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Christian Music Is Now Bland


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Initial post: May 26, 2012 4:01:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2012 4:08:45 PM PDT
Scamp4553 says:
In fact, it's getting blander than pop music, and I thought that was impossible.

It seems like every single band or artist I hear about is boring. No offense to people who find the Christian genre uplifting and praiseworthy. I find artists like Francesca Battistelli, Jamie Grace, Esterlyn, Britt Nicole, and other artists to be boring. They deliver nothing new or innovative to Christian music.

I can't wait for the naysayers to come up here and say otherwise.

Posted on May 27, 2012 5:50:55 PM PDT
Much like the "secular" music industry today, you can't always depend on the big CCM labels to bring something innovative to your attention these days. After CCM had some crossover success back in the 1980s all the big conglomerates bought out most of the labels, even small independent ones like Sparrow, hoping to make a quick buck. It quickly became all about the bottom line. Not that all of the music from the big labels is categorically bad, but CCM fans have to make some extra effort to look for the good stuff, depending largely on word-of-mouth from people you trust.

For example when this board was more active I got some great recs including the hip-hop genre I never thought I'd give the time of day. I really respect LeCrae, Trip Lee, and othersi for the ministry and their music. Check out this from Tadashii:

http://youtu.be/ZWwPlldEiUY

Posted on May 27, 2012 8:18:33 PM PDT
B. Rodrian says:
That's simply the nature of popular music. The artists that become really popular aren't the ones doing the most unique or the most innovative things, they're the ones playing it safe. Go look at the top 10 on iTunes right now overall. None of those songs are amazing...

Posted on May 30, 2012 6:45:23 AM PDT
Jonathon says:
Most of my favorite music are from artists that don't record much anymore (or at all). My favorite bands seem to be one hit wonders or maybe three albums-and-done. This means I could be the kiss of death to bands if I start liking them.

Posted on May 30, 2012 5:44:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 5:50:41 PM PDT
Scamp4553 says:
The reason why I think Christian Music is bland is because there is barely any variety in any of the music, and it all just sounds exactly the same. Listen to the Francesca Battistelli song, "Angel By Your Side" (or "You Never Are", for that matter), and tell me with a straight face that those songs are the most original, innovative, and uplifting Christian songs you have ever heard.

Oh, and BTW, it's hard to stomach how many people are saying that these Christian artists are the most innovative and original artists out there, when really, one listen, and they aren't talented, original, or innovative. It all sounds the exact same as before.

Posted on May 30, 2012 7:46:05 PM PDT
I agree that they need variety. But if you look hard you can find some bands that are fantastic! CHeck out KYE KYE That band is amazing. It brings Eletronica to Christian music. Its so chill and can be peppy. Just know that at least we have some new sound. I'm waiting for more bands like this to come. Also their lyrics are so uplifting. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do :)

Posted on May 31, 2012 5:58:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2013 4:44:40 AM PST
As many have already said, the main fault lies with the Christian record companies. They want to keep things bland and "normal". Anything that the soccer moms won't like will not likely ever see the light of day. "Family Friendly" radio has ruined Christian music.

Posted on May 31, 2012 6:49:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 6:56:29 AM PDT
In some sense, I make no musical differentiation between Christian and secular pop artists, since it seems to me all pop seems to be headed in one direction, whether or not one artist is trying to imitate another's sound. In defense of Christian pop (which I know more about than mainstream pop), I will say that artists like Britt Nicole and Francesca Battistelli specifically actually have very good talent, primarily in consistency of good songwriting and vocal control. Dave Barnes has the same, and has even been able to reach into mainstream radio because of it, not to mention his guitar-playing skills. Also, I think Josh Wilson is an underrated Christian pop artist; his acoustic guitar playing is incredible and his songwriting is very transparent and smart.

And though some Christian radio listeners would classify them as pop, David Crowder* Band has always continued to push the envelope musically, even leading up to their finale album Give Us Rest, which released a few months ago. They've never really fit completely into the category of pop, rock, worship, bluegrass, folk, electronica, or dance, even though their sound has at many points encompassed them all.

All that being said, if you're looking for innovation, it's a general rule of thumb to not look to pop music, whether Christian or not. Being innovative has almost never been popular or "radio-friendly." If you're looking for innovation, seek out more alternative artists that don't get as much mainstream appeal. Some Christian artists you should check out, if you haven't heard them: Gungor, the Rend Collective Experiment, Derek Webb, Kye Kye (I will second Mr. Maner's comment), etc. I could list more, but I list to a lot of alternative, so some bands may be a little too weird for some (in most cases, what I would still call "innovative") for me to list here.

And then again, there are always innovative, faith-influenced, mainstream artists (artists that aren't "Christian" but have roots in Christianity): Coldplay, Mutemath, Thrice, etc.

Posted on May 31, 2012 6:55:30 AM PDT
And Jamie Grace is just a gimmick. She's young and has a bit of talent, so everyone gets excited. But she's not popular because she's all that talented or all that great of a songwriter; she's popular because she has an audience: young girls like her. Parents get excited because with Jamie Grace their daughters have "family-friendly" music (with a Christian message, usually) that they enjoy listening to. Nicole and Battistelli are popular with the same group, but both of them are more seasoned artists who can really sing and really play and really write.

Posted on May 31, 2012 7:43:38 AM PDT
Daniel Eagan says:
britt nicole is alright and im a 30 year old guy I love natalie grant I saw jaci velasquez live she's got good or better music depending on your taste

Posted on May 31, 2012 4:24:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2012 2:45:58 PM PDT
Scamp4553 says:
My brother actually has some Coldplay albums, and I also have a Thrice album on my computer (Artist in the Ambulance).

Anyway, I heard the new MercyMe album a few days ago, and I loved it a lot. It's really something different in a genre that has been running dry.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 6:25:31 AM PDT
I wouldn't be surprised with them. They're always doing something fresh for their genre--if only by a little.

Artist In The Ambulance is great, but you should definitely check out more recent Thrice stuff. I especially recommend their albums Vheissu, Beggars, and their collection of four EPs, The Alchemy Index (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth). Quite often, their lyrics and themes are right out of the Bible.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 6:44:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2012 11:31:11 AM PDT
I think I'll just a list a few artists I think are exceptionally unique or innovative, all with some sort of Christian influence (some stronger than others):

Showbread (their own term for their music is "raw rock"; their latest album is downloadable for FREE on comeandlive.com, along with free albums of many other unique Christian artists)
Mutemath (rock, but with many funk, electronic, and jazz elements; check out their music videos, especially "Typical," "Spotlight," and "Blood Pressure")
Children 18:3 (two brothers, one sister; a power-driven punk trio with old and new influences, an ear for catchiness, and versatility in style)
Eisley (three sisters, one brother, and one cousin; southern-influenced indie rock with piano and guitars, with two of the sisters trading vocals from time to time)
House Of Heroes (alternative-rock with a great ear for melody; older influences include Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Beach Boys; newer influences include Muse, Ludo, and Relient K)
Gungor (their latest album ranges from Bela Fleck influences to orchestral elements; probably THE most innovative band around today whose music is considered "worshipful")
The Reign Of Kindo (jazz, funk, rock, pop, and a lot of uncommon time signatures and key signatures)
The Rocket Summer (one guy plays every instrument; pop-rock with lyrics that go way deeper than they sound)
The Rend Collective Experiment (Irish worship-driven outfit with influences like Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, and Snow Patrol)
Shane & Shane (two guys named Shane with very soulful voices and great skill at acoustic guitar; church worship, pop, and southern influences)
Blindside (Swedish Christian hard-rock band with electronic influences)
Worth Dying For (California worship band with electronic elements and melodic, rhythmic hard rock)
Derek Webb (incredible lyricist known for controversy; his older stuff is mostly Memphis singer/songwriter stuff, and recently he did an electronica album and an instrumental album)
The Classic Crime (melodic alternative- and hard-rock from Seattle with a poetic yet philosophic approach to lyrics)

(the following artists may or may not be around anymore, but in case you haven't heard them:)
Mae (their name stands for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience; you never knew electric guitars and piano could sound so lush over bass and drums)
Edison Glass (the best I can describe it is "science rock"; all four guys are incredible at their instruments, and the two singers' voices soar and interweave with one another)
The Myriad (the closest we've ever gotten to a Christian Radiohead)
Number One Gun (unique pop-driven alternative-rock)
Wavorly (alternative rock with classical strings now and again; this is no Skillet)

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 2:47:01 PM PDT
Scamp4553 says:
I have heard of the Classic Crime. I did hear a few songs from them on the radio, and I do like the song, "The Coldest Heart", a lot. I might pick up Albatross, that is, if I look hard enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 6:21:24 AM PDT
Albatross is definitely good, but I recommend The Silver Cord more. There's not a single filler track on it. Both are worth their money, but if you only get one, I'd say The Silver Cord.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 12:03:35 AM PDT
No Other

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 10:58:56 AM PDT
Luke says:
Christian music died for me the day Audio A. Said goodbye, as they were the last of the good christian bands like dc Talk, The W's, and, While tobyMac and the Newsboys are still good artists, most christian radio stations don't give them enough air time. Dear Lord, Please bring back the 90's. Amen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 11:05:17 AM PDT
Give Christian hard rock/alternative music a shot. The popular Christian music can sound all the same but look for new music by breakout Christian bands and you might just find some unique stuff. Check out Power FM radio online :)

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 12:51:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012 10:21:34 AM PDT
Scamp4553 says:
I do listen to the Christian Rock genre, and there are some standouts: Thousand Foot Krutch (just take a look at the different styles TFK covers), RED, 12 Stones (I don't think they're too much of a Christian band, but they do write uplifting lyrics), Since October, Letter Black, Sent By Ravens, Nine Lashes (their CD came out a few months ago and it is great), Switchfoot, and even Skillet (they're more of a radio-rock band now, but do have songs played on Christian format charts). I also have listened to unheard of bands like Uprise, Tonight Tonight (not to be confused with the song), Forthangel, and Echoes the Fall (although, to be honest, their self-titled EP was very uninspired, the only good songs being This is Not Goodbye and Burn It Down). These bands all have taste.

But, the purpose of this forum was to say that Christian CHR/AC has gone dry, not to name a bunch of Christian bands. Granted, it's nice to be aware of the deeper realms of Christian Music, but technically I was just wanting your opinions.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 2:19:32 PM PDT
I think at the very least, 12 Stones' frontman is a Christian. They're actually named from a story in the book of Joshua where the people of Israel build an altar of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan River while crossing it on dry land. And I definitely agree with you about RED.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 8:44:41 AM PDT
Jonathon says:
The music that sells gets cloned so that other companies can make some of that same cash, too. Still, it seems like with the rise of downloads, many artists that don't sell gobs of CDs could sell downloads cheaper and often. Almost like self-publishing. I would also like to see more OOP Cds made available again in this way, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 1:45:03 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 26, 2012 1:45:44 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 4:07:44 PM PDT
Pedro Borges says:
You should look up King's Kaleidoscope and Kenosis. You can find some of their stuff for free at marshill.com

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 6:03:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 6:06:34 AM PDT
I also think CCM is stale. I spend a great deal of time hunting for great music that suits my tastes. The genres I prefer are singer/songwriter or folk or electronic or pop. I like complex music with creativity. I find myself gravitating less & less to hard rock or rap. So if you are looking for those genres, you won't find them here, although I'd say House of Heroes is a rock band. Some of these artists I list do not write lyrics that are overtly Christian, but they are Christians. Here is what I recommend:

Matthew Perryman Jones (O Theo, Rain or Shine, Land of the Living, Waiting on the Light to Change, Swallow the Sea)
Trent Dabbs (Mountain Song, Leave to See, What You See in Her, also he has a brand new album that I don't have yet)
Kye Kye (Broke, Knowing This, Rooftops, Introduce Myself)
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors (Can't Get Enough of You, Fire and Dynamite, their Christmas EP)
Ellie Holcomb (Rock of Habitation, Don't Forget His Love (Ps 108), My Heart is Steadfast (Ps 103), Magnolia)
Future of Forestry (Hills of Indigo Blue, If You Find Her, Speak To Me Gently, Did You Lose Yourself, Bold and Underlined, Halleluiah)
Amy Stroup (Just You, Hold on to Hope, Love you Strongly)
Elenowen (The Storm, Falling Slowly, Honey Come Home)
Sarah MacIntosh (Current, Galaxy Former)
Gungor (every song they write is brilliant)
The Brilliance (Breathe)
The Gloomcatcher's EP Starla Over the Fences
House of Heroes (Burn Me Down, Salt in the Sea, Love is for the Middle Class, God Save the Foolish Kings)
Audrey Assad (New Song, Even the Winter, O My Soul, Breaking Through, Everything Is Yours, For Love of You)
The River Empires (Five Circles)
Derek Webb (Wedding Dress, This Too Shall Be Made Right, I Wanna Marry You All Over Again, Spirit vs. the Kick Drum)
Some of Canopy Climbers stuff
The Civil Wars (From This Valley, Dance Me to the End of Love, 20 Years, If I Didn't Know Better)
Some of Churchill's stuff (Change, Ark in a Flood)
Danyew (Beautiful King, Silver Lining)
The Vespers (Tell Your Mama, Close My Eyes, Lawdy, Winter, Happy Lessons)
Switchfoot/Jon Foreman - Your Love Is Strong, Stars, Let That Be Enough, Dark Horses, Awakening, Meant To Live, This is Home)
Lovelite's new album In Three Persons
Mat Kearney (Ships in the Night, Closer to Love, Sooner or Later, Lifeline)
Miss Angie (Great is Your Salvation, Time and Space)
Misty Edwards (You Won't Relent, Fling Wide, Light of Your Face)
Melanie Penn (Ordinary Day, A Star's Lament)
Katie Herzig (Way to the Future, Lost and Found, Free Your Mind, Best Day of Your Life, Make a Noise)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 6:09:45 AM PDT
Idaho Country knows what he's talking about. I can't believe I forgot to list Mat Kearney, Jon Foreman and Future Of Forestry. The Civil Wars and Audrey Assad are pretty incredible too.
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Discussion in:  Christian Music forum
Participants:  33
Total posts:  64
Initial post:  May 26, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 7, 2013

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