Not too damned good

Bad Catholic lists several reasons why so-called “Christian music” ought to be put out of its misery. This is just one of them:

Isn’t all singing about Jesus inherently valuable?

No. Love covers a multitude of sins, but a cliched refrain of his Most Holy Name will not cover the fact that your melody, chord progression, and overworked synth track are recycled versions of Nickelback’s last single.

Oh, it gets harsher:

If the reality of Christianity is that which is expressed in the majority of “Christian” songs — and that which K-Love takes as their guiding principle — than I would much prefer to be an atheist. K-Love plays “positive” music. (Don’t get me started on the “cutting-edge.”) Every Christian radio station in existence gives the bizarre assurance before every song they play that they are in fact “positive”, “encouraging”, or “family friendly”. (It seems they could replace it all with “We are about to give you a song that sounds like a blanket on top of a kitten.”)

I know exactly what he’s talking about, so here’s a kitten with a blanket on top:

kitten under blanket

Determining the exact sound of the song is left as an exercise for the student.

(Via this Jeff Quinton tweet.)


  1. hatless in hattiesburg »

    26 February 2013 · 12:48 am

    granted most ccr is lame, but i’d prefer it to the festering tripe that abcdisney calls “family friendly” :P

  2. fillyjonk »

    26 February 2013 · 7:14 am

    The author Marva Dawn has some fairly pointed things to say about some of the “praise music” used in churches these days (some of which show up on Christian radio). Part of her point, and a good one I think, is that of the stuff written in the 1700s (yes, we still sing a FEW hymns written that long ago) and the 1800s, most of the dross has been sorted out and discarded, and that process is still going on with modern music. Her argument is not so much “It’s all crud” as it is one of “Be very careful what you select; make sure it is not bad theology as well as bad art.” And she does note that there are some praise songs that ARE bad theology, and others that are bad art, and a few woeful ones that are both. (I can’t give examples; I don’t know that she specifically singled any out)

    Another thing I like about some of the older hymns? They seem more prone to recognize that Christian life is not all rainbows and lollipops. Sometimes I wonder how many people are driven away after getting the impression that having down times or difficulties is somehow not congruent with following Christ….

  3. Nicole »

    26 February 2013 · 9:29 am

    I’m one of those who prefers to hear the old stuff. The new stuff just seems like saccharine sameness. But that applies to most music out there, not just the religious stuff.

  4. CGHill »

    26 February 2013 · 11:58 am

    “I did A, B, and C. Why is R happening to me?”

    As though completing a list of tasks got your guilt expiated (as in the case of Heracles) or got you promoted to Princess (as in the case of Twilight Sparkle).

  5. Jeff Brokaw »

    26 February 2013 · 3:27 pm

    What Filly said, word for word. And Nicole, too.

  6. Sanctity vs sanctimony | Blog of the Nightfly »

    26 February 2013 · 3:54 pm

    […] this case, I was just going to leave a comment at Dustbury about the dreck-infested genre of […]

  7. Quality vs. quantity in faith | Blog of the Nightfly »

    26 February 2013 · 3:55 pm

    […] modern Christian Contemporary Music, when it got away from me. So I rounded it up and dragged it back here where it won’t dig up […]

  8. CGHill »

    8 April 2013 · 10:04 am

    At least there’s some measure of agreement here.

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