Man"--
    Casting Crowns
  • "God With Us"--
  • "Call My Name"--
    Third Day
  • "Jesus Messiah"--
    Chris Tomlin
  • "Let It Fade"--
    Jeremy Camp
  • "You Are Everything"--
    Matthew West
  • "Cinderella"--
    Steven Curtis
  • "How You Live
    (Turn Up
    The Music)"--
    Point Of Grace
  • "Mighty To Save"--
    Michael W. Smith
  • "All Because Of Jesus"--
  • "Set The World On Fire"--
    Britt Nicole
  • "Your Grace Is Enough"--
    Matt Maher
  • "Song Of Hope
    Come Down)"--
    Robbie Seay Ban
  • "In Better Hands"--
    Natalie Grant
  • "Sound Of Your Name"--
    The Golden State
    Disc Two:
  • "Everything Is
    David Crowder Band
  • "This Is Home"--
  • "Friend Like That"--
    Hawk Nelson
  • "The Best Thing"--
    Relient K
  • "Love Is Here"--
    Tenth Avenue North
  • "Washed By The Water"--
  • "Give Me Your Eyes"--
    Brandon Heath
  • "I'm Letting Go"--
    Francesca Battistelli
  • "Lose My Soul"--
  • "Jesus Loves You"--
    Stellar Kart
  • "Count Me In"--
  • "Unbreakable"--
  • "Already Over"--
  • "All Along"--
    Remedy Drive
  • "Sleeping In"--

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    Various Artists
    "WOW Hits 2009"

    The Christian WOW music series is similar to the NOW (Pop) music series. The WOW series releases albums based on a year's production of popular Christian music, and adds a few tracks that are considered "future hits" for the upcoming year. All popular songs were from Billboard Magazine.

    WOW started in 1996. From that year until 2000, their album titles were WOW (year), as in WOW 1996, WOW 1997, etc. Afterwards, their albums were titled as WOW Hits (year), as in WOW Hits 2000, WOW Hits 2001. Another WOW series is WOW Worship, focusing on praise and worship songs. They released the following in this series, starting in 1999: WOW Worship Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow, Red, Aqua, and Purple. Three colors from this series reached #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart: Blue, Orange, and Yellow. There has been numerous (regular) WOW albums that also reached #1 as well: WOW 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, WOW Christmas, 2004, 2005, WOW Number 1's, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2014, 2015. (From 2009 on, each WOW album has reached #1, and this will most likely continue in the years ahead.) Also to mention, there is also the WOW Gospel series, focusing more on the (Black) Gospel/Christian genre.

    Speaking of #1, some of the hits that reached #1 are also a part of the WOW collections. This week, we look at the 2009 set, in which it was released late in the previous year, 2008. Six hits from this set reached #1 in 2008: "God With Us" (MercyMe), "Call My Name" (Third Day), "You Are Everything" (Matthew West), "Let It Fade" (Jeremy Camp), "Washed By The Water" (NeedToBreathe), and "Give Me Your Eyes" (Brandon Heath). All of these songs reached #1 during 2008. In fact every song that did reach #1 appears on the 2009 compilation.

    Each WOW album is a 2-disc set. 30 songs total for the 2009 compilation. The first disc is the better of the two, in my opinion, as the songs here are of "Pop" fashion, and very pleasant in sound. The second disc, however, does have the "Pop" sounding tracks, yet some of the tracks have a "harder-edge" sound. Bands such as Switchfoot, Hawk Nelson, Relient K, and Fireflight tend to sound more like Alternative (Hard) Rock and even Punk.

    But the best artists here are those who have had numerous success at #1, either with their hits and/or albums. Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac are all here, likewise the newer popular acts, such as Francesca Battistelli, Tenth Avenue North, Brandon Heath, Britt Nicole, and the David Crowder Band. Even newer bands get an appreciative nod, such as Fee, the Robbie Seay Band, and Stellar Kart. "Bonus" tracks are those in which out for, in the upcoming year. These acts are Above The Golden State, Remedy Drive, and Nevertheless.

    As mentioned, six songs reached #1 on the Billboard Christian chart in 2008, and all appear on WOW Hits 2009. Of the acts who all appear here, most reached #1 with an album in 2008: Casting Crowns, David Crowder Band, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Hawk Nelson, Jeremy Camp, Relient K, Third Day, and Chris Tomlin. 15 albums reached #1, and Steven Curtis Chapman and MercyMe achieved two albums in the same year. The second #1 from MercyMe was a Christmas album.

    For each WOW album, I'm sure there are other numerous tracks that could have easily been included. Such as the bands that have a more hardcore Rock sound (yes, there are bands like this, in the Christian genre). Because of their "sound" it would not really match the other songs. Bands such as P.O.D., Norma Jean, Underoath, to name a few, will not have their songs on a WOW compilation. However, like in Heavy Metal bands that record ballads, the hardcore bands mentioned and others, if they did record a popular ballad, they would be included.

    WOW Hits 2009 is the first of many compilations reviewed here on WSVNRadio. More of these compilations will follow, and like 2009, they all are favorable albums, spotlighting on the popular hits throughout the annual year.

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