“The Music” Vs. “The Message” (w/poll)January 9, 2009
Sometimes, the inspiration for threads here in the Chamber come from rather odd places, and this is going to be one of those times. You see, yesterday, I was hanging out on the showroom floor at the dealership, and I couldn’t help but notice that the background music playing over the speakers was what I used to call “Jesus music” (these days, usually referred to as “Contemporary Christian“). It was playing all day.
At first, I couldn’t understand why in the heck someone would decide such a thing was appropriate for the environment (considering the fact that any Buddhist, Hindu, Hmong, Jew or Muslim could walk through the door and want to buy a car), but then another thought struck me. First though, I should say that, during my time in this particular profession, I’ve come to realize that this genre is more popular than I would have expected, based on how many radios are tuned to KTIS when we hop into customer’s cars and run them through the wash. But I didn’t really take the time to stop and ponder it all until yesterday.
In any case, the thoughts began with something like “What the heck is with this stuff, anyway?”.
I’ve got to wonder if anyone would be rocking out to “Awesome God” if you changed the lyrics to, say, something about beer. Or women. Or politics. Also, is it just me, or do all the male vocalists sound the same? I mean, I think I could tell that I was listening to CC before I heard the first “savior” or “redeemer” uttered in the song, just based on style. I dunno, there’s just something about it that gives it away.
Look, I enjoy all kinds of music. My MP3 player often skips from reggae, to pop, to classical, to metal, to hip hop when I’m playing it. I can understand why some people enjoy opera and country, even. But the vast majority of what I was listening to yesterday was just plain bland and mediocre.
So, I guess I have to assume that our KTIS junkies out there listen to it for the message rather than the quality of the music. I guess there is that choice. But I can’t help but think that, at some point, one would have to deduce that what you’re listening to is simply the best material recorded by people who happen to sing about Jesus, and that you’re ignoring the huge selection of tunes out there that are really much better from the perspective of raw musical talent. So why continue? Perhaps it could be viewed as a sacrifice of sorts, like some kind of perpetual Lent?
I had this discussion with my girlfriend, and I was surprised to find out that the lyrics themselves actually effects her taste in music as well. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be that shocked, ’cause once I thought about it for a second, I guess I could understand that there would be people out there who can’t get into anything instrumental, no matter what sub-genre. A sort of a “can’t like it if I can’t sing it” mentality. And if one is going to sing it, it’d be more entertaining if the subject was something meaningful to them on a personal level, I imagine. That’s her, and maybe that explains the KTISers as well.
As for me? I told her that I’m quite the opposite; the song could be about a dog taking a poop on a rug, and as long as it was catchy, I’d probably like it. It’s definitely more about the rhythm and harmony in my world. Give me some powerful chords, groovy beats, and impressive solos, and I’m usually diggin’ it.
So, I have to ask, who’s more weird?
(I suppose there could be a third, less common category: principle. By that I mean the selection was about the artist him/her/themselves, and not the lyrics or music per se. For example, you choose to listen to U2 because of the work Bono does, or don’t, based on it. What happened with the Dixie Chicks might be another example)
-Exit question: Is there a name for the two schools? Or should we coin them in this thread?
-Added miscellaneous factoid: Did you know that they sang “Shout to the Lord” on American Idol last year? I didn’t think I’d see that, but here it is: