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    For our 8th annual Highlighting feature, we split the year into TWO pieces -- January to June and July to December. Each list contains 15 artists/releases for a total of 30 in total for 2014. So, without further ado, we give you Highlighting First-Half 2014!

  1 of 15  


JFH's Highlighting 2014 Winner!

#1. Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil

Release Date: April 2014
Forget dc Talk, Steve Taylor fans have been waiting 21 years for a brand new studio album from the acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer/director/etc. But not only is Taylor back with a brand new album this year, his band, "The Perfect Foil" stars CCM legends John Mark Painter, Jimmy Abegg, and Peter Furler! Yup; this'll be good.
        - John DiBiase

What do you get when you mix a former Newsboy, a former Ragamuffin, half of Flemming & John, a Christian music pioneer, and a highly successful Kickstarter campaign? Apparently, Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil, possibly the oldest, most accomplished "new" group to hit the scene in decades. It's hard to imagine anything less than excellence from these guys.
        - Mark Rice

In the past few years, I've come to appreciate the multi-talented Steve Taylor a lot for his incisive way of seeing the world, though my knowledge of his past music is limited at best. But man, how could you not be intrigued by this project? Steve Taylor and Peter Furler collaborating again? Can't wait to hear what comes of this.
        - Jen Rose

As inconceivable as it may seem, it has been two decades and change since Taylor last put out a studio album under his own name. Of course, he's been more than busy during the extended stretch between albums, writing and producing for everyone from Guardian to the Newsboys, and even trying his hand - quite successfully, as it turns out - at movie direction and production. Still, as much as he placed his inimitable stamp on other artists' recordings, his fans are rightly excited to have him once again take his rightful place behind the microphone and serve up an album's worth of his typically witty and incisive ditties as only he can.
        - Bert Gangl

I'll admit it... I didn't expect this at #1. Nor did I expect Peter Furler to appear on this list twice. But indeed, we at JFH are united around utter excitement about Steve Taylor's return to music. I first heard about this project from my 2011 interview with Peter Furler, so it's been a long time coming to see this oft-rumored collaboration actually happen. Steve Taylor and his friends are shaking things up this April, and 2014 is already an exciting year for music.
        - Roger Gelwicks

If you haven't seen Steve Taylor's Kickstarter video where he reapplies for his "license to rock" at his local DMV (Department of Music Veterans) and goes through a hysterical lead singer test, then you need to go there right now and see it. Taylor has not lost a step humor-wise, and Christian Music is all the better for having his wit and cultural commentary back in full swing,
        - Alex "Tincan" Caldwell

With a clever and astoundingly successful KickStarter campaign, Steve Taylor has forced his way back into the forefront of the music scene. After decades of virtual silence, fans are preparing for what may well be the most anticipated album of the year - and all of this even without a christening title.
        - David Craft

$40,000 Kickstarter goal, $121,197 raised. Enough said. It's been twenty years since Steve Taylor has made his own unique brand of music. Two decades = anticipation to spare.
        - Mark Geil

  • Visit our Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil page for more information about them...

  • 2014 First-Half Countdown Recap:

    15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

    HONORABLE MENTIONS: Here are a few other artists that made our staff's individual lists that didn't quite make the top 15... Demon Hunter (who announced their release date AFTER we made our list), Guardian, For Today, Michael W. Smith, Rend Collective, David Ian, Family Force 5, Abandon, Paul Wright, Sarah Kelly, Shonlock, Kari Jobe, Manafest, Rapture Ruckus.
    Highlighting 2014
    ©January 2014


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