Posted by Unknown |

3 CDs and the Christian Bubble

On Tuesday I bought 3 cds:

Rob Thomas - Something to Be

Soul Survivor Live - Living Loud

Paul Colman - Let it Go

Paul Colman's cd isn't very good. Paul Colman Trio were a good band. They were fun, they had catchy melodies, they told stories in their songs. In Paul Colman's new album he seems to have sold out to the American Christian music scene. The cd is just full of bland, un-original worship. It's like the Newsboys, only boring. One or two tracks work well. "Last Night in America" seems to be on the verge of making a good statement but he seems to hold off a bit just in case the moral majority hears him right. If he did what he does well and wasn't trying to please the market he could do really good. But we get stuck with imitations of the popular.

Living Loud is good. As far as worship goes, it's enjoyable. There's a funky new version of "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" and everything fits together well. I don't find worship music cds overly exciting, but they are good sometimes. Good when you're in the mood to sing, be encouraged and praise Jesus. I think I'd rate this as their best live cd yet.

Rob Thomas, well, he's done great. After my lambasting him earlier this year for becoming an Enrique pretty boy, I take it back. His album is solid. It's not Matchbox 20, but it's definatly Rob Thomas. He has all the usual marks of heart broken angst and the music is driving. But he's also explored new stuff and most of it suceeds. It's not dull this album. I'm very impressed. He even sings about being Rob Thomas, where every song seems to be about breaking up, I appreciated that:

Hey man
Play another one of those heartbreak songs
Tell another story how things go wrong
And they never get back
My pain is a platinum stack
Take that s*** back
You don't wanna be me when it all goes wrong
You don't wanna see me with the houselights on
I'm a little too headstrong
Stand tall
I don't wanna get walked on

I still don't really like "Lonely No More"

I've been thinking about why I like secular music more than Christian music. I think the problem with Christian music (which isn't worship music) is that while it wants to compete with secular stuff, it can't. It can't explore the places that secular music can. Rob Thomas can sing about how much life sucks, Paul Colman can't. Christians have to sing "Life's hard but I've got Jesus" and "Today is hard but I'm happy because God will make everything better tomorrow." I'm waiting for more Christians to start singing "Life sucks, what the hell are you doing God?"

Perhaps that's why I appreciate U2. They aren't afraid to sing as Christains but they aren't worried about saying all the right things either. There is honesty which comes before a "good" portrayal of the Christian life and theological truth. Albums like Pop would be unacceptable in Koorong, but are probably more honest about seeking Christ in this world than much of the music is Koorong is. U2 are "lookin' for baby Jesus under the trash."

But I talk too much about U2.

I like non-Christian music because it lets you explore stuff that you can't explore when you're a Christian. I can't be self-centred, scream at the world and say it's justified like Linkin Park can. I can't constantly talk about having my heart broken like Rob Thomas can. I can't say "I may not go to heaven, but I hope that you go to hell" (Counting Crows) but it sure feels good to sing it. It's vicarously living a life without the moral confines of Christainity and with all the moral justification of a good melody. It let's you explore the truth of not having to always be making sure you're not denying "the Truth". And I think that that exploration gives Christains a better understanding of what life really is like, for people who believe and for those who don't. It doesn't mean that Jesus doesn't save the day, it just reminds us how much the day needs to be saved. It's the beauty of living outside a Christian bubble. Kill it! Kill the bubble, I say.