Editors' Notes Casting Crowns craft rousing CCM infused with touches of alt-rock and folk. They broke out with their 2003 self-titled record, on which singer/songwriter Mark Hall's examinations of faith, struggle and perseverance rest upon grungy riffs that recall fellow U.S. Southerners Collective Soul. Subsequent albums—including 2014's acoustic-rich Thrive—find them exploring softer textures, with Hall's storytelling remaining unflinchingly honest. The hit “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” is an atmospheric anthem exhorting fellow Christians to exercise greater mercy and open-mindedness.

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