If you ever stop and wondered about, and then proceeded to analyse the composition of the music that you listen to (in terms of genres, artists etc), would what you find be consistent with the types of music that are your absolute favourite? Would what you find be consistent with who you are as a person and the topics you are passionate about? Would some songs found on your Spotify or iTunes playlist shock you or come out of left field, as you come to realise that certain songs are powerful even if the artist isn’t what you would call a role model? Or is what you listen to predictable- like what you see is what you get- and there is no deviation from your preferred music, as you stay in your bubble and only listen to pop, or country, or rap, or metal, or whatever gets you up and going at the start of the day?
All of these are excellent questions, I’m sure, and you may be wondering where I am going with this; but let me just say that I have been doing some reflecting this past year about the composition of the music that I listen to. While I will continue to direct you all again and again to my post last year where I delved into how God can use mainstream music for furthering His kingdom and giving Him glory, I was still nonetheless a bit perplexed as to how, when I wrote my preliminary list at the start of the year, a few ‘mainstream’ albums appeared in my list of most inspiring and impacting in my life. I mean, I was a Christian, so Christian albums only in that list, am I right? Well let’s just say that throughout this year, that post on how God can use anything, including mainstream music, to draw us closer to Him; was the post on my site that I read the most, and that I probably needed to read the most, for me to fully understand the concept of everything being able to be used by God- and also the concept of anything being inspiring and having a message.
When it all boils down to it, we will forever first and foremost cover Christian albums. We’re believers, it’s what we’ve grown up with, but more than that, writing about songs that are worshipful to Jesus, or give us insight into how the Christian walk can and should be lived so that we can live a happy, healthy and balanced life; is what it’s all about. We’re put on this earth to make Jesus famous, in whatever way we can and whatever way He’s put in front of us, so when I see/hear evidence of Jesus’ agents for change drawing people to Him in their spheres of influence, I become excited. And because I’m a lover of CCM and follow a ton of Christian music artists on social media, whenever an artist releases something new that a) talks about the Christian life and/or b) provides us hope from our troubles and struggles in the name of Jesus, I can’t help but to cover that artist, review that album, and tell the world that this album is awesome, this album points to Jesus, and that you all should listen to this album because maybe you could become closer to Jesus that way.
But here and there, throughout the years we have been more and more receptive to artists’ songs and albums that are not so overtly Christian. This year we’ve reviewed albums heartfelt and poignant from Carrie Underwood and Rachel Platten, as well as a song from Avril Lavigne (probably the most inspirational song of the year!); while Cimorelli have been covered quite a lot on this site (the sisters have quite a strong faith in Christ, yet their songs are directed to the mainstream, and they don’t really advertise their faith that much, apart from some testimony videos recently!). Artists like Switchfoot, Tori Kelly, Brooke Fraser, Needtobreathe, Skillet, and Relient K are all on fire for Jesus, yet their influence is in the mainstream, because they write songs about life- and listeners wouldn’t even know that they are believers in Jesus unless they actively search online for this fact. Artists like Daughtry and Lifehouse have resonated with me of late as well (don’t worry, our review of Cage To Rattle is coming very soon!) while we also have plans to review Alessia Cara’s The Pains Of Growing, even when we don’t know the faith of Alessia, nor do I reckon we need to. This year alone, we’ve grown so much in terms of our favourite music, and this begs the question of why we are subconsciously drawn to music that is different from ‘our music that we’ve grown up with’- because I know I am.
This above paragraph I’ve listed a few ‘mainstream’ artists we listen to now, but it goes for any category- and applies to all of us- about how we’re curious about certain types of music but are scared to take the leap. Music without instruments (acapella). Music without words (instrumentals). Mainstream music (for the Christian who is totally immersed in K-Love and Air 1, like myself!). Christian music (for those who haven’t stepped in a church ever before in their life!). Metal music and country music (for most of us). Whatever we consider different musically, why don’t we give it a chance? Are we scared we’ll be judged by others? Or are we scared that we’ll love the music, become inspired, and hence our view on music is flipped upside down? I believe that once we realise that music is universal and can be applicable to anyone’s life, and we’re free to listen to whatever we want without judgement, knowing that God can and often does speak through the weird and the wonderful, we can rest and just be. We can rest and discover our new favourite artist. And we can rest and see God move, probably even more through those who do not know Him…probably.
Before I go this week, I will leave you with a few ‘different’ albums that has been inspiring to me lately, as I let God speak to my soul even in the different. Even in the things that no one would ever think. So here’s my question to you- what is something God is speaking through that you could never ever imagine? Trust me, it’s God, and trust me, He can use… Whatever. He. Wants. To draw us all to Himself. That just the fact of the matter, and there’s nothing we can do to fully understand that. Mind blown everyone. So sit back and let God do His thing.
Wildfire (Rachel Platten)
Blown Away (Carrie Underwood)
Smoke And Mirrors (Lifehouse)
What To Do With Daylight (Brooke Fraser)
Vice Verses (Switchfoot)
From The Saltland To The River (Paul Colman)
Unbreakable Smile (Tori Kelly)
Freedom (Michael W Smith)
The Greatest Showman Acapella (Peter Hollens)
Mobile Orchestra (Owl City)
Until next time guys, have a great week!