40. “I Gotta Be” – Jagged Edge (1997)
From A Jagged Era, this song came out just as I was beginning to lose interest in R&B and dive head-first into rock music. I was always a sucker for slow jams like this one, and the music here is one of my favorites in all of the genre.
39. “Nobody” – Keith Sweat (1996)
This comes from Keith Sweat’s self-titled album. Similar to “I Gotta Be”, “Nobody” also has some of my favorite music in all of R&B. Honestly, it’s probably my very favorite. The reason this song doesn’t rank higher is because of the lyrics. As a married man, I’m fine with a song being about sex, as long as it doesn’t specify or insinuate that it’s about sex outside of marriage. I just think the lyrics could’ve been a little more subtle and tasteful. When you listen to this jam, focus on that atmospheric, beat-heavy music. The remix of this song is also worth seeking out.
38. “Fell in Love at 22” – Starflyer 59 (1998)
The Fashion Focus is one of the greatest purchases I ever made from the discount bin, and that didn’t happen until around 2007. Somehow I made it through the 90’s without ever really diving into Starflyer, despite being relatively deep into christian culture. Here’s one of my favorites of the many beautiful, dreamy-sounding songs Jason Martin is responsible for.
37. “A Man You Would Write About” – 4Him (1991)
It was probably my upbringing on southern gospel that made the four-part harmony sect of CCM sound appealing to me when I was first beginning to develop my own music tastes. This song most-likely came out before I even knew there was such a thing as christian music that wasn’t southern gospel or found in the hymnal. It is, however, one of my favorites to listen to when I need a jolt of cheesy, outdated music that I can sing along to in bass or baritone. Yes, these are actual desires I have. Plus, I find the subject of the song to be rather unique.
36. “When I’m Thinking About You – The Sundays (1997)
I referred to Harriet Wheeler as my favorite female vocalist in a post a couple of years ago. My wife, who has a beautiful singing voice, was not ecstatic to read those words. So…My second favorite female vocalist, Harriet Wheeler, delivers a fantastic performance on this pretty ballad from Static & Silence.
35. “Don’t Go Away” – Oasis (1997)
It’s ok if you did a double-take to make sure that didn’t say “Wonderwall”, “Champagne Supernova”, “Live Forever”, or “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. I get it. Be Here Now was the album where everyone started to jump off the Oasis train, and for good reason. This was the only song on the album worth having.
34. “Somewhere North” – Caedmon’s Call (1999)
I’m pretty surprised that only one Caedmon’s Call track made this list. This song is from 40 Acres, which isn’t even my favorite of their albums (that would be their self-titled album). Derek Webb delivers a fantastic lyrical and vocal performance on this one, though. It’s the only Caedmon’s Call song that I find myself coming back to on a regular basis, and I have been for 16 years.
33. “Reject” – Living Sacrifice (1997)
You’ve made it this far into the list without something to bang your head to. I sincerely apologize. Please accept my apology by listening to one of the greatest metal songs, from one of the greatest metal albums (Reborn), by one of the greatest metal bands.
32. “Advent of a Miracle” – Strongarm (1997)
Most of you probably won’t understand my love for this song from the album of the same name. That’s fine. The most simple way I know to describe it to you is to say that this is the sound of intense passion. When the focus of that passion is on The Lord, it makes these kinds of songs sound even better to me.
31. “Come Undone” – Duran Duran (1993)
From Duran Duran [The Wedding Album], this song may be better than anything they recorded in the height of their popularity (The 80’s, duh.), aside from the ridiculously great Rio closer, “The Chauffeur”. Here, they channel the darker pop sound that makes “Hungry Like the Wolf” sound like Kidz Bop.