Jenny Williams
May 28, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

With Evanescence downplaying their religious roots and Creed on hiatus, crossover Christian rock needs a new Billboard-charting savior. Enter Texas’ MercyMe, whose third major-label CD carefully balances unabashedly holy sentiments with lyrics that could be alluding to a new love just as easily as to God. That ambiguity and the band’s sharp songwriting and Coldplay-inspired string arrangements will have secular record buyers singing its praises.

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