Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music?

Over at Scot McKnight's blog is a guest post about Contemporary Christian music. It's an interesting read, as are some of the responses. During my high school and college years in the 80s and early 90s, I listened to a lot of Christian music. As I got older, I started heading more towards secular music. These days, I will ocassionally stop over at iTunes to see what's happening in the Christian and Gospel catagory. To be honest, not much.

Now, this is not one of those post by a mainline Protestant that rips on anything that is evangelical. It's just that a lot of the stuff I try to listen to at times isn't that good. Now, this could be a sign of age. There is a lot of secular pop and rock that I don't care for, either. As a guy in his 40s, you always think the stuff of your youth is better.

For me, probably some of the best Christian music is from the late 80s, when artists like Amy Grant and Russ Taff were writing some great music that was deeply personal and confessional in nature. I still think Amy Grant's Lead Me On, which came out in 1988, was one of her best albums every. The late Rich Mullins also put out some great music during that era. Steve Taylor was able to tackle such issues as racism and abortion on his new wave albums. And Charlie Peacock? Just excellent, pure crafted pop that was lyrically raw and honest.

So what about today's stuff? I don't know. I listen to some of it, but it tends to all sound the same. Now, I can say that also about a lot of secular stuff as well. Maybe, it is age, but I kinda miss the old music that seemed to have some passion and originality. It all seems kinda manufactured.

I think this guy who commented said it best:
I grew up in a typical evangelical family. Secular music was not listened too, especially in my pre- and early teen years. So people like dc Talk ,Audio Adrenaline, and pretty much anything on a WoW album were my main music sources. As I got older the restraints on my music were lessened over time. Which was great because I love music. I love it so much that I decided to go to school for it.

I go to to a liberal arts university, even though my hopes are to be a music pastor. The stuff I have learned has completely put music in a new perspective for me. It has opened my eyes to how amazing music can be. However, now I am saddened by how crappy Christian music has become. There are so many possibilities for music and Christian music uses only .0002% of those possibilities. I really don't listen to any christian music besides worship music. So I decided to hop on iTunes and find some good new Christian music...I literally looked for almost 2 hours to find a band that didn't sound like a previous one. Their unfortunately was no musician that had an ounce of originality.

Every band that are christians, that in my opinion I deem as good, aren't signed to a christian label. I think Hillsong United stuff rocks out more and is more original than the crap that is being put out by Christian bands and they're technically a worship band. I don't want to be completely cynical because I believe there is hope. I want Christians to go deeper than what others are doing.

I believe God gave us art to express who we are as individuals and who were in Christ. Christian musicians rarely tap into that.

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