State of Play #005 "Unappealing and Nothing New" (Part 2) by Andrew Funderburk on 2015-03-06 10:44:54
Last week the basic question was asked, “Why does there appear to be a creativity gap between Christian and mainstream music?” There were several questions that I listed that have not only been asked by myself, but they are also questions that have come from others directed towards me.
There are two questions I would like to address in this follow-up to last week’s article. These questions are as follows: “Why does Christian music [specifically] on Christian radio all sound the same?” and “Why does there appear to be a creativity gap between Christian music and mainstream music?”
Both of these questions can be paired together for this, because from my perspective the creativity gap and Christian music sounding the same, in my mind, both come down to the same thing. What I’m about to say does come from my perspective, and I would like to add to that, my perspective is limited.
When I listen to mainstream radio, unless it’s a genre-specific station, I hear a lot of different musical sounds.
Some songs are combinations of different genres. I hear a variety of topics expressed in different ways. Break-ups. Sex. Money. Love. Dealing with heartache.
Due to the fact that there are multiple genres played, along with multiple messages, mainstream music does have a greater reach. In listening to Christian radio, I hear contemporary pop music. The message I hear is about God, how great He is, our identity in Him, etc. In no way do I discount the messages that are being sung, but there are only a select group of people who will listen to contemporary pop for extended periods of time.
I think it would also be safe to say that there is an almost even smaller percentage in the world who would take the time to listen to the message that Christian music has. That is the trailhead of why Christian radio almost all sounds the same. They have a very limited audience with a much more limited radio reach.
Despite Christian music being about God, this is the job of those who sing, write, and perform. The way they make money is through their music. Drawing that into the greater picture, we have to realize that Christian artists will more than likely mold their sound to what will help them sell their music. Summed up in one sentence, Christian artists sound the same, due to the limited audience that they know will buy what they release.
Should Christians be honing in on just one group of people within their musical reach? How can Christians experiment more with their music? I know of some who are, but I don’t know if I can answer those questions fully; however, it does start with those in the industry who can bring answers, as well as, moving beyond safe borders to truly use the gifts that God has given them.
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.