The year may have just come to a close, plus it’s still a few weeks before the new music release cycle really starts heating up again, which makes the start of this new year a perfect time to look back on our favorites of 2015. Though I didn’t have the chance to listen to every single project that released last year, if only for the sheer quantity spanning so many genres, record labels and independent offerings, there were certainly several standouts across those I specifically reviewed for CCM.

If my round-up possesses any theme, it appears to be linked by artists of faith who aren’t only making a major impact amongst Christian radio listeners, but quite literally music lovers across any walk of life. But make no mistake, everyone I’ve selected is never afraid to say exactly what they believe, while making sure to balance both artistically interesting yet accessible musical landscapes.

So whether it be the hip-hop-infused pop sounds of the eternally youthful TobyMac, the classic metallic rock of Stryper or the R&B-stacked gospel grooves of Jonathan McReynolds (to name but a few), hopefully they’ll be a little bit of something for everyone. As you can see, diversity continues to be a constant throughout my listening palette and there was definitely no shortage of that on CCM’s speakers in 2015!

Andy’s Top 10 (click on album cover to read review):
Review-TobyMac-ThisIsNotATest-Aug1-2015
Stryper
Jonathan-McReynolds-Album-cover-Life-Music-Stage-Two
Sara Groves, Floodplain, CCM Magazine - image
Review-TheMcCrarySisters-LetsGo-Mar15-2015-250x250
TGH-FireAndStone-AlbumCover-250
Review-Fireflight-Innova-May15-2015
Review-MikeLee-AllINeed-250x250-Jul1-2015
OwlCityReleasesMobileOrchestraToday-Jul2015
ManafestReborn

List: 1. TobyMac, ***THIS IS NOT A TEST***  2. Stryper, Fallen  3. Jonathan McReynolds, Life Music: Stage Two  4. Sara Groves, Floodplain  5. The McCrary Sisters, Let’s Go  6. The Gray Havens, Fire & Stone  7. FireFlight, INNOVA  8. Mike Lee, All I Need  9. Owl City, Mobile Orchestra  10. Manafest, Reborn 

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About The Author

Andy Argyrakis
Contributing Editor

Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Entertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name a few). Additional photo credits include Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, MTV.com and Vibe.com. He’s also the author/narrator of "Access Matthews" (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel’s "Gospel Dream" (where he served as season one judge).

  • Tobymac is forever the best 🙂 If you hadn’t ranked him at number one, I’d have asked if there was something wrong with you! Also, you got Owl city in, so you’ve covered my genre!
    But seriously, This is not a test is literally the best album I’ve ever heard.