Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I couldn't sing this song forever...

We like the idea of listening to Christian radio. It's a good reminder to not waste your time in the car thinking about nothing, but to worship the Lord and reflect. We do not, however, listen to Christian radio for the musical creativity. or for the music. period.

Christian music seems to go in ten-year (or, many times, less) cycles. What we mean is this: a good song comes out (for example: I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, written by Martin Smith of Delirious?). great song. What is not great, however, is the myriad of amazingly unastounding covers that have flooded the airwaves for the past 16 years. But you may say, Oh Kisers, the reason Christian artists do this is because worship music is different than secular music. Okay, this is true. But that works for our point, actually. more on that later. It does not explain why we need a Jeremy Camp cover, a Chris Tomlin cover, a Hillsong United cover as well as a Barlow Girl cover of songs that have been put out in ten other versions before them. What message is that sending? that, perhaps, people may worship better in their cars to the voice of Jeremy Camp, rather than Third Day? silliness. This may seem too obvious, but to us it implies a lack of songwriting talent.

We aren't talking about worship leaders, or these artists when they are leading worship live. We are talking about the public radio singles that are being put out as the "gems" of the Christian music industry. Where is the originality?

There are a few expressly Christian artists that pop up on the radar as trying to be original and artistic, and not following the "G, C, D, E minor" pattern. Namely, David Crowder, Phil Wickham, and Lady Gaga (wink wink). If you know of any others that fit this category, please let us know.

For the majority of the church's life, it has been the place where art happened in Western culture. I think the reason that this predicament bothers us so much is because we of all people are and should be the most inspired beings. We know and experience Beauty and Love Himself. There is no shortage of inspiration for new and creative songs, whatever genre or form they may take. Sing a New Song to the Lord!

Know that this is not written with bitterness or anger (well, maybe a little frustration), but just an interesting topic about which we wanted to share and discuss.

We know we're going to catch some fire for this one... so let us have it. :)

grace and peace,
the husband and the wife.


  1. I could not agree more...I work out of my car everyday and try to listen to uplifting music but Klove is so monotonous....everything Mark Schultz has done has been amazing, esp. his Stories and Songs album, and of course DCB is just amazing :)

  2. hmmm, not really sure about the artists you cited as original. when i pull up the Christian music category on my iTunes, David Crowder sounds pretty similar to Charlie Hall, who, incidentally, does not sound much different from other artists in his genre...different chords maybe, but similar rhythms, all very repetitious with their verses and choruses, almost always in major, rather than minor keys. predictably, the slow starting songs almost always crescendo to an inspirational end.
    What do you mean by original? Sometimes, when people are saying that, it sounds as if they mean, 'the kind of music that we don't sign in church' or 'the less popular music' or even 'the music i like'. Again, neither of those would seem to fit for David Crowder Band.

  3. Colin here. hhhmmm. I think what we mean by orignal is, again, breaking from the traditional worship style of music. So in a way, yes, i mean originality in that they are trying to do something different than what every other christian artist is doing in the modern scene.

    for example: David Crowder's Can You Hear Us? One of my fav's. Listen to "All Creatures" on that CD. amazing. He breaks out of the mold by using new and inovative instruments and lyrical ideas (i.e. God of Wrath) With more complex chord structures and even simply a different feel, he makes better, more complex and intentional art.


  4. Micah and I really love Andrew Peterson's lyrics. His songs can be really original and beautiful, but really what hooks us is his thoughtful words. They speak in ways I could never express myself.