Albums of 2022 - Gospel Edition
It's a few hours to the end of 2022 and we are at that time of the year when we reflect and reminisce on the year so far. From churches to concerts, to being alone in your quiet time, one thing is for sure; gospel music has, in one way or another touched our hearts. A satisfying reality of 2022 has been the growing appreciation for the content of songs in the body of Christ. Regardless of your preferred genre, you've had that song, or album, that has not only entertained you but ministered to your spirit.
While it is unhelpful to draw fixed borders around a definition of what Christian music is or can be, categorical boundaries can be helpful. For us, those boundaries have a lot to do with worshipful intent: Is the music coming from an earnest desire to glorify Christ and an authentic, unapologetic love for God’s Word? Regardless of genre, is it devotionally edifying? Does the music cultivate in listeners greater love for Jesus, an appreciation of his sacrifice on the cross, and its impact on our lives? If yes, we can call it Christian music.
In 2022 alone, there have been hundreds of gospel albums across different countries, languages, and genres that fall into this broad definition we have outlined.
In this article, we have curated fifteen gospel albums of 2022, that we believe are great in both production and lyrical content. In no particular order, let's dive in!
1. Kingdom Book One - Kirk Franklin and Maverick City Music.
Kingdom book one is a collaborative ‘prison ministries’ album with gospel legend Kirk Franklin, teaming up with the gospel music powerhouse, Maverick city music. This is a musical experience that goes beyond artists. It is God-breathed and Holy Spirit anointed. The lyrics throughout the album are raw and emotive, and the honesty at times confronting. Its impact has been felt in prisons around America, reaching hearts that have felt condemned, and bringing restoration to lost souls. We know that it is and will continue to make a tremendous impact globally.
2. Tribl Nights Anthologies - Maverick City Music
This is a series of covered songs with inspired worship moments and new songs featuring several traditional Gospel music artists. Tribl Nights Anthologies includes TRIBL artists, Maverick City Music, JJ Hairston, Jekalyn Carr, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, DOE, Melvin Crispell III, Amanda Cook, and more TRIBL family and friends, coming together for this live worship series. This is an inspired project, filled with messages of Jesus Christ from birth to death and the salvation that came thereof. It is a compilation of messages of hope, love, joy, salvation, and gratitude.
3. All Things New - Tye Tribbett
Music powerhouse, Tye Tribbett releases trail-blazing album via Motown Gospel. Staying true to his sound, Tribbett honors the musical tradition in which he operates, while redefining and stretching its limits within a modern musical landscape. He collaborates with industry friends, including PJ Morton, Kierra Sheard, Mali Music, Jekalyn Carr, and Zacardi Cortez to name a few. “I made this album to fight against the feeling of defeat in light of everything we have all been through these past few years,” says Tribbett. “I wanted to put a joyful experience out in the world to remind not just me, but all of us that there is still beauty to the world.” He continues, “Like my first single New says, ‘We not dead, we livin… Newer times for newer gifts.’ Hopefully, we can use a jubilant album to renew and refresh our souls!”
4. My Jesus - Anne Wilson
Amidst the whirlwind of the last year, Anne Wilson has maintained her southern charm and genuine love for others which shines through on her debut album. 'My Jesus' is her debut album featuring chart-topping hit "My Jesus". Each song on the album, co-written with songwriting heavy-hitters like Matthew West, Mia Fields, Jonathan Smith, Jeff Pardo, Emily Weisband, Ben Glover, and more, is specifically crafted, a moment-in-time snapshot of Wilson's self-discovery as she walks a new and unplanned life road.
5. Lion - Elevation Worship
What first caught our attention with this album was the cover art. It is such a paradox that the title of the album is Lion, and the cover art is a picture of a lamb. But that's not far-fetched, as Jesus is both the Lion and the Lamb.
Elevation Worship is a contemporary worship music band with a sharp sense of Unique rhythm and the humility to maintain God as their primary audience. This Album, with over two years of song writing and production, is one of the most well-rounded albums, and that keeps your focus on Christ regardless of what might be happening in the world. With hit songs like Same God, What I see, Lion, and Bye Bye Babylon. This will be an album for the ages.
6. Church Clothes 4 – Lecrae
Another album from our collection is a gospel rap album from the Grammy award-winning rapper Lecrae. Church clothes 4 is the 4th instalment of mixtapes from the artiste over the years, dedicated to speaking difficult truths. In his usual manner, as in the first three instalments, he speaks with a cut-throat sincerity, addressing hypocrisy and church divide, police brutality, loss, addiction, rehabilitation, love, surrendering to God, and the struggles of living right. If you are familiar with Lecrae, you know he's sure to deliver the bars, and he was as explosive as ever with this one.
7. My Beautiful Reality - CalledOut Music
CalledOut Music is a symbol of hope and excellence in the 21st century. Embodying years of work and excellence, CalledOut Music has soon become one of the most sought-after names gaining international recognition rather quickly. In this his third studio album, he beautifully encapsulates his journey, the journey of a believer. With each song blending seamlessly into the next, listeners are taken on a journey of life, trials, faith and what it means to be unconditionally loved by an ever-present Father. This is one of those "hard to pick a favourite" albums, as CalledOut Music gives us a blend of genres. No matter what stage of your Christian walk, there is a song for you in this album.
8. Healer - Casting Crowns
Following their GRAMMY, Dove Awards and Billboard Music Awards nominated 2018 release, Casting Crowns deliver a worshipful, deep, and thoughtful collection of original songs. Healer finds the group teaming up with some of today's top songwriters such as Matthew West, Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong Worship), and Kristian Stanfill and Brett Younker from Passion. Songs include "Scars In Heaven," "Anything But Easy," "The Power Of The Cross," "Desert Road," "Crazy People," "2nd Opinions," and the title track.
9. My Chains Are Gone - Reba McEntire
My Chains Are Gone is a collection of hymns and gospel favorites from Country music icon Reba McEntire. Featuring 12 tracks, the album is a mix of songs from Reba's 2017 GRAMMY Award-winning release, Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope, combined with four brand-new selections including the beloved "The Lord's Prayer" and "Because He Lives." The CD includes an acoustic version of "Back To God" (featuring Lauren Daigle) which has never been available physically before now. TV-G. Reba McEntire: My Chains Are Gone, Hymns and Gospel Favorites featuring three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire follows the success of her chart-topping debut Gospel recording with a companion LIVE performance. Recorded at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium & Clementine Hall with special guests, My Chains Are Gone finds the icon lending her unmistakable voice to classic hymns and newly-written songs of hope.
10. Sundays in Lagos – Limoblaze
It is no news that Afrobeat has taken its place among the recognised sounds in global music, breaking through majorly over the last five years. The same can be said in the gospel music scene. Afrobeat, or Afro-gospel as we like to call it, is a music genre that uses high-tempo African beats to express the gospel in song. And not many people do it as well as Limoblaze. In this amazing body of work, Limoblaze gets us on our feet, dancing and praising, acknowledging God as our source and proclaiming truth in a very entertaining manner. Every song in this masterpiece is one to listen to over and again, but we have picked out two to pay close attention to. Desire ft Emandiong and Jireh (my provider) which is an adaptation of the Maverick City Music hit track, and it features Happi and Grammy-winning gospel rapper Lecrae.
11. Everything Left Unsaid - Triple O
An incredible well crafted body of work with a inspirational narrative theme, centred around love and hope. Sonically the album sounds boast of musical journey borrowing from traditional gospel sounds and infusing contemporary Christian music with current sounding drill, afrobeat and lo-fi rap. An exciting soundscape across the various subgenres which sit underneath Hip-Hop music as a whole.
12. Names of God - Nathaniel Bassey
Nathaniel Bassey is a gospel artist who has released several albums, the most recent of which is “The Names of God.” This album makes our list for its uniqueness consisting of 15 tracks with different attributes or names of God.
“The Names of God” album is a mix of traditional gospel music and contemporary worship, with Bassey’s rich voice leading the way. The album has been well-received by fans and critics alike, with many praising its ability to evoke both joy and reverence. If you’re looking for a gospel album to remind you of the power of God, listen to “The Names of God.”
13. Forever – Marizu
Forever is another afro melody that can easily become a classic in years to come. The album speaks to our relationship with Christ and his undying love for us. It highlights God's intentionality in loving us as individuals in the collective. And reiterates an assurance that God is with us through whatever challenges we might go through. Marizu's winning vocals and compelling lyrics, coupled with top-notch production sets this album high on our rating. This ten-track album is as relatable as it is deep.
14. Truth In Sound - Victoria Orenze
Victoria Orenze is a powerful worshiper whose songs call for deeper fellowship, intimacy and desire with God. She has yet again released this spirit-filled album, Truth in Sound. The live recorded album, housing 13 powerful songs, bears the message of salvation, gratitude, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and a cry for an outpouring. This is not just a coalition of songs, but an encounter. Victoria Orenze not only sings but ministers through the entirety of the album, stirring a hunger for worship amongst listeners. The album is aimed at making Christians know God by his word and introducing unbelievers to Jesus.
15. Joy In The Morning - Tauren Wells
10-time GRAMMY® nominee Tauren Wells released his third album, "Joy In The Morning", a bold 10-song set. While the title captures the brightness that comes with the dawn, the songs capture the wide range of human experiences. “Throughout the sessions, I was thinking, ‘How many people can I encourage with this album?’” he recalls. “You can consider the pain. Consider the disappointments. Consider the dreams. And now, all of a sudden, you have a soundtrack that helps soothe the wounds or awaken the dreamer,” he adds. From the funky bounce of lead single “Fake It” to the R&B swing of “Breath Away” to the soaring piano ballad “Empty,” he’s redefines his musical lane in real time
Time will fail us to mention all the albums that were released this year - It indeed was a great year for gospel music. So many Spirit-filled albums of different genres that represent the sort of lyrical depth and musical creativity that gives us hope for the future of Christian music.