Monday, February 14, 2005

More on Christians in rock

Tim is right - comments Music on the move - to point out that the Christian tag is seriously off-putting for a rock band. His example of delirious? proves it. I have alays argued that they would be taken more seriously if they weren't so willfully obscure and churchy in their subject matter.

Delirious write great tunes. But their lyrics betray the fact that all they can write only worship songs - good ones (though lots of churches find them hard to use) - and no one outside the church has any interest in them.

Rock and roll is at heart about boys and girls and teenage angst, about forging an identity against the world - it's why Nirvana were so huge. Bands must demonstrate they can sing about that, before any protest music about the state of the world they write is taken seriously.

The trouble is that the first rock and roll generation is now retiring and it's receptive to music about all kinds of things - witness the critical aclaim to Dylan's Time out of mind which Emmylou Harris says contains the best songs about growing old she's ever heard!

But you can only do that when you've got a reputation, struck a chord (so to speak), shown you speak people's language.

U2 have done this, so they can sing about anything they like and get a hearing. Maybe Athlete are following suit.

In this these kinds of Christian bands might be pathfinders for the rest of us in the church. How are we going to get a hearing for the Gospel unless people are convinced we live in the world they live in, face their struggles, deal with the issues they have to of love and loss, forging an identity, making sense of things? Maybe if they see we share their struggles, they'll give our thoughts a better reception.

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