Atlanta-based Casting Crowns became Christian music royalty right out of the box with their self-titled 2003 debut album. From its inception, the septet aimed big with its combination of galvanizing ministry and anthemic pop/rock sounds. Lead singer Mark Hall applied his years as a church youth leader towards fashioning lyrics that would reach believers with a credible message rooted in everyday experience. He achieves this with songs like “If We Are The Body” (addressing alienation within the Church) and “American Dream” (attacking materialism and false values). He also can deliver praise songs with both thunderous conviction (“Glory”) and intimate humility (“Your Love Is Extravagant”). Melodee Devevo and Megan Garrett add winsome vocals shadings to Hall’s big-throated belting at key moments. Though the melodies sometimes aren’t as well-shaped as they might be, the group compensates with both aggressive guitar work and Bruce Horsby-like piano lines. Co-produced by veteran Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns went on to earn platinum status and win a Grammy. Its Bible-rooted revivalist spirit raised the bar for other bands to equal.