So, I’ve been thinking about this a bit recently. At Uni, a friend of mine (Phil P) used to contend that secular music was better than Christian music. To prove this, we listened to a few Christian songs which sounded vaguely like their secular counterparts. Guess which ones were better (in our opinion)?
I came across another example of this a few weeks ago. ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ by Matt Redman uses pretty much the same chord sequence all the way through the song. I discovered that ‘With or Without You’ also uses the same chord sequence all the way through the song – it’s in a different key, but the same chord sequence.
Out of those two songs, ‘With or Without You’ is a clear winner – at least in terms of the arrangement. Why can’t more Christian music be like that?
I admit that I’ve probably picked a bad example, because ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ is really a worship style song, designed to be sung by a congregation of worshippers. ‘With or Without You’ is designed to be performed by U2, and as such they don’t have to worry about the average Joe’s limited vocal range (or the average skill of a worship band guitarist, which – to be fair – is probably less than The Edge’s guitar playing skills).
The other thing is, I often find that Christian bands are… well, too Christian. U2 are actually a good example in some ways – I believe that three out of four of the band members are Christian, and a lot of their songs reflect that. Why define yourself as a ‘Christian’ band?
What we need is some good music by Christian people, some of which is about Christian things. But not in a “three point sermon” kind of way.
Do any such bands exist? If I was any good I would form a band like that, but unfortunately I am both a pretty rubbish musician and a rubbish song writer. So I wouldn’t exactly be a great advert for “Christian” music 😉