Music for the Masses

I am not running out of things to write about (cough, cough)---I was truly running this morning and thinking about the music I was listening to. I am a fairly musical person (I sing and sort of play guitar and have always written songs since I was really little)---so I wonder why I don't mention music so much on my blog. I think it is because everyone is so steeped in their particular musical taste that I don't think I can influence anyone to listen to something that I enjoy. I think some people are so far gone (perhaps I am the judgmental one!) in bad music like Journey and Peter Cetera or Phil Collins that I find that there is no hope. I do like Chicago (that is the little bit of "bad" music I do like). No offense.

And I am confused greatly as to what kind of music I produce. I have had people say I sound like Joan Baez (I have never actually heard her sing in my life but have heard of her), Sarah McLachlan (which I admit, is what I prefer since I have listened to her for years ) and Amy Grant (which I grew up on). My music itself is sort of weird. Well, not really. It is probably boring. It is sort of mellow and sad and I am sure would do well in a funeral. I like it though because it is like me and is that not what musicians hope to produce---a reflection of themselves to show the world? It is like showing everyone your soul. Not that I like that too much, but what can you do when you make music? So, I have had people say that I am sort of folk, sort of worshipful, sort of sultry and earthy I-don't-know-what. I guess I should stop thinking about it.

So, I compiled an idea of what I think the best albums are (that may have or have not had any influence on me. I actually just enjoy them.) And here, I am bearing my soul once again showing you my musical taste:

1. Fumbling Toward Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan
2. Mighty Joe Moon by Grant Lee Buffalo
3. Grace by Jeff Buckley

Those are the top.

Here are some more that I love but are not the top:
4. The Invisible Band by Travis ("Side" is a great song)
5. Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay (when I first heard this I almost fell over)
6. Room Noises by Eisley (they opened up for Coldplay)
7. Hopes and Fears by Keane (this guy is Freddy Mercury)
8. Virginia Creeper by Grant Lee Phillips (alternative country)
9. Don't Believe the Truth by Oasis (this is the greatest album to workout to)
10. Let There be Morning by the Perishers (these guys opened up for Sarah and are from Sweden)
11. The Shore by The Shore (The Verve reborn---you know, Richard Ashcroft)

Of course I love many others like The Verve, Morrissey, The Smiths, The Beatles, U2, Jars of Clay, Jennifer Knapp, Keith Green, Blur, Starsailor and tons of classical.

And I am sure you have noticed that a lot of my favorite music is not Christian music. As much as I hate to say it, I don't usually like Christian music because it is completely outdated and most of the time horrible. No matter what Christian music does it tries to sound like the world, and somehow they do it badly. It is always stuck in the 90's or the 80's---always synthesizers and cheesy lyrics. Some of it is done very well, but it is few and far between. And perhaps I have not made it in the Christian music world because #1 I have not had the chance #2 I write bad songs #3 I don't sound cheesy #4 no one has heard me (except maybe a few people). And what really ticks me off is that I wanted to start my career off musically by doing "worship music recorded" but well done---back when no one was doing it. Now the biggest thing out there is worship music CDs and it really bugs me. Oh well. Now I have the pleasure of hearing them constantly and tiring of "Draw Me Close," "Shout to the Lord," and any type of Matt Redman stuff like "The Heart of Worship." People do get sick of worship songs so maybe my idea was bad. I am sure sick of them.

Again, I am just stating my opinions so don't get too irritated. I mean, you can hack at me, but be sure to bring a cloth to wipe up the blood...

And umm, give some of those albums a listen on Amazon. If you scroll down you can hear samples---but I am sure you knew that.


Anonymous said...


Here's the first verse from Fumbling Toward Ecstacy:

"All the fear has left me now
I’m not frightened anymore
It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath"

Here's the first verse from Draw Me Close:

"Draw me close to you
Never let me go
I'll lay it all down again
To hear you say that
I'm your friend"

Fumbling Toward Ecstacy is redlining my cheesy-meter - Draw Me Close seem a lot more real to me.

R said...

Like I will say, to each his own.

Fumbling is actually more poetic and more my style. I actually love those lines. I love the way she writes.

I am not particularly bothered with Draw Me Close or any other worship song because of cheese matter, I am just sick of them. They have been sung millions of times over and over and it is like chewing the same piece of gum. The cheesy stuff is more the "He's not just anyone...he's my son!" and Michael W. Smith and some of those mainstream chesse buckets. You know what I mean. OR maybe you don't.

Now, you could peg me with Keith Green---he is very cheesy. But he is cool cheesy. He is retro cheesy. He does it with sarcasm. Steven Curtis Chapman has a little of that flair, although I am not fond of him. "So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt" is so ridiculous, but so true and so cheesy. He knows it though. I think that is what makes it art in a way is that it makes a statement. Keith can get away with it. He has.

I think your putting those two songs together shows how one is well-written (Sarah's) and how one is just badly written. I admit that she is a little sensual, but I know that the song is not geared toward God. The Draw Me Close song does not sound like it HAS to be geared toward God at all. I could sing it to Dear Sir and it would be a love song. But that is another matter altogether.

Anonymous said...


I couldn't disagree more with your characterization of the SM tune. The so-called poetry of her lyrics reminds me of bad freshman poetry composition 101. Very smarmy and formulaic (heart pounding beneath flesh and mouth pushing out breath makes me think of the dime store romance paperback novels).

As you said - to each his (or her) own.

R said...


Anonymous said...

You are NUTS! "to each his own . . ." blah blah! Journey rocks! and ps - NO ONE is more cheesy than Amy Grant.
-the milwaukee hatchet (and I'm not cleaning up the blood)

R said...

I agree. I think Amy Grant is cheesy. I grew up though and I don't listent to her...

Journey is another matter...