Why Do The Christians Have All The Lame Music?

For a long time, I have been frustrated.  Not angry, just frustrated.  You see, I have always loved music; and not in the way that most people say they “love” music. I mean, music is IT for me.  As a kid, I spent a good amount of time trying to get my parents to film me dancing to Michael Jackson; my first concert was The 2 Legit 2 Quit tour(MC Hammer, TLC, and Boyz to Men), and almost a year after Kurt Cobain’s death, I became obsessed with “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  As a teen, I started to do as my dad had done when he was my age, and vastly expand my musical taste; and since my dad had a huge CD collection, I had a lot to choose from.

By the time I became a Christian in 8thgrade, I had already developed a pretty good sense of what I liked.  I was into heavier rock, rap, industrial, and electronica; and I quickly learned that in most circles, this palette was in almost complete opposition to my newly found faith. I remember the night after I gave my life to Christ, I went to a Jeff Moore and The Distance concert with my youth group; and one of the songs that really got the crowd “going” was “Why Does The Devil Get All the Good Music”. I thought this was pretty ironic “hit” for this guy because….well, I agreed with the title.

As a teenager, Christian music was lame; in my eyes, watered down rock with equally weak R&B was being pushed as “THE” music for my generation, while my tastes were for more aggressive and passionate expression.  The problem was that I knew the secular stuff I liked wasn’t good either; despite the music doing something for me, the messages and lyrics no longer touched a chord with me. It was like listening to another language; as beautiful or amazing it sounded, I still couldn’t sing along.

So my family and I started a journey that continues today; a journey through the Christian music scene.  You would be really surprised how hard it was at first, because with my musical tastes, there wasn’t much out there on the surface.  By accident, I happened upon a few bands that peaked my interest, and I started finding new music by reading the “thank you’s” in the booklets that came with the CDs. I started paying very close attention to record labels, and was lucky enough to find a few precious online distros that specialized in Christian hardcore and indie.  Within a few years, household names in our family were Dogwood, P.O.D.,The OC Supertones, Living Sacrifice, Further Seems Forever, KJ-52, Redcloud, Norma Jean, Gryp, and Zao.

In 2003, my family and I drove eighteen hours to Bushnell, Illinois to attend Cornerstone Festival. It was established by the Jesus People over 20 years ago, and after 6 days of constant music, my dad and I decided something; we haven’t even begun to understand the full scope of the Christian music body.  From 11 am to 1 am everyday, there was not a square foot on the massive campgrounds that you could go without hearing some type of music. We watched small time hip-hop artists get the crowd moving in the morning, experienced the atmospheric indie mellowness of Cool Hand Luke, and watched DJ Andy Hunter keep the party going into the night. We walked away exhausted, blessed, and with a long list of CDs we needed to find over the next year.

It occurred to me some years later that most people don’t get to experience the Christian music scene like I do. To truly be able to dig in and find that new CD that changes the way you listen to music.  I have been able to get a wide scope on what is happening in this scene, and its only because of my awesome family and God allowing me to hear what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it.

For me, that is why we started The One21 Music; so that nobody else needs to be frustrated the way I am. So that you can find the music you like that also fuels  your faith. There is no limit to what Christians can do through art and music, and The One21 exists to expand your view on this body of work. The Christian music scene has grown so much since its humble beginnings, and it will continue to grow a change in ways we cant predict. I want to make sure you don’t miss a second of it.


  1. Brian says:

    Some bands I discovered in high school in the mid-90s that blew my mind and was therefore unlike anything else the CCM scene was putting out in those days:

    Poor Old Lu


    Dakoda Motor Co

    Of course a few years after that there was my first encounter with P.O.D. too… :)


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