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.