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Saturday, July 22, 2006

I got inspired to write another post about popular music. I don't remember when I bought The Collection by Amy Grant. Maybe Rev. Russ Ramsey told me to buy it when I said, "Heart In Motion kicks the living crap out of all her Christian stuff." I took it as a challenge. Anyway, I had never listened to any of it until tonight, except for "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" and "El Shaddai."

So I heard this song called, "Where Do You Hide Your Heart?" and it was OK, but I had a funny thought: Doesn't it sound like Amy got mugged by Christopher Cross and Jeffrey Osbourne on the way to the studio?

"SAAAAAILLLLLLLLING, takes me AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, to where I always heard it could be..."

"On the wings of LOVE, only the two of us together, flying HIGH..."

For those untutored wretches (great insult, John Calvin) out there, those quotes are from the two biggest hits by the aforementioned "muggers." If you know these songs, you are aware that they hail from the furthest reaches of Soft-Pop Land, one of my favorite places to vacation. (ha ha)

Before you snicker, consider that many current artists gain the inspiration for their "cutting-edge" work by taking sabbatical in Soft-Pop Land. Like I'll bet The Bee Gees are in Mettalica's music collection. That is unless Lars felt compelled to sue them for trying to occupy the same universe.

Oh, that reminds me, I could have listed Amy Grant's Heart In Motion as a comeback from Christian music oblivion, but I nearly forgot, great as it is. For proof, take note that Grant's greatest hits collection (the 'secular' one) contains half the tracks from Heart In Motion.

Not that I have anything against Christian music. I am a Christian, and music is natural and even commanded of us. But the reason most people say that it 'sucks'/'did suck'/'will continue to suck' is that it often sounds like we don't even believe what we're saying. That goes deeper than music, but it comes out clearer there. Quit lying to us all. I know that if the right buttons are pushed, I'd see you, Twila Paris, (just an example, put your guns down) passed out drunk on a bar stool [or insert obviously sinful behavior here]. So why don't you sing about that? Not that you did that, but that you do understand why someone might have done such a thing. If they don't believe you when you say what a sinner you are because it doesn't seem real, why would someone believe what you say about Christ?

The most authentic CCM song I've personally ever heard is "We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are":

With these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are

That song's so real, it scares me. I'm not even willing to confront this contradiction most of the time.