Christian Music - Out of Touch?

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Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby andrwfields on Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:58 pm

My wife LOVES listening to K-Love when we're in the car. I like the radio station, I like the message of the station, and I even like some of the music. But, for the most part, I feel that a lot of the music played on K-Love is out of touch. I understand that most of their music is meant to be worship music, but it is still so out-of-date in it's style. I was listening to Big Daddy Weave's new song this morning and it had a saxophone solo. Besides the Dave Matthews Band (who pulls it off very well) and some ska, nobody since 1995 has put a saxophone solo or even a saxophone in their song to the extent that it was noticable.

I've noticed that most of the new worship music that is being put out there is very out of date, while most Christian rock music is considered to be evangelistic. I know that when I listen to K-Love anymore, I'm mostly turned off. I also know that this is an extension of my complaint about not having an Air1 station in my area.

I just wondered if anybody else felt this way (about current Christian worship music being outdated in style)?
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Postby chad_ghost on Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:32 pm

A friend of mine is a DJ for WCQR here in town. He says a lot of it has to do with target demographics. For WCQR, their target is mid-30s mothers. Needless to say, that is not us.

WayFM out of Nashville is a bit better, targeting mid-20s females. As you can say, mostly us guys are left out.

Love89 out of Knoxville, however, does not have a target, which, according to my friend, can be a disaster for a station because it could turn more listeners away than bring in.

Anyway, after saying all that, I agree with you :) That's why we have Pyro! Anyone suggest a good online Christian radio station?
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Postby RevSears on Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:31 pm

I too am more of an air1 fan but k-love has some good ones. I genraly find myself listening to Christian rock or hip-hop cds.
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Postby camper on Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:48 am

K-Love doesn't bother me, one of the few Christian radio stations I get in clear. The other one I get that I really like, is WPEL out of Montrose but that's more for the 'talking' that I prefer over the music. And one thing that bothers me is that I've heard, in their community announcemnet section, information for an open house at a local Latter Day Saints church, and a 7th Day Adventist event.

So right away I'm very skeptical of that station, and generally only listen to the programs they offer that I feel I can trust (Ravi Zaccarias, Focus on the Family, etc).

As for mainstream Christian music being 'out of touch', and not on the level with their secular counterparts I'd say yes. Absolutely. Of course it is going to be, because the message is so different then what you'll find in the secular music.

Secular musicians have a broarder audience base they can appeal to, so they can afford to be more experinental or mainstream. The Christian audience is small enough as it is, that if you start breaking it down too much into target audiences then you're going to end up with a very small listener base.

Still, at 34 and having grown up in the 80's, gone to a Christian school and hearing the contemporary Christian music from then, I say it's vastly improved over what it used to be.

While KLove does tend to have a sound more reminiscent of the late 80s/90s kind of music, that sound is still popular today and can be heard in even the more modern non-hip-hop music.

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Postby Matthew on Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:27 am

We have K-Love now, along with another Chrisitan radio station. I've been listening to Christian music allmost exclusively for the past several years, so if it is behind secular music, I'm not too aware :D

I like our other station better than K-Love, but K-Love isn't that bad either. A little too soft for me sometimes.

Still, at 34 and having grown up in the 80's, gone to a Christian school and hearing the contemporary Christian music from then, I say it's vastly improved over what it used to be.


I think dan hit this right on the head. I remember the Christian music we listened to at youth group in the 1990s. Bands like PFR were popular. I really don't think I could bring myself to listen to PFR ever again. Heck, I don't even like Jars of clay, and most of the old DC Talk stuff makes me laugh.

The one thing I'm kinda irritated with is the fact that so much Christian music seems to be eluding to God, not directly praising or mentioning him. Take Switchfoot for example. I feel that the majority of stuff played on the radio never mentions God. That's just me though...
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Postby RevSears on Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:19 pm

You make a God point, a lot of bands just allude and aren't direct enough. Some of that is they think they can reach a broader audience that way, and some like switchfoot and reliant k now too, have. I know people who have started out by hearing Reliant k's thunder cats song and checking out their other stuff that does seriously praise God. But for the most part i don't think that approach is too successful. I had another thought too, k-love still plays a lot of older music from time to time and i think infleunces our opinion as well.
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Postby andrwfields on Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:32 pm

Maybe we need to define what Christian music is? To me, it is anything that talks about God, being a Christian, or leading a Christian lifestyle. I don't think all Christian music has to be worship music and I don't think it has to be soppy love songs either. I don't mind that stuff, but it's just not for me.

The problem is that Christians fall into such a broad range of people. Why does the majority of Christian music seem to be written for people who can easily make a transition from Michael Bolton? What about people who turned to God and made a transition from bands like Metallica, Panic at the Disco, and Jay-Z? Do they have to conform, or should they be able to worship God in their own way that makes it special to them?

I commend artists like Jeremy Camp who has done some good rock music, and Jars of Clay who turned themself into somewhat of an Indie/Scene band like Maroon 5. I want to hear more from bands like 12 Stones and Sanctus Real personally.
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Postby the pyromaniac on Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:45 pm

chad_ghost wrote:
WayFM out of Nashville is a bit better, targeting mid-20s females. As you can say, mostly us guys are left out.

...

Anyway, after saying all that, I agree with you :) That's why we have Pyro! Anyone suggest a good online Christian radio station?


Yeah, WayFm is almost adequate, and well, I try... Right now I'm listening to a lot of old P.o.D. and Ninety Pound Wuss, 'cuz the Christian radio stations up here in Roanoke are lame at best and my budget for new music is almost nonexistent at the moment with just starting a new job and buying a home.
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Postby MacGyver on Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:46 am

I'm a little out of touch with most current music and where I live, getting a Christian station to come in clear enough to enjoy is very hit or miss. So...I mostly listen to CDs. I guess I should explore the world of online music, but honestly I'm one of those people who bounces on and off the internet during the day and I don't stay on generally long enough to make it worth loading up a radio station.

At any rate, I do think there are a lot of stations that could have a better music selection. KLove is one of the ones we get in clear sometimes and it's ok...but mostly a trip down the 90s memory lane. I still enjoy many of my 90s CDs from back when I listened to a lot of Jars, Third Day, Newsboys Sarah Masen, White Heart (lol, yeah borderline 80s), Petra (spanning HUGE amounts of time...), Insyderz, Five Iron Frenzy, Skillet, Audio Adrenaline, Chasing Furies, Bleach, Poor Old Lu, The Waiting, oh man... lol. I still count a few of those as among my favorites. Are they outdated? Maybe, but it was good stuff! More recent stuff I listen to most are bands like Skillet (my favorite of all time), Matthew West, Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Third Day and I enjoy most of the stuff the teens I work with listen to, tho I couldn't name most of them.

I agree with Andy...there is a rich variety of Christian music...I LOVE worship, but that's not all I listen to. As an example, my favorite album right now (and it has been for a LONG time now) is Skillet's Comatose. God/Jesus is not named once in the lyrics. Is that bad? Not in my opinion! For me listening to that album, God's all over it. It's not worship, but yet I can worship God hard as I sing those songs. That album has hit me so hard right where I live that almost every song is like a prayer ripped directly from my heart and handed to God. Some people get concerned when Christian bands start not saying the name of God/Jesus in their music. You know what? I was just at a Skillet concert this past weekend (probably the 7th or 8th time I've seen them) and it was an incredible God experience! There is no doubt in my mind that it's all about God for them. The band has moved from really preaching in their music to talking about God in real rubber meets the road life. That's a lot more accessible to the hurting, angry, suicidal, non-believing teens they're targeting. I can't tell you how many (to be honest) freaks have shown up at their concerts lately (I've been to 2 since Comatose came out). It used to be just a bunch of Christian kids coming to enjoy a show. Now, there are unbelievers coming, hooked by the music style, the anguish of the lyrics and the hope offered, and they hear about God at these concerts. Skillet's mission is to reach these kids, and they're doing it. They haven't sold out, and they are certainly not ashamed of the gospel. I suspect it's the same for some of these other well-established Christian bands who've gone the same route. I don't really know because I'm not a fan of Switchfoot or Reliant K really.

Anyway, sorry to go on and on, especially about Skillet, but I'm very passionate about music that's relevant to real life and about their mission. To me, a sound doesn't make music relevant so much as relating to real life and real people. It can't all be happy Jesus music (which isn't to say I don't like that at times...one of my favorite albums is Passion Hymns) But most people just don't relate to that.
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Re: Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby the pyromaniac on Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:31 am

Well, here we are, more than 3 years later and it hasn't gotten any better.....

For the sake of this discussion if anybody wants to revive it, here's my thoughts at the moment.

Christian music is the industry of music targeted at Christians... A few artists who don't work much or at all in the Christian market could also fall under this heading, as they profess Christianity and write songs that at least allude to it. I'm thinking here of Alice Cooper, Head, and to some extent Chevelle and MxPx.

Over the years, far more women listen to Christian music than men, so the radio stations don't really care what we're listening to.

Christian music has always been behind the times, and still is. There are very few ground-breaking Christian artists because the labels don't view them as commercially viable in a CCM world. Even a genre like punk that is meant to be rebellious, raw, and offensive is populated by the highly-overrated Relient K and their ilk.

During the third wave of ska Christian music finally got it right for about a year..... when the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the Voodoo Glow Skulls were at their peak, we countered with the Orange County Supertones, the Insyderz, Five Iron Frenzy, and the Israelites.

I listened to PFR, DC Talk, and some of that other stuff when I became a Christian because it was all I could find. When I found Ninety Pound Wuss, that was a great day.......

Over the years there have been some truly great Christian artists, who were groundbreakingly creative. Joy Electric. The Swirling Eddies. Aleixa. Ninety Pound Wuss. Danielson. Starflyer59. Officernegative. Vigilantes of Love. Steve Taylor & Some Band. Have you ever heard of any of them outside of my posts? No. Do you know why? They weren't allowed to be heard because they rocked the boat and those 30-something moms (and the labels who promote to them) didn't think they were safe enough for the youth!

Christian music, as an industry, claims a goal of evangelism, but it would be more effective if it didn't strive for mediocrity in order to scare off CD buyers.
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Re: Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby chad_ghost on Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:36 pm

the pyromaniac wrote:Christian music, as an industry, claims a goal of evangelism, but it would be more effective if it didn't strive for mediocrity...

I daresay the same is true for the a lot of the "Christian" institutions in America today, unfortunately.
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Re: Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby Matthew on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:30 am

Well, unfortunately, I think money has a lot to do with it. Not that money is the goal, per se, but you have to have money stay in the black. Couple of points here.

I have a friend that is a DJ for a Christian radio station. There target audience is 25-35 moms. It works because, like you said, more women listen to men, so instead of playing music to try to reach all audiences, they are tailoring their station to those who are listening.

In the town that I live, we had a Christian station for 13 years or so. They decided to start another station geared towards praise and worship (probably 25-35 women) and move the other station to more of a contemporary, younger type station. That lasted two years and they are no longer in business. I'm not sure if it's because they changed there business model, or because our town couldn't support the operating costs of two stations. They have since been replaced with K-Love and Air-1

But you are right, Christian music does seem behind. Not as behind as it used to be, but still behind. However, I'm almost completely removed of new secular music, so I don't feel late to the party :D.
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Re: Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby chad_ghost on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:12 pm

Matthew wrote:more women listen to men

Is this true?
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Re: Christian Music - Out of Touch?

Postby RevSears on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:48 pm

When I moved up to Juneau i found out that our new church up here operates a radio station themselves. It's actually WAY to heavy for me! Not all the time, but they do often play really hardcore stuff as well rap stuff i don't like. Air 1 is about right foor me, but i have noticed the younger kids love it. Even the kids at work listen to it sometimes. It's a great outreach to them.
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