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Who killed Contemporary Christian Music?

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I read an interesting news article today, and I'm wondering on CTF's opinion of it.

 

http://theweek.com/articles/555603/who-killed-contemporary-christian-music-industry

 

Here's a quote that pretty much summarizes the idea of the article. That CCM has become more about placating the Church going community instead of struggling with real questions and real human issues.

 

 

"We were reaching out," Max says. "We were trying to communicate to the non-believer as much as we were communicating to the believer. Today, when I listen to Christian radio and see the festivals and see what's happening in the church, I don't see a whole lot of that interactivity. Where I'm at right now, it's almost like the doors have shut on the experimenting with lyrics and images and ideas to get people interactive."

...

The CCM industry began relying on sure bets, and the surest bet of all was what's broadly known as "worship music" — songs people sing at church. Initially fueled by musicians like Chris Tomlin and Sonic Flood, worship has since become CCM's primary export — a fact worship-focused bands like Hillsong United have leveraged into playing stadiums around the world.

 

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This is an interesting topic.

My struggle with religious music, is I have a hard time telling often if it is actually religious music. Some of it sounds so secularized, and when I look up, 'WOW THIS SONG IS CHRISTIAN MUSIC ARE YOU REALLY SURE BECAUSE THIS SONG IS ABOUT PARTYING AND SECULAR STUFF AND DOESN'T MENTION GOD A SINGLE ONCE'

 

So I think in trying to reach out to non-believers, they lost the connection with it. I also think it is a problem in the music industry OVERALL. To be mainstream, there is not much depth. All I hear in CCM a lot is "OH HOW HE LOVES US" there was a song where that was about all he sang and I was "OKAY I GOT THAT POINT LET'S TOUCH ANOTHER ONE" They should stop worrying about being mainstream, and really write with depth. Write some new Amazing Grace type songs, there are still good Christian artists out there, they just are harder to find under all the contemporary shallow songs.

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Just as an example of what CCM used to be like, this DC Talk song got up to 29 on the Billboard Top 100 back in '96. Granted, it is a very 90s song, but I remember it being on the radio in the 00s.

 

 

It's a more secular-like song, but is still musically and lyrically interesting enough to have some meaning to it. 

 

This is an interesting topic.

My struggle with religious music, is I have a hard time telling often if it is actually religious music. Some of it sounds so secularized, and when I look up, 'WOW THIS SONG IS CHRISTIAN MUSIC ARE YOU REALLY SURE BECAUSE THIS SONG IS ABOUT PARTYING AND SECULAR STUFF AND DOESN'T MENTION GOD A SINGLE ONCE'

 

So I think in trying to reach out to non-believers, they lost the connection with it. I also think it is a problem in the music industry OVERALL. To be mainstream, there is not much depth. All I hear in CCM a lot is "OH HOW HE LOVES US" there was a song where that was about all he sang and I was "OKAY I GOT THAT POINT LET'S TOUCH ANOTHER ONE" They should stop worrying about being mainstream, and really write with depth. Write some new Amazing Grace type songs, there are still good Christian artists out there, they just are harder to find under all the contemporary shallow songs.

Jazzy, can you post an example of the partying and secular stuff you're referring to? I can't place any songs like that. 

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Just as an example of what CCM used to be like, this DC Talk song got up to 29 on the Billboard Top 100 back in '96. Granted, it is a very 90s song, but I remember it being on the radio in the 00s.

 

 

It's a more secular-like song, but is still musically and lyrically interesting enough to have some meaning to it. 

 

Jazzy, can you post an example of the partying and secular stuff you're referring to? I can't place any songs like that. 

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KPY6ZPNX

this song is even on godtube o,o

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I never was into contemporary Christian music, so I might be a little biased, but every song seems to me follow the same format. [insert abstract phrase of praise] --> [insert abstract phrase of brokenness] --> [insert abstract phrase of God's salvation]... repeat if necessary. 

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CCM has gone from "Music with a pop style but deeper, Christian lyrics"( Audio Adrenaline, the old Newsboys, Carman)  to "nothing but shallow praise and worship"(Hillsong United) to "Christianized Bubblegum pop"(Jamie Grace) to "Hey, let's try so hard to sound like secular artists that no one knows we're christian 8D We'll lead them in like flies on honey! It's foolproof!" (That song Jazzy posted.)

I'm not sure who did it, but I hope they're happy with themselves. >=| I have a VERY hard time finding new Christian music to listen to, and I refuse to listen to Christian radio. It's all fluff!

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CCM has gone from "Music with a pop style but deeper, Christian lyrics"( Audio Adrenaline, the old Newsboys, Carman)  to "nothing but shallow praise and worship"(Hillsong United) to "Christianized Bubblegum pop"(Jamie Grace) to "Hey, let's try so hard to sound like secular artists that no one knows we're christian 8D We'll lead them in like flies on honey! It's foolproof!" (That song Jazzy posted.)

I'm not sure who did it, but I hope they're happy with themselves. >=| I have a VERY hard time finding new Christian music to listen to, and I refuse to listen to Christian radio. It's all fluff!

I feel you ):

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I was never a fan of the new music, especially the stuff written by guys Marty Haughen, Dan Shuute, Fr. Mike Joncas, etc. It's almost all fluff and the words are occasionally borderline heretical. I prefer the classics like the "Stabat Mater", "O Salutaris Hostia", "Creator of the Stars of Night", "Christus Vincit" and the Solemn Proclamation of Easter. Songs like "Gather Us In" and "On Eagles Wings" just don't compare to the chanting of the Easter Proclamation at the Easter Vigil, in my opinion. Basically, CCM has become really watered down because the lyrics only talk about God's love, and nothing else. There's one modern hymn that says "oh, how He loves us" over and over again and that's it. You just can't compare that to hymns that say things like "It is truly right and just with ardent love of mind and heart to acclaim our God invisible, the Almighty Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord His Son, His Only Begotten. Who for our sake paid Adam's debt to the Eternal Father and pouring out His own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness." CCM is basically, as Boogles said, pop music only a little deeper.

This is just my opinion, though.

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I was never a fan of the new music, especially the stuff written by guys Marty Haughen, Dan Shuute, Fr. Mike Joncas, etc. It's almost all fluff and the words are occasionally borderline heretical. I prefer the classics like the "Stabat Mater", "O Salutaris Hostia", "Creator of the Stars of Night", "Christus Vincit" and the Solemn Proclamation of Easter. Songs like "Gather Us In" and "On Eagles Wings" just don't compare to the chanting of the Easter Proclamation at the Easter Vigil, in my opinion. Basically, CCM has become really watered down because the lyrics only talk about God's love, and nothing else. There's one modern hymn that says "oh, how He loves us" over and over again and that's it. You just can't compare that to hymns that say things like "It is truly right and just with ardent love of mind and heart to acclaim our God invisible, the Almighty Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord His Son, His Only Begotten. Who for our sake paid Adam's debt to the Eternal Father and pouring out His own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness." CCM is basically, as Boogles said, pop music only a little deeper.

This is just my opinion, though.

Thing is, Hymns and CCM are different genres completely. Er, well, they SHOULD be. CCM is casual music with a Christian message, while hymns and Latin Chants are church music. Unfortunately, many churches play CCM AS worship music because of the message and it bugs me. Gimme a hymnal, please.  I want to worship God without all that...."WHEN HEAVEN MEETS EARTH LIKE AN UNFORSEEN KISS AND MY HEART TURNS VIOLENTLY INSIDE OF MY CHEST HOW HE LOVES US X 10,000".... I want "Would you please turn in your hymnals to page 263 and join us in singing 'I'll Fly Away.'"

I like "On Eagles Wings" actually. :P Reminds me of my childhood. Nostalgia stuff.

Edited by Boogles

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I was never a fan of the new music, especially the stuff written by guys Marty Haughen, Dan Shuute, Fr. Mike Joncas, etc. It's almost all fluff and the words are occasionally borderline heretical. I prefer the classics like the "Stabat Mater", "O Salutaris Hostia", "Creator of the Stars of Night", "Christus Vincit" and the Solemn Proclamation of Easter. Songs like "Gather Us In" and "On Eagles Wings" just don't compare to the chanting of the Easter Proclamation at the Easter Vigil, in my opinion. Basically, CCM has become really watered down because the lyrics only talk about God's love, and nothing else. There's one modern hymn that says "oh, how He loves us" over and over again and that's it. You just can't compare that to hymns that say things like "It is truly right and just with ardent love of mind and heart to acclaim our God invisible, the Almighty Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord His Son, His Only Begotten. Who for our sake paid Adam's debt to the Eternal Father and pouring out His own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness." CCM is basically, as Boogles said, pop music only a little deeper.

This is just my opinion, though.

Yeah, that's the point. I want more music that talks about God and struggles with real issues that shouldn't be sung in church. I want my music to reflect who I am and what I'm going through and that's doubts, struggles, issues with God. It's so hard to find that because CCM has made itself into a land of worship music, puffy clouds, and no messages. 

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Thing is, Hymns and CCM are different genres completely. Er, well, they SHOULD be. CCM is casual music with a Christian message, while hymns and Latin Chants are church music. Unfortunately, many churches play CCM AS worship music because of the message and it bugs me. Gimme a hymnal, please.  I want to worship God without all that...."WHEN HEAVEN MEETS EARTH LIKE AN UNFORSEEN KISS AND MY HEART TURNS VIOLENTLY INSIDE OF MY CHEST HOW HE LOVES US X 10,000".... I want "Would you please turn in your hymnals to page 263 and join us in singing 'I'll Fly Away.'"

I like "On Eagles Wings" actually. :P Reminds me of my childhood. Nostalgia stuff.

When we went to Mass at school, all they did was CCM, which is probably why I got them confused. It was rare that we sang an actual hymn. Most of the more modern hymns are nice, just not at Mass, in my opinion. Thanks for clearing that up.

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I don't wanna be that one guy but I actually love modern CCM.

And there's nothing wrong with that. We all have our own styles and comforts, but I'm just not always in a headspace where I can listen to modern CCM and I want a good alternative. 

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I dig Hillsong United's work, I wouldn't quite say it's "shallow praise". Along with the song "How he loves" by David Crowder Jazzy mentioned, it's actually a pretty heart felt song, if you listen to the entire thing. I'm not too in too Christian music, the only Christian bands I really like are Elevation Worship, David Crowder, Rend Collective, and Hillsong United. 

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I only listen to Christian music and I don't have any problems with it. I don't like ALL of the songs of course, but I do like most of them. I think it depends on what you're looking for exactly. All I know is thatany other music makes me get a headache, feel disgusted, or makes me really sad. In a sense, it's all the same. It's saddening some of the secular songs out there. People like them though because they're shoved into your face or have a catchy tune. Good Christian songs have catchy tunes too! Beyond that though, my main concern is always the lyrics. I pay very close attention to all lyrics for all songs, both Christian and secular. They make you think when you do that, so I guess that's why a lot of people these days don't pay attention to the lyrics. Thinking is dangerous.

A thing that always bothered me was how when people ask me what I listen to and when I say Christian music, they automatically think I only listen to "church music" or worship songs. That is so far from true. There are so many different genres for secular music and it's the same with Christian music. The difference is that one is saying whatever they want with their eyes on the money, while the other is using their God given talent in music to give back to Him.

Another misconception I get is how since I only listen to Christian music, I must not know any secular songs or artists. I wish that were true, but I don't live under a rock -_- I know enough to know that I am happy with my decision in only listening to Christian music. I' m not missing out on anything. It's definitely easier to just listen to what everyone else is listening to, but why would I want to be like the rest of societywhen it's just getting worse and worse? We're called to live in this world, but we are not of this world. I'd rather not hear songs that are promoting things that I am against. People are just so quick to judge Christian music and ridicule it when it's unnecessary. If I was the parent of almost any of these secular singers around today, I would be so disappointed and feel like a complete failure in teaching my child morals and common sense.

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Guest JAG

CCM is geared towards 25-40 year old stay at home Christian mothers.

 

What kills me is our most progressive 'Christian' music currently comes out of the 116 click (Lecrae won best gospel album a while back), and they still don't get play on mainstream Christian radio.

 

I pretty much always wince when I turn to a Christian radio station because I always have a feeling it's either going to be from 10 years ago playing, or no where near the musicality of a producer like Diplo, for example.  It's embarrassing.

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I only listen to Christian music and I don't have any problems with it. I don't like ALL of the songs of course, but I do like most of them. I think it depends on what you're looking for exactly. All I know is thatany other music makes me get a headache, feel disgusted, or makes me really sad. In a sense, it's all the same. It's saddening some of the secular songs out there. People like them though because they're shoved into your face or have a catchy tune. Good Christian songs have catchy tunes too! Beyond that though, my main concern is always the lyrics. I pay very close attention to all lyrics for all songs, both Christian and secular. They make you think when you do that, so I guess that's why a lot of people these days don't pay attention to the lyrics. Thinking is dangerous.

A thing that always bothered me was how when people ask me what I listen to and when I say Christian music, they automatically think I only listen to "church music" or worship songs. That is so far from true. There are so many different genres for secular music and it's the same with Christian music. The difference is that one is saying whatever they want with their eyes on the money, while the other is using their God given talent in music to give back to Him.

Another misconception I get is how since I only listen to Christian music, I must not know any secular songs or artists. I wish that were true, but I don't live under a rock -_- I know enough to know that I am happy with my decision in only listening to Christian music. I' m not missing out on anything. It's definitely easier to just listen to what everyone else is listening to, but why would I want to be like the rest of societywhen it's just getting worse and worse? We're called to live in this world, but we are not of this world. I'd rather not hear songs that are promoting things that I am against. People are just so quick to judge Christian music and ridicule it when it's unnecessary. If I was the parent of almost any of these secular singers around today, I would be so disappointed and feel like a complete failure in teaching my child morals and common sense.

I certainly don't think you live under a rock Paige.

I think there is still some good Christian artist out there, but as said, you have to look for them. I know some decent ones but they aren't very known by other people who listen to Christian Music.

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I like the oldies....mostly good old classic amazing grace.. And I'll fly away... That stuff

those are considered hymns :) I like those too

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those are considered hymns :) I like those too

I like a lot of the hymns too, they sound really good when band's add Guitars and other instruments to kind of give them a more modern-ish sound. 

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I like a lot of the hymns too, they sound really good when band's add Guitars and other instruments to kind of give them a more modern-ish sound. 

Depends on how "modernish" they go. The closer it is to bluegrass or acapella, the happier I am.

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Depends on how "modernish" they go. The closer it is to bluegrass or acapella, the happier I am.

I know some people in my church play guitar to the hymns, its pretty nice

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