In defense of Glo - and different tastes

I’ve made peace with the fact that a divergence in taste is rarely a cosmic injustice. 

It took me some time. I remember being in a chat circle as a young teenager not long after Switchfoot released their second album. “Every song on that album is good!” I said ecstatically. 

A guy in the circle who had never spoken to me before simply looked across and said, “No.” 

I’m still a little stunned. Not just because he disagreed. He disagreed with authority. He didn’t say, “Wasn’t my thing.” He said, “No.” 

By and large, however, as mystifying as our different likes can be, I’ve learned to accept them. It's. O. Kay. So I was in a healthy frame of mind when I scanned Josh Balogh’s 100 Greatest Christian Albums of the 00s.  

One hundred is a big number. To have listened to so many albums that, after discarding the disappointments, you can still recommend a hundred is impressive. It’s an investment of time, attention, and, in the early 2000s, money. Even though I knew my own preferences wouldn’t match his rankings, I admired the mere fact that Josh and others at Jesus Freak Hideout give so much thought to what Christian artists produce. Hard work and bravery go into every record. 

Still, there was one title I wondered about. Many of my friends missed it when it came out. But surely there was room in the hundred for this special record to be remembered. 

It wasn’t there. 

“Nice list!” I commented. “Had you heard the Glo album by Delirious?” 

Before Hillsong United and Passion came around, Delirious? was one of the few young touring bands cutting overt worship albums. (The second time I saw them in concert some dude named Chris Tomlin opened for them.) But they had a lackluster praise band sound that didn’t win much loyalty from my friends, so most of them stopped paying attention.

Shortly before boarding a flight to Brazil, I got their 2000 release Glo for the trip. 

I tell you. Glo was the perfect soundtrack for a girl’s first overnight flight. It’s an immersive, ethereal, worshipful album experience that pairs perfectly with the 30,000 foot view of city lights and continental coastlines and the closest, broadest, most brilliant view of the sunrise a typical worldling can get. I looped it over and over on my Sony Discman, with the Pop EQ setting for maximum bass. 

We rarely have a great context for hearing new music. We’re distracted, or the sound system is poor, or it doesn’t fit the mood. I had the perfect context to hear Glo for the first time, and it's no wonder it won me over. But, I really do think it was a great album for the decade. Would have made my top ten for sure. 

Sadly, I can’t even think of nine other Christian albums from the 2000s to finish the top ten. Too many changes in life, taste, and motivation were going on to pay much attention. Not at all to say there weren't that many good ones - certainly there were. They just didn't reach me. 

So I wondered what you would say? What are your favorites from that decade? The only authority you need is your own taste.


P.S. I am enjoying the new album from Mission House!

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