Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Emo-ification of Christian Music

I just wrote about Air1's pledge drive and how I consider their music to personally minister to me. I've also written in the past about how I view myself as a Christian consumer. I mention this to say that I'm coming around. I'm much more open to Christian music than I used to be and find myself listening to Air1 almost exclusively over the local rock or Top 40 stations. I credit this to the quality of music being put out. I admit, I've never been a fan of the Christian music sub-genre of 'Praise Music' and am more a 'Positive Alternative' fan. Besides the musical style, I'm struck by the honesty and vulnerability found in many popular Christian songs. I call this the emo-ification of Christian music. Emo, being short for emotional, was coined to describe alternative rock that was more emotional than the usual guy-falls-for-a-girl or rebel-without-a-cause lyrics. However, these lyrics and the requisite fashion are depressing and self-loathing. To the contrary, Christian alternative music is emotionally honest about personal struggles in faith, desire to impact the world around them, and passion to be close to God. Just some examples pulled from listening to the radio today:

I was too scared to start,
now I'm too scared to let go
-Take Me As I Am, FM Static

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is there is healing
In your name I find meaning
-Broken, Lifehouse

This might hurt
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change

I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something

‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

-Motions, Matthew West

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace
-From the Inside Out, Seventh Day Slumber

So expect to see more posts like this in the future as I find music and lyrics that minister to me personally and I pray would encourage you as well.

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