Top 10 Worship Songs of 2017: A Half-Yearly Review

Darlene Zschech

We are almost half way through 2017, here's a time to look back at our favorite worship songs for 2017 from January to May.  In order for a song to qualify for this list, it needs firstly to be a song focused for the communal worship of the church,  Second, the song needs to be released this year.  And thirdly, only songs that were submitted to us were considered.

10. "Hearts of the Fathers" by Nathan Jess from "Phoenix"

Co-written by Matt Redman and Jess, "Hearts of the Fathers" deals with a topic rarely mention in today's worship music's rhetoric:  the broken home.  This uniquely written ballad speaks of how broken families can turn to God for healing.  In a culture of family dysfunctionality, this is a must-hear. 

9. "Reverse" by Greg Sykes from "Reverse"

"Reverse" is prided on the fact that it is solidly grounded in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. With its elongated electric drum beats and grinding guitars, Sykes reminds us that God often uses our setbacks and disappointments for His glory and for our good.

8. "God I Look to You" Bethel Music featuring Francesca Battistelli from "Starlight"

Maybe it's the familiarity but the Francesca Battistelli-led "God I Look to You" has a magnetic power to it.  From the first synth notes to its propulsive chorus, you can't help but worship along.  What's of interest is that the chorus bears a striking similarity to Hillsong Worship's "What a Beautiful Name."  Is this a case of Brooke Fraser listening a little too much to Bethel?

7. "The Cause of Christ" by Kari Jobe from "The Garden"

Many worship speaks of loving Christ, but not many speak of loving Christ with that absolute resolve as The Cause of Christ."  If worship music is to be used to formulate our hearts, this song will cause a Godly imprint.  "The only thing I want in life/Is to be known for loving Christ/To build His church, to love His bride/And make His name known far and wide."

6. "Fall Away" by Iron Bell Music from "God That Saves"

"Fall Away," written by Stephen McWhirter, Mia Fields and Jonathan Smith, is powerful prayer to God for Him to strip away every distraction in worship.  Without any frills or beeps added, this is helps us focus on what's really important in worship and that is God himself.

5. "You Will be Praised" by Darlene Zschech from "Here I Am Send Me"

If there is a song that best captures Zschech's heart throughout her cancer ordeal, it has to be "You Will be Praised."  Co-written by Jenn Johnson, Paul Baloche and Zschech, "You Will be Praised" is a God-glorifying anthem about praising God in life and in death.  And when she sings about death, you know it's not just hyperbole to her.

4.  "God Who Moves the Mountain" by Jaci Velasquez from "Trust"

The buzz track is the radio single "God Who Moves the Mountain."  Formerly cut by Dustin Smith, the power of the song resides in the fact that it is a song that not only speaks to the heart but also to the eyes.  When Velasquez sings, "The rocks are falling, the broken calling/To the God who moves the mountains/The earth is shaking, the weary waking," you can't help but feel the debris falling all across us as God moves the mountains out of our paths.  Few songs today are as visual and as graphic as this powerful mountain shovel

3. "Everlasting Arms (Lean Hard)" by Lou Fellingham from "This Changes Everything"

 Never one to settle for mere conversational platitudes devoid of any integration with poetry, with "Everlasting Arms," Fellingham takes the works of Annie J. Flint and sets it to tune of a gorgeous ballad.  The lyrics by themselves are worthy of careful rumination: "He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater/He sendeth more strength as our labors increase/To added afflictions He addeth His mercy/To multiplied trials He multiplies peace." 

2. "Here I Bow" by Brian and Jenn Johnson from "After All These Years"

From her use of her lower registers to her flawless falsettos, Jenn Johnson shows us how God can use our array of vocal hues for his glory.  She delivers again with what could be her seminal performance on the heartfelt power ballad "Here I Bow."  With her full-bodied vocals that hold the song together with a holy awe, "Here I Bow" is a powerful song of surrender to God. 

1.  "You Are Great" by Darlene Zschech from "Here I Am Send Me"

"You Are Great," a song written by Zschech and Martin Smith, is set in the key of majesty. Written during Zschech's bout with cancer, the song doesn't wallow in her pain or her discouragement.  Rather, focusing on the greatness of the Lord despite our circumstances, this magnificent crescendo-building ballad cumulates with some soaring awe-filled Holy Spirit moments in the bridge as Zschech belts, "We stand in awe/We stand in awe/We stand in awe Jesus."   


Tags : top 10 worship songs 2017 Darlene Zschech Jaci Velasquez brian and jenn johnson bethel music grey sykes lou fellingham nathan jess iron bell music Kari Jobe Francesca Battistelli

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