’90s Christian Essentials

’90s Christian Essentials

Contemporary Christian music has always loved a good pop ballad, and that didn’t change in the ’90s. Susan Ashton, Ray Boltz, Michelle Tumes, and many other golden voices offered up plenty of tender meditations on God’s love. But the ’90s were also a time of youth revolution. TobyMac and DC Talk broke the mold of what a CCM band could be with a mash-up of hip-hop, rock, and electronic music every bit as cool as anything heard on MTV. Also changing the game were Audio Adrenaline, Delirious?, and Jars of Clay, who created fuzzy riffs inspired by the secular kids’ slacker alt-rock. Even Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, both sublime balladeers, crafted youthful hits mirroring what was hot on the pop charts. These developments went supernova at decade’s end when Creed delivered Christian rock to the masses via roaring grunge anthems that boldly brought together spiritual yearning with teen angst.

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