April 5, 2009

Let’s Dance Back and Forth

Posted in Christian, Christian Music tagged , , , at 10:18 pm by Bryant

Another week has passed which brings us a “fresh” Weekend 22.  No surprises at #1 this week with Francesca Battistelli’s “Free to be me” reigning for the 4th straight week.  Each time I hear the song I realize that it may not be all that bad.  After all it could be my general disliking of artists that sound like Sara Bareilles (specifically in “Love Song”).  Francesca’s previous song “I’m Letting Go” drove me crazy hearing it on the radio once every car ride.  Again, it’s mostly the radio that causes me not to like these artists.  But I’m not so sure who is to blame: the radio who forces us to listen to it or the people that keep requesting it because once an hour isn’t enough.  Still I think Jars of Clay “Two Hands” is a far superior song and thankfully gained 3 spaces to #10.

Oh Weekend 22, last week they premiered a “future hit” for Hawk Nelson’s “Let’s Dance” because and I quote “because all of their other songs have been hits.” I guess they are correct because this week it was #20.  When Hawk Nelson came onto the scene singing about how they wanted a Christian girl, it was kind of catchy.  I bought in because Relient K made me believe punk in Christian music could work.  They even threw in a lyric about Jesus every now and then which appeased me.  But after their second album I began to get unsatisfied with them.  Their songs were generic punk and did not vary much from album to album.  The lyrics got better, but that is not saying much.  I can not see this band past a girl craze.  Their first two albums had more songs about girls than Jesus, and Jesus was mentioned in passing as in “just a picture of Jesus and a house left in pieces” and that was good enough for Christian radio.  If that is really all it takes then I should hear U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on CCM.

Let’s dive into “Let’s Dance.” Lyrics can be found here and song can be heard on their MySpace. I’m not sure where David Bowie can be found.

Getting passed the whiny singing, here’s where the songs breaks down lyrically for me:

And I don’t wanna look inside myself cause
Then I’ll have to change somethin’ else and
I don’t want to live, like someone else I’m
Happy in my skin, bein’ myself
Let’s dance

Parallel this stanza with Christianity, see any inconsistencies (and no Baptists, I’m not talking about Dancing)? Christianity is all about reforming, changing for the better for the glory of God.  We are called to live like Christ, to pursue the Christlife.  Happy in your skin sort of sounds like happy in your flesh, not changing, just being content in the mess of sin that is the flesh.  Might as well dance. I think the song was trying to prove a point, trying to be deep, trying to sing in metaphors.  It should have tried harder.

Theological Accuracy: 2/10. The two is accounted for just because it makes a point that we should not make money a god.  That is all.

Relevancy: Irrelevant.

Lyrical Strength: 3/10.  The words rhymed and almost flowed together.  For Hawk Nelson, 3 for participation.

Worship: Unless you dance, 0.

Fun: 6/10.  Hawk usually brings a fun catchy beat, and that is why they are on the radio.

Inspiration: 2/10 because it inspired me to write this.

Originality: It’s hard to tell Stellar Kart from Hawk Nelson, and Hawk hasn’t changed all that much since their last album.  They have been around too long not to develop any further as a band.  Needless to say, this will be a popular song and girls will love it.

Let’s get positive.

Lanae’ Hale is bring it.  Read a formal review of her from Christian Music Today and hear the song “Back and Forth” at her MySpace.  The first time I heard “Back and Forth” on the radio I stayed in the car after parking so I could hear it end.  It sounds original and fresh.  The vocals come from the soul.  I read the lyrics and I’m not sure I 100% understand them but there is some feeling of relying on God to make it through the trials that he places in front of us and seeking God.  God isn’t mentioned by name but is the understood “You”.

Theological Accuracy: 7/10. We get some imagery of Jesus calming the storms.

Relevancy: 7/10. Life is full of storms and obstacles. We must keep faith that Christ can calm the storms.

Lyrical Strength: 7/10.  The words are poetry. Lanae’ is herself a poet that delivers a weekly poem on her MySpace. The lyrics give the appearance of the honest truth.

Vocal Strength: 10/10. Some of the best vocals I’ve heard lately.  Her voice isn’t completely polished but it meshes with the song so well.  Beautiful.

Worship: 5/10. The song speaks of seeking God and relying on him in storms.

Fun: 7/10.  The song is catchy, upbeat, and rocking.

Inspiration: 7/10. The lyrics make me think about how I seek God and if I trust him.

Originality: 10/10. It’s one of the most original CCM songs I’ve heard on the radio.  Her vocals and lyrics take off on the “don’t let go” part and sets it apart from the norm.

Another positive note, I was traveling through Nashville, TN and when I do I try to listen to WayFM and 89.1 WNAZ as much as possible because WayFM sets the national tone for music and WNAZ plays a lot of good music you won’t hear on WayFM.  WayFM’s prime time show Total Axxess proved to be quite enjoyable.  Total Axxess’s host Wally used to annoy me, but I’ve grown to appreciate his unique style; afterall, not every Christian DJ will admit to not liking a song or a group on the air.  Obviously, I can appreciate that honesty.  He also responded personally to an e-mail I sent him about an artist I wanted to hear him play.  What stuck out in this last show I heard is that he admitted to liking a song that he was going to play and admitted it would be the last time he would get to play it because it was more rock than the station usually allows.  It was a Decyfer Down song which just might get reviewed.  Peace be with you.

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