Not A Fan.
I am not sure why, but it is generally hard for me to listen to Christian radio or Christian music in general. I absolutely know that music is a very subjective thing. So one person's opinion in regards to music does not invalidate another person's preference for what music they like or don't like. But I find it personally difficult to listen to most Christian music.
It is weird to me, as when you flip through radio stations you can almost instantly tell that a song is a Christian song when you get a quick sound byte. It seems for some reason that in so many Christian pop songs, with male singers they use this sort of whispery and breathy voice. I am not sure why the whispery breathy male voices are popular, but they certainly seem to be more the norm in so much of Christian pop.
The music usually is so very similar sounding to me, like they are all the same studio musicians. Maybe they are using the same musicians. I don't know. But it is odd that you can scan the radio and in an instant often tell a Christian radio song when one comes on. And I do not believe it is the Spirit moving in me, letting me know it is a Christian song. I think it is the whispery breathy male vocals and music that instantly scream out it is a Christian song.
For many of the songs, especially praise songs meant for corporate worship, there is also the pattern of the slow build up, climactic and building up repeating chorus which indicates it is the time to raise our hands (I’ll address the whole hand raising sacred cow at a later date), then a dramatic drop to quiet - then a big pumping ending.
Also, all the different Christian pop songs seem to basically have the same lyrics over and over and over again. Mostly about Jesus dying on the cross. Now I fully and absolutely believe that this is the heart of the gospel. But the Bible is filled with so many things, not just all verses on the resurrection. I wish there were more lyrics in songs that sang about other things about Jesus and the Kingdom and following Him.
I get asked often about what Christian music I listen to, and I always go blank as I really don't listen to too much. Generally, Christians I meet are perplexed by this. How can a pastor not listen to Christian music? Well, I guess it all depends on what you define as Christian music. I believe there is so much music out there in the secular music industry which you can focus and hear about God in the lyrics, the stories etc. - so I don't try and divide lines to what is Christian and isn't. But, I am sitting here listening to a song by The Fray and I began thinking about all this. I am procrastinating doing something, so this just allowed me a fifteen minute procrastinating break.
My opinion about music is entirely subjective as I said, and I know there are millions who love Christian music and I don't think anything is wrong with that whatsoever. In complete disclosure, there are some Christian bands and artists that I do like. I like David Crowder Band. I like the music of Ethan and Ryan (the guys that lead worship for the campuses of the church I lead… they are amazingly talented and Godly men…but they also don’t have a whispery/breathy voice). In general though, I am not a fan of Christian music.
Blogs are sort of journals of thoughts - so I am only expressing some thoughts and opinions, not based on anything but personal preference. Maybe there are others who also have a hard time listening to most contemporary Christian music too (CCM). I don't know. But I am not trying to start a debate on any of this. Just blog-thinking-out-loud!