The #1 seed: “Sing Your Praise To The Lord”, Amy Grant. You might make the accusation that I set up this entire bracket myself, with no input from anyone, to find a way to force Amy Grant to have the #1 seed in it, and specifically so that the song could be this Rich Mullins classic with the classical piano lead-in and the orchestral explosion that leads into the chorus. You might make that accusation. I’m not going to deny it, either.
Song you may have forgot: “Undo Me”, Jennifer Knapp. You may have forgotten the song because of everything that’s emerged since then. I personally wish Knapp still was associated with Christian music; I value the big tent, and the “faith industrial complex” seems to push people who don’t fit a very narrow picture of “believer” out. Regardless of that position, however, the song stands alone and the message holds up: a singular voice crying out for redemptive power.
Song you should know: “How To Grow Up Big And Strong”, Mark Heard. One of the more influential songs of the 80’s and early 90’s was first recorded on a forgotten side project of Heard’s called iDEoLA, and has the most dated sound in the field. Christian music audiences might recognize is as the driving rock track from Rich Mullins’ A Liturgy, A Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band. Global audiences, on the other hand, might recognize Olivia Newton-John’s version.
(Speaking of dated, I’m not linking that Olivia Newton-John music video. You can find it if you want. I’m warning you.)
The low seed: “Rocket And A Bomb”, Michael Knott. This is purely my twisted sense of “importance”, and the space set aside for the most alternative of Christian-alternative voices. The song is at once nonsensical and iconic, a rambling list of complaints and a brave and strident anthem of individuality. It’s as far in left field as anything called “Christian music” could possibly get, it’s got the most questionable of spiritual value, and I love it, and I will recommend it to anyone.
And Mike’s set up to be Amy’s sacrificial lamb here. Sorry, Mike.
Songs 65-96 – Round 1
(1) “Sing Your Praise To The Lord” (Amy Grant)
vs. (32) “Rocket And A Bomb” (Michael Knott)
(16) “If You Want To” (Daniel Amos)
vs. (17) “Imagine Me” (Kirk Franklin)
(8) “Undo Me” (Jennifer Knapp)
vs. (25) “Waves” (Resurrection Band)
(9) “Hope To Carry On” (Rich Mullins) vs. (24) “How To Grow Up Big And Strong” (Mark Heard/iDEoLA)