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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CCM Industry = Ripoff Artists?

I just heard a new song this morning on my local Christian music station... "Alive" by Rebecca St. James. Although the words and melody are of course different, as soon as I heard the little pukka-pukka-pukka drums at the beginning of the song, I recognized the arrangement as a ripoff of the very popular Kelly Clarkson song "Since U Been Gone" from the album she released last year. Hear for yourself: currently you can listen to a clip of "Alive" by playing with the "Jukebox" near the top of the page on Rebecca's Web site, and you can listen to a clip of "Since U Been Gone" on Amazon's page about the Breakaway CD.

So the question is: how come the CCM industry feels like they have to carbon-copy what the mainstream industry is doing? Where's the individuality of the artist? This isn't a new technique for RSJ, either... the year after Jagged Little Pill came out, Rebecca spent a year or two sounding just like Alanis Morissette. Don't get me wrong... I have GREAT respect for Rebecca personally and as a Christian and minister, but you know... you just hate to see somebody copying something as closely as all that. Christianity should be at least as creative as the outside world, if not more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Narnia Sountrack deserves a reshuffle

For months I eagerly awaited the Spetember 27 release date of the Christian "Inspired By" CD related to the upcoming movie version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. When it came out I loved a couple of the songs, but something just didn't quite do it for me... until I reordered the playlist in my MP3 player software! Some of the songs just belong together, or in different spots. For example:

- Track 3, "Open Up Your Eyes", and Track 9, "Turkish Delight", both relate to Edmund's seduction by the White Witch, using a candy called turkish delight which she had enchanted to entice him to do whatever she wanted him to do. Since those events occur early in the story, they make better sense if they are together, and near the beginning of the playlist.

- Track 2, "Remembering You" (the Steven Curtis Chapman track you might have heard on your local CCM station in the past few days) makes a LOT better sense at the END of the disc, where you are remembering what has happened, rather than at the beginning.

- What's up with that worthless track by Delirious? ? I mean, I actually like Delirious? quite a bit, but chanting "We're getting stronger every day..." over and over doesn't have too much of a connection with the story, does not qualify (to my thinking) as worship music (which is supposed to be Delirious?'s trademark), and just plain doesn't make too much sense.

Here's my ordering of the songs (deleting the unfortunate Delirious? track entirely):

1. Waiting For The World To Fall (Jars of Clay)
2. New World (TobyMac)
3. Turkish Delight (David Crowder Band)
4. Open Up Your Eyes (Jeremy Camp)
5. I Will Believe (Nochole Nordeman)
6. Hero (Bethany Dillon)
7. Lion (Rebecca St. James)
8. More Than It Seems (Kutless)
9. You're The One (Chris Tomlin)
10. Remembering You (Steven Curtis Chapman)

When I listened to them in that order, it was like the whole thing opened up to me and became a much more enjoyable experience. It's like someone gathered a near-perfect batch of songs, then someone who had no idea what was going on rearranged them in the wrong order.

I need to burn myself a CD with the songs that way...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Petra is calling it quits

Here's one for all the people who haven't listened to Petra since the No Doubt CD! They're hanging it up this year (yes, they have been recording and touring steadily since 1972!), and they have recorded a live CD which will come out in November, and be released on DVD early next year. Here's my review of the concert that was taped for the CD, and here's much more information about the whole thing.

If you want to preorder the CD, you can order it from Christian Book Distributors or Amazon via the links on this page.