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Top Gourmet Songs of 2016

posted: January 17th, 2017 by Larry S

In addition to choosing the annual Top 11 Gourmet Albums, the esteemed UTR Panel of Critics picks individual songs that have impressed, moved, or impacted them in some way this past year. It's a very personal task from a panel with a variety of musical tastes, and as such we find this list to be extremely interesting. Below is an excellent list to dig through to find some hidden gems, something unusual, or a great new song to add to your library. We are excited to list the 50+ Top Gourmet Songs of 2016 chosen by our critics, in no particular order.

[Songs are eligible from any genre if they are by a Christian artist/songwriter and were released between 12/1/15 and 12/1/16.]

  • "Watchmen" - Tanya Godsey  ("Written during a time of deep trial – the most inspiring song of 2016." - Larry)
  • "Sparrow" - Branches  ("Confessional lyrics meet a driving, passionate anthem." - Dave)
  • "Roses" - Brettan Cox  ("For anyone who has ever desperately chased after Christ." - Joe)
  • "Field of Failure" - Eric Peters  ("Expresses the futility of thinking we could be or do enough on our own." - Garrett)
  • "Is It Real?" - Andy Gullahorn  ("Gullahorn’s classic disarming humor and thought provoking twists." - Jen)
  • “Live it Well” - Switchfoot  ("Words to express the feelings of your heart." - Kevin)
  • "Don’t You Weep When I Die" - Kerosene Halo  ("Upbeat song about the reality of life after death." - Ann)
  • "I Wanna Know" - Lauren Mann  ("A roadmap to a deep, strong marriage bond." - Garrett)
  • “You Know It” - Colony House  ("It’s beach-worthy pop with substance." - Lindsay)
  • “Healed” – Dogs of Peace  ("Gets us thinking about the difference between redemption & sanctification." - Russ)
  • "Kumalo" – Matthew Clark  ("A fun and unique song about God’s mysterious grace." - Joe)
  • "Electric Mind" – Chris Taylor  ("Vulnerable look at life with epilepsy, and some stunning guitar work." - Larry)
  • "Prove It" – Crowder [w/ KB]  ("He hits a new gear." - John)
  • "New Every Morning" - Audrey Assad  ("Sounds every bit as timeless as the classics." - Jen)
  • "Money & Fame" - Needtobreathe  ("Horns, guitar, groove, soul, & a warning about fame & fortune." - Garrett)
  • "Oh Give Thanks" - Wendell Kimbrough  ("A retro-folk throwback complete with campfire singalong." - Dave)
  • "I Love The Way You Love Me" – Phil Keaggy  ("Who doesn’t love a great love song?" - Ann)
  • "Farthest Shore" – Eric Peters  ("Atmospheric, stirring, hopeful, and sad." - Jen)
  • “Runnin’” - Relient K  ("Demonstrates just how much they are capable of and how far they’ve grown." - Russ)
  • "Slow" - Starflyer 59  ("Takes a look back at the last 20 years & grapples with getting older." - Garrett)
  • "Kyrie" - Emmylou Harris [w/ J.P. White]  ("Staring down the road ahead, we pray Lord have mercy." - John)
  • "Is It In You?" - Maron Gaffron  ("A bluesy-rock call to use what God has given you, with superb vocals." - Larry)
  • "Joy in These Bones" - Sarah Hart  ("Heartfelt, upbeat expression of praise, yet void of worship cliche." - Dave)
  • “I Surrender” - All Sons & Daughters  ("This song is all about trusting in God." - Kevin)
  • "Not Too Late" – Andy Gullahorn  ("This song of 70 x 7 chances should be on everyone’s playlist." - Joe)

  • "I Won’t Let Go” - Switchfoot  ("Achingly sweet; perfectly imperfect." - Lindsay)
  • “My Victory” – Crowder  ("Crowder’s most accessible corporate worship song to date." - Russ)
  • "Thank You For Everything" – Jason Gray  ("A well written song straight from a broken and thankful heart." - Ann)
  • "High Priest" – Rivers & Robots  ("It’s a Christmas song, a worship song, and an 80s alt-pop throwback." - John)
  • "Walk" – Joy Ike  ("Exceptional writing and execution with a challenge to do what needs to be done NOW." - Larry)
  • “Tanks” - Satellites & Sirens  ("A much needed call to action message for Christians." - Kevin)
  • "Take This Slowly" - The Gray Havens  ("Dripping with passion & authenticity. The 2nd verse slays me." - Dave)
  • “Wild World” - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors  ("Recorded it in one take with a sole acoustic guitar." - Lindsay)
  • "Let the Silence Speak" - Jaylene Johnson  ("For all of you who hurt, this song is for you." - Garrett)
  • "Maintain" – Jonathan McReynolds  ("Captures the acoustic improvisational soul of his concerts." - John)
  • "Heal Us" – Indelible Grace [w/ Blessing Offor]  ("This gospel tinged song from I.Grace is wonderful." - Larry)
  • “Freedom 2.0” – Andy Gullahorn  ("Weaves introspection & humor together into one relatable song." - Russ)
  • “Praise The Lord” - Crowder  ("The best song on Crowder’s new album."- Lindsay)
  • "There is a Balm in Gilead" - Giants & Pilgrims  ("G&P's only song from 2016 - full of hope & healing." - Dave)
  • "Pictures on the Wall" - Karen Choi  ("Pictures on the wall don’t mean much without your loved ones." - Garrett)
  • "Death Without a Funeral" – Jason Gray  ("Story of chapters closing, little deaths in life that go unmarked." - Jen)
  • "Some Birds" – Anthony Quails  ("Shares this message in an original and thoughtful way." - Joe)
  • "Westboro Blues" – Phil Madeira  ("There's never been a better time to recognize that love trumps hate." - Larry)
  • "White Bikini" – Charlie Peacock  ("A song of enduring and endearing love his wife." - John)
  • "Walls" - Gracie Schram  ("Amazing songwriting chops at age 18. This song can help us all be more brave." - Dave)
  • “Day by Day” - Citizens & Saints  ("Congregational song that hits home with the poignant lyrics" - Kevin)
  • "The Fire” - Ginny Owens  ("Exquisite with its simple, explicit gratitude for the hard moments in life." - Lindsay)
  • "This Is Love” – Sanctus Real  ("Intriguing new sound & smart interpretation of lyrics inspired by scripture." - Russ)
  • "Looking for America" – Switchfoot  ("If I had to define 2016’s national conversation with a song, this is it." - Jen)
  • "Live Alive" - Rend Collective  ("A fun song and probably better since it is live." - Ann)
  • “Still Breathing” - VERIDIA  ("Reflects the conviction and strength we can all have." - Kevin)
  • “Amaryllis” – Christy Nockels  ("A thoughtful take on the meaning of Christmas." - Russ)
  • "You Hold It All” - Travis Ryan  ("A song written for every hard season." - Lindsay)
  • "Song For A Winter’s Night" – Audrey Assad  ("Audrey snuck this gem out just as the weather turned." - John)

This list is a bit unique in that we cited every individual song... and there really is no right or wrong.  These are the songs that really connected with the hearts and ears of each panelist.  What songs released in 2016 would be on your list of the top songs?  Are there any of these songs that are new discoveries thanks to these recommendations? Can you identify which two artists have three songs in this list?

Comments (3)

I know the answer to which two artists have three songs in the Best Songs list. But I am not telling.

Larry S 01:29 PM Sun, Jan 22, 2017

There are actually 3 artists with 3 songs on this list. There are 2 artists with 2 songs. Now I need to buy 5 albums!

emily b 01:35 AM Wed, Feb 01, 2017

BTW - Andy Gullahorn, Switchfoot, and Crowder, plus Audrey Assad and Jason Gray with 2 each.

emily b 01:37 AM Wed, Feb 01, 2017

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