Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Xeno » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:22 pm

Nate wrote:They're just ripping off classic rock, Tears For Fears did that back in the 80s with Shout.

The difference is that Tears for Fears is actually good.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Davidizer13 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:51 pm

Xeno wrote:
Nate wrote:They're just ripping off classic rock, Tears For Fears did that back in the 80s with Shout.

The difference is that Tears for Fears is actually good.

And that Shout did indeed have verses. And even if it didn't, dat layering and buildup, son.

...I like Tears for Fears.

But the whole repeating one verse thing is hardly a modern thing - I dare you to withstand this, which, through the terrible magics of the 70s, managed to get to the top of the charts in 1975. It's perfect for whipping out if you see someone getting too smug about how much better music was back in the day.

Which I am now going to complain about when it comes to Christian music as it appears on the radio. There's a huge "regression to the mean" effect I notice, where a band gets its hit, and it's so much different from the other music played on the station, and then their next hit and every subsequent one gets pushed back into that mold of sounding like slower Coldplay being played by your worship band. CCM has a very distinctive sound, and if you're not doing it now, you will eventually. See, for example, Sanctus Real, Skillet, or Third Day (compare something like Offerings or Conspiracy No. 5 to what you hear from them now), and how the effect applied to them. From this, it's no surprise that, like any other type of music, the really good stuff exists on the fringes.

Christian rap is very good in comparison - earlier Nate was talking about how CCM doesn't deal with subjects like racism or injustice, but Lecrae's newest album Anomaly comes out and takes huge swings at that, shouting for real cultural changes, and how that well you paid for in Africa isn't going to fix the institutional problems right here in America. Maybe it's because I live where I do, but you can't get things like that on something like Air1. I guess it's also the effect of Clear Channel/media conglomeration making radio more similar no matter where you are. And then there's mewithoutYou or Five Iron Frenzy, or even Saviour Machine (who made the only Gothic metal opera based on Revelation you will ever hear) which aren't going to be played on the radio ever. Just like in every genre, the mainstream and the top 1% of what gets played skews the perception of everything else that doesn't, hence the dolts who shout about how Justin Bieber or whatever da yoofz are into these days have ruined music for good when all the ones you don't hear are doing awesome. (And honestly, being a connoisseur of terrible music, most of what those people complain about isn't awful, just aggressively mediocre. In ten years the good stuff from the era will shake out and end up on the classics stations - stretching the definition of "good stuff," hearing Smash Mouth on the radio alongside stuff from the '80s was a revelation.)
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Xeno » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:37 am

Davidizer13 wrote:
Xeno wrote:
Nate wrote:They're just ripping off classic rock, Tears For Fears did that back in the 80s with Shout.

The difference is that Tears for Fears is actually good.

And that Shout did indeed have verses. And even if it didn't, dat layering and buildup, son.

...I like Tears for Fears.

But the whole repeating one verse thing is hardly a modern thing - I dare you to withstand this, which, through the terrible magics of the 70s, managed to get to the top of the charts in 1975. It's perfect for whipping out if you see someone getting too smug about how much better music was back in the day.


At least YouTube was kind enough to give me a rapid escape route:
Image

(And honestly, being a connoisseur of terrible music, most of what those people complain about isn't awful, just aggressively mediocre. In ten years the good stuff from the era will shake out and end up on the classics stations - stretching the definition of "good stuff," hearing Smash Mouth on the radio alongside stuff from the '80s was a revelation.)

lol'd
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Jonathan » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:38 am

Xeno wrote:
Jonathan wrote:As for CCM I'm not that big of a fan, It has similar problems imho that that secular modern rock/alterrnative/indie music has, Mainly being that the songs are too average and overly simplistic for me.
I'm more into Classic Rock than Modern Rock/Punk, I'm also really into Prog Rock and Metal (Unless it's Grindcore or Deathcore or Metalcore.)

A lot of alternative, punk, and indie rock lean very heavily on their lyrics as opposed to the actual music being played. So I agree that it's much less technical than a Dream Theater or Led Zeppelin track, but I would disagree that it's average and overly simplistic. Of course, there is modern top 40 rock that is just a single verse repeated for four minutes, so I can certainly understand where you're getting that impression.

Some examples of what I'm talking about (these are all secular groups/musicians):
"Harder than Stone" - City and Colour
"23" - Jimmy Eat World
"Silver Lining" - Jenny Lewis (cover of a song by her old band Rilo Kiley)

My problem with some of the Traditional 70's Punk Bands and Grunge Bands like Nirvana is that the lyrics are too whiny and negative IMHO. I don't mind if people like these bands but it's just not for me.
As for New Wave and Post Punk and maybe even Hardcore Punk, At least they tried to do something different than Traditional Punk. Even if I'm not a big fan of these genres, I like some New Wave and Post-Punk bands. The thing is, if the instrumentation isn't challeging enough or complex for me then if it had good sung vocals then I would give it a chance.
I'm actually thinking about listening to more Hardcore Punk though only if it had good guitar solos.
Also, When I said I liked Classic Rock and Progressive Rock, I wasn't saying that I liked every single one of these artists from the 70's.
I don't really like Bruce Springteen that much for example or Meat Loaf. But that's just me.
And as for why I don't care for Traditional Metalcore, Deathcore, and Grindcore is that the music is WAY too loud and fast imho. (I should point out that I'm a bit sensitive to loud noises.)
And also Grindcore's lyrics are a bit too disturbing imho. I'm not saying every one of these bands has lyrics like that, just the ones I've heard personally. Again, as long as the music doesn't condone anything bad or stupid then I'm fine with people liking it.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Xeno » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:33 pm

This post is going to come across as condescending, please understand that is isn't.

Jonathan wrote:My problem with some of the Traditional 70's Punk Bands and Grunge Bands like Nirvana is that the lyrics are too whiny and negative IMHO. I don't mind if people like these bands but it's just not for me.

It makes sense than punk bands of the 70s and grunge bands of the early 90s would be whiny and negative. Both were formed out of counterculture, notably different ones, but still counterculture. Grunge, in particular, addressed the general feelings of the late 80s and early 90s of apathetic misanthropy, so it only makes sense that the lyrics to these songs would be negative to someone not in tune with the mindset of where they came from.

As for New Wave and Post Punk and maybe even Hardcore Punk, At least they tried to do something different than Traditional Punk. Even if I'm not a big fan of these genres, I like some New Wave and Post-Punk bands. The thing is, if the instrumentation isn't challeging enough or complex for me then if it had good sung vocals then I would give it a chance.
I'm actually thinking about listening to more Hardcore Punk though only if it had good guitar solos.

This falls back to the earlier conversation in here about bands experimenting with sounds. Punk, as the original genre, is directly responsible for the majority of music we have today, whether rock or pop music. Punk had a massive influence on what could be done in music, which caused further experimentations making new age, hardcore, emo/emocore, general post punk, etc. But again, the lyrics aren't as optimistic as one would hope because of where it came from.

Also, When I said I liked Classic Rock and Progressive Rock, I wasn't saying that I liked every single one of these artists from the 70's.
I don't really like Bruce Springteen that much for example or Meat Loaf. But that's just me.

I'd be surprised if you did like every prog rock or classic rock band. There are a lot of them that really, really bad.

And as for why I don't care for Traditional Metalcore, Deathcore, and Grindcore is that the music is WAY too loud and fast imho. (I should point out that I'm a bit sensitive to loud noises.)
And also Grindcore's lyrics are a bit too disturbing imho. I'm not saying every one of these bands has lyrics like that, just the ones I've heard personally. Again, as long as the music doesn't condone anything bad or stupid then I'm fine with people liking it.

Those aren't good genres. You've made a good choice in not listening to them.

You don't have to like a particular genre just because someone else likes it, but you also shouldn't just write off while genres because the instrumentation isn't super technical or he lyric a are a bit of a downer.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Kaori » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:16 pm

Kraavdran wrote:Yes, I think I should clarify what I said. I hadn't considered that what I said could be understood as "Music can't teach as well" or anything like that. So, let me rephrase: The necessity of teaching from music is no longer held in such high regard due to the common avaliability of knowledge from other sources.

Oh, okay. That makes sense, then.

Kraavdran wrote:But what about songs that don't focus on emotional states but still, for a specific individual, feel like they are mocking God or just singing the song for the sake of completing the words?

Could you give me an example? I'm not sure what this would look like.

Kraavdran wrote:From what you have described, I'm glad to hear how balanced (all encompassing) the songs are in terms of human nature etc.. That sounds really cool.

So when are you going to visit an Orthodox church? ;)

Kraavdran wrote:But, I feel like I have to ask. Given everything said this far (in this thread as a whole), I am really curious to ask you (and anyone else who wants to): Can you accept (theologically and practically) that a person does not like music and thus does not participate in music as worship? If not, on what grounds? Also, what would be a proposed solution?

As far as not liking music goes, of course! I don't see how anyone could not accept someone who doesn't like music, because that seems to be a physiological thing tied to brain chemistry and so on. When it comes to not participating, though, it depends on what you mean by "not participating."

Please take this with a grain of salt because I am not a pastor and don't speak authoritatively for the Church (on the contrary, I am just a beginner in learning about Orthodoxy), but I'd like to cautiously say that probably the ideal would be attentive listening. To listen to the lyrics and contemplate the teaching and doctrine in them, to mentally engage and think about how those lyrics could be true and what they mean: for you, that would be participation. Generally, I think as long as you are mentally engaged that is a good thing.

Speaking of my not being a pastor, have you considered asking your pastor what he (or she) thinks?

Because you've been saying some things about feeling pressure to conform to what others are doing and being worried about not fitting in if you do not, it kind of sounds like you might benefit from going to a church that doesn't have much congregational singing and in which most people in the congregation don't sing (some Orthodox churches are like this, depending on the parish, and the RCC is also known for not having strong congregational singing, and my experience with the Catholic churches I have visited matches this stereotype). Some churches tend to have a few people who sing for the benefit of others, and while a few people in the congregation might join in, most do not. However, the kind of churches I can think of that are like this are liturgical (Orthodox and Catholic), so I guess you would not like their liturgical style.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Jonathan » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:00 pm

Xeno wrote:This post is going to come across as condescending, please understand that is isn't.

Jonathan wrote:My problem with some of the Traditional 70's Punk Bands and Grunge Bands like Nirvana is that the lyrics are too whiny and negative IMHO. I don't mind if people like these bands but it's just not for me.

It makes sense than punk bands of the 70s and grunge bands of the early 90s would be whiny and negative. Both were formed out of counterculture, notably different ones, but still counterculture. Grunge, in particular, addressed the general feelings of the late 80s and early 90s of apathetic misanthropy, so it only makes sense that the lyrics to these songs would be negative to someone not in tune with the mindset of where they came from.

As for New Wave and Post Punk and maybe even Hardcore Punk, At least they tried to do something different than Traditional Punk. Even if I'm not a big fan of these genres, I like some New Wave and Post-Punk bands. The thing is, if the instrumentation isn't challeging enough or complex for me then if it had good sung vocals then I would give it a chance.
I'm actually thinking about listening to more Hardcore Punk though only if it had good guitar solos.

This falls back to the earlier conversation in here about bands experimenting with sounds. Punk, as the original genre, is directly responsible for the majority of music we have today, whether rock or pop music. Punk had a massive influence on what could be done in music, which caused further experimentations making new age, hardcore, emo/emocore, general post punk, etc. But again, the lyrics aren't as optimistic as one would hope because of where it came from.

Also, When I said I liked Classic Rock and Progressive Rock, I wasn't saying that I liked every single one of these artists from the 70's.
I don't really like Bruce Springteen that much for example or Meat Loaf. But that's just me.

I'd be surprised if you did like every prog rock or classic rock band. There are a lot of them that really, really bad.

And as for why I don't care for Traditional Metalcore, Deathcore, and Grindcore is that the music is WAY too loud and fast imho. (I should point out that I'm a bit sensitive to loud noises.)
And also Grindcore's lyrics are a bit too disturbing imho. I'm not saying every one of these bands has lyrics like that, just the ones I've heard personally. Again, as long as the music doesn't condone anything bad or stupid then I'm fine with people liking it.

Those aren't good genres. You've made a good choice in not listening to them.

You don't have to like a particular genre just because someone else likes it, but you also shouldn't just write off while genres because the instrumentation isn't super technical or he lyric a are a bit of a downer.

I don't mind if people like the genres I mentioned, It's just I prefer some over others is all.
Anyways, I'm wondering, Are there any CCM Bands with Comedy Lyrics?
"And Jesus said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God."-Mark 10:18

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the father."-Mark 13:32

"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."-John 14:28
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Kraavdran » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:35 pm

Kaori wrote:
Kraavdran wrote:But what about songs that don't focus on emotional states but still, for a specific individual, feel like they are mocking God or just singing the song for the sake of completing the words?

Could you give me an example? I'm not sure what this would look like.

hm... good question. I've been away from music for quite a while, so I can't think of any ones off the top of my head. And, to a certain degree, I don't want to mention them even if I could. After all, lyrics mean different things to different people. Like with the "love's like a hurricane" song that we talked about a while back in this thread, their lyrics are completely valid and I don't want my incompatibility with their lyrics to dissuade them from singing that song or appreciating it. Although, now that I've mentioned it, perhaps that song would be a good example. As I sing it, I feel like I'm saying negative things about God. Of course, I know that everyone doesn't feel that way about the song.

In terms of the "just singing the song for the sake of completing the words..." I'd have to say that most songs are like that for me, for whatever reason. Perhaps they are too quick to reflect... or too slow/repetitive to want to keep track. Or the words just don't hit me in a meaningful way at a given time. Without music to help mesh everything together, many things can fall flat for me in particular.

Kaori wrote:
Kraavdran wrote:From what you have described, I'm glad to hear how balanced (all encompassing) the songs are in terms of human nature etc.. That sounds really cool.

So when are you going to visit an Orthodox church? ;)

haha, perhaps when I start feeling a bit better.

Kaori wrote: Please take this with a grain of salt because I am not a pastor and don't speak authoritatively for the Church (on the contrary, I am just a beginner in learning about Orthodoxy), but I'd like to cautiously say that probably the ideal would be attentive listening. To listen to the lyrics and contemplate the teaching and doctrine in them, to mentally engage and think about how those lyrics could be true and what they mean: for you, that would be participation. Generally, I think as long as you are mentally engaged that is a good thing.

Well, that was very well said. And, probably, the same sort of thing that I would tell someone in my own situation. And, maybe, it would work better if I visited an Orthodox church instead of one of these protestant churches :P

Kaori wrote: Speaking of my not being a pastor, have you considered asking your pastor what he (or she) thinks?

You know, I can't remember if I have asked him or not. I want to say that I've mentioned it in passing, but maybe I have not. Although, to be honest, he would probably be fine with it because he is ok with stuff like that. We even have an "abbreviated service" as the first service for people who don't want anything but a sermon (and discussion about it) and announcements. It is technically there for people who take care of the kids and stuff during the primary service, but many people go there so they don't have to go to the rest of the service (for various reasons).

Kaori wrote:Because you've been saying some things about feeling pressure to conform to what others are doing and being worried about not fitting in if you do not, it kind of sounds like you might benefit from going to a church that doesn't have much congregational singing and in which most people in the congregation don't sing (some Orthodox churches are like this, depending on the parish, and the RCC is also known for not having strong congregational singing, and my experience with the Catholic churches I have visited matches this stereotype). Some churches tend to have a few people who sing for the benefit of others, and while a few people in the congregation might join in, most do not. However, the kind of churches I can think of that are like this are liturgical (Orthodox and Catholic), so I guess you would not like their liturgical style.

That is a rather astute observation. Actually, I have felt that way in most of my church-visiting life (quite a few years now). I only recently (beginning of this year) finally switched to a (in my opinion) healthier church. It is really nice, but I don't think that I've fully detached from the feelings of musical obligation. But, it has given me the opportunity/freedom to wrestle with these types of questions and ideas. Hence why I started this thread.

Which, now that you mention it (and going back to the original post concept instead of my personal experience)... perhaps disliking music in a church service is not a terrible thing because a person can always go to the rest of the service. No sense "throwing the baby [church fellowship and teachings] with the bathwater [music]." Right? Church worship services do try to appeal to the widest audience, but can't cater to everyone (those who dislike music or can't jive with certain types of music). In this way, perhaps it is only natural to make music an optional part of church. Just thinking aloud.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Mave » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:02 am

I'm going 'Ecclesiastes' with this. There's a season for every [song] - Some sing to God, some sing about God and some sing about the composer's journey with God. I think it's all good as compared to the many other million songs out there that focuses on any other thing else but God.

I vaguely identify worship music (Hillsongs, Michael W. Smith) apart from CCM but it really boils down to the nature of the individual track. Since I don't really have a moral yardstick for what's good or bad CCM, I'd just list my personal favourites: Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, 4Him, Newsboy, Delirious and Downhere. I relate well to how these artists express themselves - there's nothing really else to it.
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Re: Contemporary Christian Music - The Good and the Bad

Postby Zeke365 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:20 am

this has been on mind lately to a lot of times christian artist may feel they have to adapt to a certain genre cause that the norm, I do not think Christian artist should adapt to any genre. What I think christian artist should do instead is be creative and have fun with there songs when expressing there faith. So much of the time it almost seems like Christian artist doesn't like singing in the christian music. (not sure if it true for all christian artist)

A lot a secular (anime songs) have very fun feel to them and I think christian artist should not be boggled down to a certain genre of christian music and have fun with it be and different, original, or fresh that will reach others to Christ, (not sure if it true for all christian artist)

I'm not talking about church music here just so were clear on that.
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