Contemporary Christian Music

nagareboshi

Woodpecker
That Christafari song is actually quite catchy, surprising

Pretty much the only mainstream Christian music I have enjoyed is Kanye West's Jesus is King album.


Better Life Team is an Arab Egyptian seemingly-Protestant organization that looks to me like a subversion of the Orthodox faith in the Middle East. I don't approve of their mission but the music is extremely good, and probably edifying for American Christians who have already been so Protestantized to begin with. Just don't share it with your Egyptian friends.


This J-pop rendition of Ave Maria is pretty good


This Japanese anime song is supposed to be imitating medieval European music and ends up being completely Christian, just read the lyrics and you'll pretty much see it

 

Maddox

Sparrow
All the contemporary Christian songs I hear my church playing sound like horrible pop music with Christian lyrics. They all have the same predictable chord progressions and uninspiring lyrics.

We need more songs like Amazing Grace that have unforgettable melodies.
 

Papist

Robin
All the contemporary Christian songs I hear my church playing sound like horrible pop music with Christian lyrics. They all have the same predictable chord progressions and uninspiring lyrics.

We need more songs like Amazing Grace that have unforgettable melodies.

I agree. I'm not overly keen on it, and would not attend a church service in which Christian reggae is played during a service. However, I just realised recently how much of the music I like references drugs, alcohol, sex and debauchery. I just can't help but think this is sin being subtly, or maybe not so subtly, pushed...I think it might filter through to the subconscious.

I quite like reggae and came across the Christifari song I posted above. I would like to substitute this kind of music for some of my old faves. This is another one I'm keen on:


Now compare that to the lyrics of a random favourite mainstream songs (which admittedly is not too bad), Rose Tattoo by The Dropkick Murphys:

The pictures tell the story
This life has many shades
I'd wake up every morning and before I'd start each day
I'd take a drag from last night's cigarette
That smoldered in it's tray
Down a little something and then be on my way
I traveled far and wide
And laid this head in many ports
I was guided by a compass
I saw beauty to the north
I drew the tales of many lives
And wore the faces of my own
I had these memories all around me
So I wouldn't be alone
Some may be from showing up
Others are from growing up
Sometimes I was so messed up and didn't have a clue
I ain't winning no one over
I wear it just for you
I've got your name written here
In a rose tattoo
In a rose tattoo
In a rose tattoo...

Here's a Scottish take on a modern hymn. Not sure whether this is not a bit too protestant for me though...

 

nagareboshi

Woodpecker
I agree. I'm not overly keen on it, and would not attend a church service in which Christian reggae is played during a service. However, I just realised recently how much of the music I like references drugs, alcohol, sex and debauchery. I just can't help but think this is sin being subtly, or maybe not so subtly, pushed...I think it might filter through to the subconscious.

You are absolutely correct to recognize this and I think it is great that you are taking some steps to make your life consistent with your beliefs. Since I myself have pondered this question many times, the major step I have taken is to stop listening to degenerate music and only listen to artists that (1) seem agreeable to you when you read their biography and look at their photographs and (2) don't have lyrics that are sinful.

I'm far from perfect at this and still have my own weakness, but I draw the line whenever I consciously hear a verse that is obnoxiously promoting sin. Unfortunately, I used to listen to electronic dance music (God forbid) and the lyrics were constantly professing ridiculous beliefs like "We are all chemicals" and "The voices in my head." It's a first-world problem for sure, but I had to be honest with myself and recognize that many of my beloved and favorite musicians were just troubled, secular atheists who suffered from many mental illnesses that they made manifest in catchy tunes.

Recently I have just been listening to semi-mainstream Japanese music and relatively obscure American artists. Mainstream American music is almost completely dead to me. Spanish pop music is my guilty pleasure and I try to make sure the lyrics are not obviously promoting something evil.

Your point about church services is a good one too. I think modernist music is completely subversive and evil when it's used to replace Catholic liturgical hymns, but I think it's actually not so bad to replace secular music with catchy churchy sing-along songs.
 
Last edited:

Papist

Robin
You are absolutely correct to recognize this and I think it is great that you are taking some steps to make your life consistent with your beliefs. Since I myself have pondered this question many times, the major step I have taken is to stop listening to degenerate music and only listen to artists that (1) seem agreeable to you when you read their biography and look at their photographs and (2) don't have lyrics that are sinful.

I'm far from perfect at this and still have my own weakness, but I draw the line whenever I consciously hear a verse that is obnoxiously promoting sin. Unfortunately, I used to listen to electronic dance music (God forbid) and the lyrics were constantly professing ridiculous beliefs like "We are all chemicals" and "The voices in my head." It's a first-world problem for sure, but I had to be honest with myself and recognize that many of my beloved and favorite musicians were just troubled, secular atheists who suffered from many mental illnesses that they made manifest in catchy tunes.

Recently I have just been listening to semi-mainstream Japanese music and relatively obscure American artists. Mainstream American music is almost completely dead to me. Spanish pop music is my guilty pleasure and I try to make sure the lyrics are not obviously promoting something evil.

Your point about church services is a good one too. I think modernist music is completely subversive and evil when it's used to replace Catholic liturgical hymns, but I think it's actually not so bad to replace secular music with catchy churchy sing-along songs.
Spot on. That's exactly what I meant.

I think you're correct about the mainstream artists. I think there are some, like The Proclaimers, who I once believed were a Christian act. There's definitely a hint of Christianity in some of their music:

While I'm worth
My room on this Earth
I will be with you
While the Chief
Puts sunshine on Leith

and the more obvious:

Lord I want to be a Christian
In my heart
In my heart
Lord I want to be a Christian
and again:


The less I believe in me
The more I believe in thee
The less I believe in me
The more I believe in thee
Oh you've given me a plan
That I don't understand
'Cause I've wandered over half the world
But I've remained an ignorant man
One thing That I know
Is when the final bell tolls
Human love won't be enough
Good deeds can't save my soul

I think The Proclaimers are okay. Johnny Cash, for all his faults (which we all have), is another good yin.

I'm going to build up a repository of music which, at the very least, doesn't promote sin; if it acknowledges Christ then even better.
 

Eric The Awful

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I listen to CCM quite a bit, but I agree about the repetitive nature of it. Usually the second time they sing the chorus, I'm thinking "I get the point, can we move on please?" And worship bands are even worse. At my last church, our worship leader could get 30 minutes out of four songs. I ran the computer there, and most of my activity involved flipping between two slides for minutes on end. Somehow he was just following the Holy Spirit.

One thing that drives me nuts is how most churches only sing a handful of songs. I spent 8 years in my first church and we sang fewer than 20 hymns on a regular basis. The excuses I get are that the congregation doesn't like new music, and worship bands all work and don't have time to practice. I don't find either excuse acceptable to me, but I'm not likely to change American Evangelical worship. Even in churches with a paid worship pastor, we can't get any variety in worship music. And it's that pastor's full time job! Even my wife has started to complain about how we only sing a few songs on a regular basis, and she used to tell me to quit complaining about it.
 

IMMImedia

Sparrow
quite a few. Amy Grant - Thy word. She got many, angels watching over me is pretty good too. Jackie Leven - sexual loneliness of Jesus Christ is a masterpiece. Deep lyrics, is about the inner feelings that Jesus must have had regarding the journey he had to go through, and how God felt regarding what he put his son Jesus through. Rick astley did an album about faith a few years ago, great stuff, especially the single angels on my side. was also a song about jesus and the evil one meeting in the park having a chat or sumding. The evil one is angry, God tells him to think positive and dance. God says it's called.

And you got quite a few well known that are catchy, newsboys - something beautiful, we believe, and gods not dead is good stuff. Third day - cry out to jesus and I need a miracle are great. And there are many great swedish ones, since it is a singsong kind of a language, and much richer than english
 

Papist

Robin
quite a few. Amy Grant - Thy word. She got many, angels watching over me is pretty good too. Jackie Leven - sexual loneliness of Jesus Christ is a masterpiece. Deep lyrics, is about the inner feelings that Jesus must have had regarding the journey he had to go through, and how God felt regarding what he put his son Jesus through. Rick astley did an album about faith a few years ago, great stuff, especially the single angels on my side. was also a song about jesus and the evil one meeting in the park having a chat or sumding. The evil one is angry, God tells him to think positive and dance. God says it's called.

And you got quite a few well known that are catchy, newsboys - something beautiful, we believe, and gods not dead is good stuff. Third day - cry out to jesus and I need a miracle are great. And there are many great swedish ones, since it is a singsong kind of a language, and much richer than english
I have just listened to The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ. I'll be honest I wasn't sure what to make of the lyrics. I Googled the artist, and this is what he had to say:

Triste: 'The Sexual Loneliness Of Jesus Christ": Was that anything to do with the Nikos Kazantzakis novel, or the later Scorsese version of "The Last Temptation Of Christ" which portray a more human Jesus, or was that just coincidental? A case of parallel evolution?

Jackie Leven: No, no, that was completely coincidental. I haven't seen that film. I just like the idea of the inarticulate Jesus, and people coming in the room and saying, 'Jesus, what are we doing?' and he says, 'I fucking don't know!' Because in the Bible, he always know exactly what to say. I said this to someone recently, and they looked at me and said, 'That is the point of the Bible, Jackie.' And I thought, yeah, but there must be a kind of 'shadow Bible' in which Jesus was interested in pornography, which they had in those days, and he must have had things that he wanked about, and stuff like that, like the rest of us. I wonder what all of that was. And the loneliness that attaches to that kind of private masculine, and feminine world, as well, you know? There's a kind of solitary form in which we all live. So I think I was just saying, that's true of him, too.
 

IMMImedia

Sparrow
I have just listened to The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ. I'll be honest I wasn't sure what to make of the lyrics. I Googled the artist, and this is what he had to say:
I have not read what mr Leven stated it was about. It is just what I got from it. One should never explain ones lyrics, listeners are supposed to find the meaning themselves. Yes, it is aboujt living in the flesh and earthly temptations too, but the more interesting thing is his contemplation about how he has to kill his son, and how father and son must come to terms with it. About taking tough choices because there is a purpose, about faith and strength. And it is interesting that an atheist has written the best religious song there is. I even think he disliked christianity. Why are you concerned buddy? Wasn't it a musical masterpiece
 

Papist

Robin
I have not read what mr Leven stated it was about. It is just what I got from it. One should never explain ones lyrics, listeners are supposed to find the meaning themselves. Yes, it is about living in the flesh and earthly temptations too, but the more interesting thing is his contemplation about how he has to kill his son, and how father and son must come to terms with it. About taking tough choices because there is a purpose, about faith and strength. And it is interesting that an atheist has written the best religious song there is. I even think he disliked christianity. Why are you concerned buddy? Wasn't it a musical masterpiece
That's fair, and you're correct it is a good song. I suppose I don't like the idea that I'm listening to something blasphemous. I have read and re-read the lyrics, and I'm not sure what to make of them:


Jackie Leven - The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ​

The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ​


They say that God is in the detail
and I'm sure that's true
I run my thumb across Egyptian stone
and the images come through

I see the bird, I see the dog
I feel the weather deep inside my shoes
I see the light upon my hand
as I receive uncertain news

suddenly I realise I'm living the lie
my Father planned for me
with the sun beating on my back
I see I am the lonely man of Galilee

(REF 1)
and if I ride my way
Across the shattered stones
will I ever see the bleaching of the bones
of the boy I used to be when I still sang
before I lived in fear of dying on my own
I cannot die alone

(REF 2)
and I miss my baby
I miss him all through the night
they're gonna kill my baby
and stars are shining bright

(INTERLUDE)

I enter certain distant lands
and see young woman dying inside
they hold young children by the hand
but luck is not upon their side

cold shards of space
rip through their clothes
and pierce the heart
that bears the pain

in grief and bandages they walk
a thousand miles of driving rain

if a woman should bathe my feet
because she loves me
and I'n not even there
what does that say
about the emptiness I feel
or the power of prayer?

all kinds of power circle me
I raise my hand
and the world goes boom
but I see no me
in woman's eyes
I suffer like a child
in an empty room

(REF 1)

(REF 2)

(INTERLUDE)

on a ship the sailors are all smiles
but there is nothing in their eyes
in fact their eyes are dead
but the horror is that love is their disguise

they turn to laugh among themselves
and I live in terror of this sound
their words and cadence do not match
and I can smell blood in the ground
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
I still listen to a lot of CCM bands from the 90s, back when labels were signing creative artists and before it all developed into a contemporary worship power ballad factory.

Caedmon's Call was a standout band from back in those days, at their best with these kinds of somber, moody songs.


Another one I liked, great chord progression and melodies in this song by Delirious.

 

IMMImedia

Sparrow
That's fair, and you're correct it is a good song. I suppose I don't like the idea that I'm listening to something blasphemous. I have read and re-read the lyrics, and I'm not sure what to make of them:
Wow, reading the lyrics rather than listening to a song makes a difference. Always heard "life", not "lie". Perhaps I was totally wrong to call it a christian song then, but it is a religious one still. And it still has the same meaning to me as it did the first time I heard it 15 years ago. An inner diologue between God and Jesus.
 

Papist

Robin
Wow, reading the lyrics rather than listening to a song makes a difference. Always heard "life", not "lie". Perhaps I was totally wrong to call it a christian song then, but it is a religious one still. And it still has the same meaning to me as it did the first time I heard it 15 years ago. An inner diologue between God and Jesus.
'Life' would make more sense, to be honest. There appear to be definite errors in the lyrics - for example 'and I'n not even there' and 'see young woman dying inside' - which are repeated on different websites, which implies the material has been copied and pasted and errors have simply been duplicated. It might be that a single person has hastily transcribed what they believe they've heard, or that English is not their first language.

I think it is 'life'. It's an excellent song, I agree.

What do you make of these lyrics?

on a ship the sailors are all smiles
but there is nothing in their eyes
in fact their eyes are dead
but the horror is that love is their disguise
they turn to laugh among themselves
and I live in terror of this sound
their words and cadence do not match
and I can smell blood in the ground

How do you interpret them?


Edit:

Looking for others' interpretation of the song. This is a brief one published in The Independent:

perhaps the most striking of the album's songs is another paternal rumination, "The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ", wherein the saviour laments his essential solitude, which persists despite his apparently limitless powers.

The man himself states that, with respect to his work in general, words aren't as important as the cadence (~21 mins in)

 
Last edited:

IMMImedia

Sparrow
'Life' would make more sense, to be honest. There appear to be definite errors in the lyrics - for example 'and I'n not even there' and 'see young woman dying inside' - which are repeated on different websites, which implies the material has been copied and pasted and errors have simply been duplicated. It might be that a single person has hastily transcribed what they believe they've heard, or that English is not their first language.

I think it is 'life'. It's an excellent song, I agree.

What do you make of these lyrics?



How do you interpret them?


Edit:

Looking for others' interpretation of the song. This is a brief one published in The Independent:



The man himself states that, with respect to his work in general, words aren't as important as the cadence (~21 mins in)

I see, mistranslated makes sense, perhaps it was me 15 years ago, who knows. English is not my native language. Do not have time to watch the documentary now, but will do it later. Regarding the lyric piece you pasted, I think that is more about his life. He had a hard life, was a bit depressed, had a bout with drugs after the da lai lamas bodyguard stole his girlfriend, and some violence where he got punched in the throat. He could not sing for years or sumding, feared for his career. So about him being depressed among smiling folks, perhaps just something he wrote about how it was to play a gig, and people having fun, while he is dying inside. He has mostly weird lyrics that are impossible to know what means.
 
Played in a rock band all my teen years - always appreciated well written music. The Christian music played at most American churches completely turned me off. The songs sounded feminine and often poorly written (instrumentally and vocal melodies). It's almost better not to have any music at all than to have poorly written music trying to sound hip but ends up sounding cheesy and poorly written (hillsong, bethel).

A few Christian artists I feel have decent songwriting: Steven Curtis Chapman, Skillet, Amy Grant, Pillar, POD, DC Talk.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Lots of worship music gets disparaged for having sappy lyrics that sounds like a cheesy secular pop song but only with Jesus been substituted for some guy or girl, but the lyrics for this one are actually good. And yes, it's from one of those mega churches that people love to hate on.


To reveal the kingdom coming
And to reconcile the lost
To redeem the whole creation
You did not despise the cross

For even in Your suffering
You saw to the other side
Knowing this was our salvation
Jesus for our sake You died

And the morning that You rose
All of heaven held its breath
Till that stone was moved for good
For the Lamb had conquered death

And the dead rose from their tombs
And the angels stood in awe
For the souls of all who’d come
To the Father are restored

And the Church of Christ was born
Then the Spirit lit the flame
Now this gospel truth of old
Shall not kneel shall not faint

By His blood and in His Name
In His freedom I am free
For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me
 
Top