New Releases For November 6th, 2012


For the Glory
The O.C. Supertones

Tooth & Nail Records
Ska
Buy: Amazon


Lonely Songs EP
Picardy III

Rainboot
Folk
Buy: Available through Rainboot’s Bandcamp page


Miracle
Third Day

Essential Records
Pop/Rock
Buy: Amazon


Love
Wes Pendleton

ILLECT Recordings
Hip-Hop/DJ
Buy: Amazon

New Releases For October 19th,2010

abel lesser_men
Lesser Men
Abel

Come&Live!
Indie Rock
Buy NOW:
(available for free download at comeandlive.com)
Amazon MP3

the classic imperials still standing
Still Standing
The Classic Imperials

Hall of Fame Music Group
Gospel
Buy NOW:
Amazon

jj heller when im with you
When I’m With You
JJ Heller

Stones Table Records
Pop
Buy NOW:
Amazon

philmont transition ep
The Transition EP
Philmont

Independent
Pop Rock
Buy Now:
Amazon

the rocket summer mean and angels b sides
Men And Angels B-Sides EP
The Rocket Summer

Island Records
Emo
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3

seabird Over The Hills And Everywhere A Christmas EP
Over The Hills And Everywhere: A Christmas EP
Seabird

Credential Records
Christmas music
buy now:
Amazon MP3

third day MOVE
MOVE
Third Day

Essential Records
Rock
Buy NOW:
Amazon

The Christian Music Hall Of Fame Announce Inductees

The Christian Music Hall Of Fame today announced their list of 2010 inductees for the organization. The following announcement was issued from the Christian Music Hall Of Fame:

For the fourth consecutive year, the Christian Music Hall of Fame has announced their inductees into the Hall of Fame. This year’s inductions include a very mixed group of individuals and bands which cover a wide range of Christian music.
The inductions consist of Babbie Mason, Bloodgood, Bruce Carroll, newsboys, Randy Stonehill, Steve Green, Third Day and Whiteheart.
“We believe these artists are most deserving to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to not only Christian music, but for their ministries as well,” states Andy Woolard, Director of Operations for the Christian Music Hall of Fame. “We are excited to pay tribute to the great careers these artists have had and those who continue to encourage others with their music and ministries.”
The inducted artists will be formally recognized during the 3rd annual Visionary Awards show to be held in the Dallas, Tx area on November 6, 2010. The Visionary Awards are an annual event highlighting the top talent in a variety of genres of Christian music
.

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.1

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Staple Singers- Freedom Highway
Freedom Highway
The Staple Singers

1965
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Before The Staple Singers became an icon of gospel/folk/civil rights music they released a classic live gospel album. Freedom Highway was a 1965 marker in the merge of popular music styles with gospel music. Here Pops Staples’understated sound is complemented perfectly by the others’ melancholy harmonies and Mavis Staples‘ growlingly soulful lead vocals. Tracks like “This Train Is Bound For Glory”, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and “What You Gonna Do” are superlative?” Also deserving a mention is their semi-acappella rendition of the “Lord’s Prayer” which will truly make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. Freedom Highway is a great selection from one of gospel’s greatest and most original groups and an absolute must for anyone interested in gospel or blues music.
Highlights: Lord’s Prayer, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, This Train

beloved failure on
Failure On
Beloved

2003
Buy this album: Amazon,iTunes
While most bands like to experiment in many different styles, it is rare to see a band that is able to not only FULLY embrace both sides of it’s musical coin, but blend them in a way that makes sense. After making a name for themselves as a “indie hardcore” band , the North Carolina quintet, Beloved, unleashed Failure On in 2003, surpassing all expectations of being able to combine melodic indie rock with brutal hardcore. The dynamic allowed the band explore many different avenues, not on musically, but lyrically as the softer more rock driven vocals of Josh Moore served as a catalyst for the aggression driven emotions of drummer Joe Musten’s grit filled screams. Failure On proved that two very different shades of sounds could play together, and when used as they were in Failure On, be a powerful double-bladed sword.
Highlights: Death To Traitors, Defect from Decay, Aimless Endeavor

andy hunter exodus
Exodus
Andy Hunter

2002
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The wall of rhythm and sound that marks Andy Hunter’s debut, Exodus, didn’t come about overnight. Andy’s ability to weave together elements of Progressive House, Trance, Drum and Bass, and Electronica genres is the result of several years of experimentation and refinement in dance clubs and churches across Europe. But it wasn’t only his craft that was progressively honed during those years; it was also Andy Hunter’s vision for worship and his skills as a worship leader. The songs on Exodus are praise and worship songs with a beat. “Go,” inspired mainly by Exodus 12:31, reminds us of this revealed truth, which the postmodern mind fails to recognize — that true freedom cannot exist apart from God. “The Wonders of You” is inspired by Exodus 15:11 “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” The lyrics of “Radiate” are simple, and I think the music is able to translate their earnestness. I want you/To radiate/Your perfection/Permeate/Burn in me/Eradicate/So burn, burn. Based on Romans 8:26, “Angelic” is part trance, part prayer. The vocals are without lyrics (“groanings which cannot be uttered”). Speaking-in-tongues set to a cool “chill out” beat.
Highlights: Go, Angelic, Radiate

anathallo canopy glow
Canopy Glow
Anathallo

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The indie collective known as Anathallo had spent a good part of the mid to late 2000s becoming one of the most adored band’s in their scene; but it was 2008’s Canopy Glow that saw the band finally solidify and focus their chaotic sound and record an album that was as much interesting as it was creative. Canopy Glow runs the gamete of Anathallo’s musical abilities, allowing at time for both their uncontrolled jam clattering while honing their melodic and lyrical prowess. Every song is a journey, every instrument a different character in Canopy Glow’s whimsical play. In the end, Canopy Glow’s unconventional song structures and fleshed out layering make it a classic for any who like to hear something new every time they listen.
Highlights: John J. Audubon, Italo, The River

Third Day - Conspiracy 5
Conspiracy No. 5
Third Day

1997
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Conspiracy No. 5 is Third Day’s second studio album and fifth album overall. Conspiracy No. 5 is considered by most to be the band’s most aggressive album to date. It is a departure from their original rootsy Southern rock style to a heavier, Southern grunge style. Whereas many people compare their first album to the music of Hootie & The Blowfish, this second release is often compared to Pearl Jam. This is a soaring, rollicking rock album that marks the highpoint of Third Day as a rock band.
Highlights: I Deserve?, My Hope Is You, Alien

American Idol Season 8- Top 3 Song Choices

Tonight is the night.  We are down to the American Idol Season 8 final 3 and they will be performing two songs each tonight.  Randy, Paul and Simon picked songs for Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert to sing  and then each of them will pick a song for themselves.  It is too close to call the winner (see our Top 3 Power Rankings) so tonight’s performances are vital.

Judge’s Selections

Their are rumors all over the Internet about which songs the American Idol judges picked for tonight’s performances.  We don’t know if the rumors are correct but, rather than try to read the judges minds, we will go with the rumors:

  • Randy picked Terence Trent D’Arby’s song “Dance Little Sister” Terence Trent D'Arby - Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby - Dance Little Sisterfor Danny Gokey.  TTD was a breakthrough R&B star in the late 80′s, touted as the next great soul star, who fell to Earth as quickly as he rose.   The lyrics have a nice positive message:

    Get up ‘outta’ your rockin’ chair grandma!
    Or rather would you care to dance grandmother?

    Hey you! Give up to the ghost
    That’s haunting you now
    Shout it out
    Don’t let it stay inside
    And eat you alive
    Make up your mind
    Don’t you want to stay
    This side of the line
    I can assure you
    When you’re my age
    You’ll learn
    From all you’ve left behind

    (You’ve got to)
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    I don’t wanna hear you’re late
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    Don’t give up your stay

    Say now share the weight
    And lay your cross down
    And let the long reaching arm
    Of hope bring you around
    It ain’t easy but giving up
    Is the easy thing to do
    Time is on your side
    Would you just watch the clock
    And let it tick for you

    (You’ve got to)
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    I don’t wanna hear you’re late
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    Don’t give up your stay

    I think the song is a little fast to be in Danny’s sweet spot but he I think Danny Gokey could do a lot with this song.  Here is a video of “Dance Little Sister”

  • There is some question about what Simon has picked for Adam Lambert.  Some believe he picked U2′s “One” and some think he picked Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.  I think it is “Wicked Game” Chris Isaak - Best of Chris Isaak (Remastered) - Wicked Game, which seems perfect for Adam’s style and there are several electronic remixes for him to use.  Here is a video of Chris Isaak performing “Wicked Game”

  • Paula selected One Republic’s “Apologize” OneRepublic - Dreaming Out Loud - Apologizefor Kris Allen and that seems to fit his style very well.  This is a contemporary, mid-tempo pop-rock song about a break-up. I listen to One Republic performing “Apologize”  and I can imagine Kris Allen.  Watch this video of the Timbaland re-mix and see what I mean

Performer’s Choices

Three good choices from the American Idol judges so we should have three really great performances of those songs.  Here is what I think Danny, Kris and Adam should choose for themselves:

  • It is time for Danny Gokey to step up and boldly declare his faith.  He has been slammed for it all season and he hasn’t had a chance to sing an openly Christian song.  Randy gave him the perfect opening with an uptempo judges’s choice.  The most openly Christian American Idol finalist ever should sing the most openly Christian rock ballad ever sung on American Idol: “Thief” by Third Day Third Day - Third Day - Thief.

  • Kris Allen should also fly his faith with a little less overt but equally powerful song from Seabird called “Rescue” Seabird - 'Til We See the Shore - Rescue. Here are the lyrics:

    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m drowning but nobody knows it
    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m dying, just want you to notice
    somehow the grave has captured me
    show me the man I used to be
    just when I feel my breath is running out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    cuz you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue
    you are my rescue

    I’m swimming to safety, but even with my best
    if I don’t see that rope soon, this might be my last breath

    somehow the grave has captured me
    show me the man I used to be
    just when I feel my breath is running out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    because you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue

    don’t let me drown
    can you hear me
    cuz I am
    “drawlin out” (not sure)
    I’m underground
    won’t you pull me out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    because you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue
    you are my rescue
    yeah, you are my REScue
    yeah! you are MY resCUE

    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m dying, just want you to notice…

    Once you watch the video below you will see why I picked this for Kris Allen.  With these two songs Kris Allen could propel himself to the forefront of American Idol Season 8.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k6K_IdRgVE

  • Adam Lambert has done Robert Plant and he needs to take on Freddy Mercury by  performing the most theatrical rock song ever recorded (except maybe some Meatloaf) “Bohemian Rhaposdy” Queen - A Night at the Opera - Bohemian Rhapsody.  It has been done on American Idol several times, so it can be done.  Interestingly, it was performed by Constantine Maroulis, the American Idol Season 4 finalist who looked for all the world like a “rock god” but who has never charted a song or sustained an extended rock tour.  He has, however, been nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Rock of Ages. Hmmm.

So there it is.  We go boldly into the last two shows of American Idol Season 8 with six good songs that can be well performed by three terrific singers; Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert.

Be sure to put together your American Idol Season 8 by downloading any of the performances from iTunes

Apple iTunes

Voices Of The Underground Pt.8

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us. Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1: What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3: What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?
Read Pt.6: Who Is Jesus Christ To You?
Read Pt.7: What Is Christian Music?

This week we asked our artists what their opinion of the Christian music industry was. Before you read them, let me emphasize again that these are their opinions, and not always ours.  There are a lot of artists that are happy with the way the industry has grown over the last ten years, but their are many that aren’t. You may read some things in this installment that seem very negative, but let me assure you that these guys know what they are talking about, and this is their inside view on what is happening. I also want to take a minute and say that when many of our artists were talking about this subject, they were not talking about Christian music, but the industry that drives the majority of what you see in Christian book stores and what is on the radio.  There is a difference. I have done my best to display a balanced and fair depiction of the industry from the artist’s view, but sometimes maybe a cry for change just needs to be heard.

What is your opinion of the Christian music industry?

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                           Mahogany Jones
I think that there is good and bad. There are people with pure motives to minister the gospel to people who need to understand the importance of a relationship with Christ, and there are people who use their gift as a means not to promote the gospel but themselves, and I feel that if we aren’t careful to ask God to keep us humble that we may be in for a rude awakening.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)                           Dewey Lybecker
I feel like the Christian music industry is beginning to come into a place that’s its needed to be in for a while. I think that a lot of Christian music was kind of cheap. It was a bunch of people that just regurgitated everyone else’s songs but added a different hook or something that made it “cool/ hip” again. It wasn’t very original, and because of this it wasn’t very respected by other
musicians. I think where it’s headed is the opposite of that, with bands like Switchfoot, MuteMath, Underoath, P.O.D., The Fray, One Republic… they’re showing the world that Christian music isn’t as lame as a lot of people think it is.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)       Hyland
I think the Christian music industry is doing a terrible job of staying current. They are banking on bands that are tried and true (Newsboys, Third Day) and aren’t taking chances on new original talent, only on what has already worked in the secular scene. Where are the Audio Adrenalines and the DC Talks of THIS generation???!!! Everyone in the industry is worried about their bottom dollar instead of realizing taking a chance on originality will pay off ten-fold.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Honestly, it stinks that it has come down to a business plan, labels, and it stinks that it actually is an “industry”. I feel like Christians should be at the head of the line creating the best art the world has ever seen. It should just be known that we are Christians based on what we stand for and how we live. It’s weird to me that it has become it’s own separate industry.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)          Brooke Waggoner
It’s a shame that it’s so divided and set apart from other genres and in other ways, it’s not set apart at all.. it’s really like any other industry – they tapped into a market, create products to fit that demographic, and package it accordingly. It’s difficult to find genuine amongst alot of this, but it does exist!

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Since we’re all trying to survive in a broken industry people are starting to fight against their morals to stay afloat. As a band we’ve been ripped off, lied to, and stepped on a lot. Unfortunately, the Christian music industry has been the worst about that to us. I hate to say it, but the snakes are in the Christian music industry. That said there are also a lot of awesome people in the Christian music industry that have done wonders for us. It’s no different than the secular side I guess. They’re just selling to Christians.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)               Echocast
I think that a lot of artists are jaded towards the Christian music industry because they might have felt slighted at some point in the business end… But, a lot of people forget that that the music business is still a “business”…

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
Honestly? Having come and gone from a number of major Christian label opportunities and seen the ins and outs of their operations, I see the Christian Music Industry much like Jesus saw the sale of goods in the temple: an exploitation of righteousness and holiness for the sake of making money, and a tyrannical dictatorship regarding what defines “Christianity” in melodic terms.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
The Goodnight Horizon
They spend to much time catering to those who already know Jesus. Open the door, plant the seeds. Stop hiding.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
I think the “Christian Music” industry sometimes is worse than the Mainstream industry because there is no grace in “Christian Music” I mean if your sin gets out and you’re in the “Christian Music” industry sometimes you get ex-communicated…I mean we are all humans we all sin and fail…Why does it mean when you’re a so called “Christian Artist” you can’t fail…And I think that’s horrible if anything you would think they would be more understanding. But I mean it does have good things like promoting music that has a meaning behind it…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis(mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
I think it’s sad that Christian music has to be so “commercial” and surface in order to have success. I like deep songs that may possibly offend someone or really challenge them rather than telling someone that God loves them and knows there name over and over again. These are good messages but hearing it over and over again won’t change anyone’s life if they have heard that message a thousand times before. I think that Christian music good have deeper and more powerful messages. A band that I believe does an awesome job is Downhere. Lyrically the best Christian band I have ever heard.

divulgencecamCameron(guitarist/vocalist for Bombworks Records metal band Divulgence)
Its almost as though Christians have the mindset that since they are playing for God they get to slack off on their song writing. I can turn on the local Christian radio station and hear 5 songs that sound the same in about an hour. It shouldn’t be that way. If you are writing for the King of kings you should give it all you got and don’t take the easy way out by doing some overused chord progression.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
Sadly, I find the name is often one of the only differences between it (Christin music industry) and the secular music industry.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                              Dominic Balli
It’s the same as the mainstream one. At the top, there’s still a dude that is just really all about one thing. Money. That’s the industry, not the artists. There’s some artist with wonderfully pure hearts out there. A bunch of them. And there’s some labels that are the same. But as far as most of the “big” Christian labels. It’s all the same.

I think Dominic best summed it up, “it’s all the same”. That seems to be the pervailing theme throughout all the answers this week. Christ called us to be different, so why is it not?

Next week we are talking about the importance of the Christian music scene, so check back with us next week!

The Many Facets Of Christian Music

Ever since we started The One21, we have been learning a lot. From the vast amount of  new talent we come across, to the trends in music and entertainment we have been able to identify, this company has allowed us to learn new things daily about the world of music we love so much.  We have tried to share those trends with you, and explore what the digital age of music has done for the underground music movement. We have attempted to expand the knowledge of the music out there being made by believers.  We have tried endlessly on this site to change the perception of what most people think when they hear the term “Christian music”, and bring you a whole new world of music that exists outside of the mainstream Christian industry.

It is in that last idea that we have run into the most trouble.  We feel that this website and the database of music we are building is our calling, our ministry to you, the person reading this.  We feel that we have a responsibility to give you as much information about the artists we talk about so that you can make the most informed decision on what music you allow in to your life and those around you. On the other hand, we also feel that we have a responsibility to artists we talk about. We don’t want to force any artist to label themselves as something they don’t want to labeled as.  The choices that an artists make in their career are their own, and it be irresponsible for us to (forcefully) change those decisions ( we REALLY want Kate Minor to come back to music, and I REALLY want Damien Rice to become a believer).  So how do we talk to people about music that is made by believers without forcing those artists to be pigeon-holed into a scene they want to exist outside of.

This struggle was put center stage recently as we attended SXSW. A band that we have featured on this site (I’m not going to tell you who it is, don’t ask), had a very strong reaction to us wanting to interview them and talk about it on the site. They told Chuck “well we are Christians, but we defiantly don’t make Christian music”, and were still debating this issue when I walked past them ten minutes later. Some of the members seemed upset that since we were a site that covered Christian music, that talking to us would change the perception of their band in the general public. However, all the research we had done on the band not only revealed that they were believers, but the majority of their lyrics centered around the dark picture the church paints of Christ versus what He truly is. We felt a little awkward because in a way we had tried to make them something they didn’t want to be, which is their call, not ours. The outcome is that they didn’t talk to us, even when Chuck attended their show a few nights later.

Later that same week, Chuck presented our pastor with a signed copy of a CD, from one of the hip-hop artists we interviewed, for his ten year old son who is really into hip-hop at the moment.  Our pastor thanked Chuck, but said that he needed to listen to it before his son could have it.  That seemed strange to me for a moment, but then he explained that another Christian hip-hop artist had frequently used the word “hell” (in the correct context by the way), a word that shocked and offended his young children who had been told NOT to say that word. It occurred to me that a lot of people can’t just listen to ANY artist who says that they are a Christian, even with ideologies that match up, subject matter is still an issue.

So on one side, we have believers who are making music, but do not want to be part of the Christian music world, and on the other side, we have people who need help with finding the right artist that helps them live their faith.  On the one hand we know of a lot of Christian artist who hardly ever talk directly about their faith in their music, and on the other we have a responsibility to present music that lines up with the ideologies that exist in Christianity. The dichotomy bothered me all week until we met with Tre9, a Houston hip-hop artist and founder of DaSouth.com, who spoke in our interview with him about hip hop artists being relevant to the audience that they are trying to reach.

79975“You’ve got to know as an artist who you are going to target your message to. Obviously if you want to disciple Christians then you need to make music relevant to them. Which would be music: quoting scriptures, having heavy spiritual content; but if you want to reach people that don’t have church knowledge and maybe don’t even read their Bible then you need to bring it down to their level. So, that may require you to do music that shares your life story more often, and maybe closes with the fact that you found fulfillment in Christ, but you’re not so heavily focused on making sure you get a scripture in there. Throw a Jesus here; throw a God, a Holy Spirit there. Throw the word redemption. You know sanctification; these words that the world doesn’t understand. You want to make music that is relevant to where they are at mentally and even spiritually.

When I say relevant, you’ve got groups like P.O.D. who are way into the world, but are making relevant music to their audience, and look at them, they are global. They have penetrated a market that they couldn’t penetrate when they were labeled a Christian artist. I think that’s good. A lot of people think they are sell outs because they don’t preach the gospel in their music, but for me I feel that this world needs Godly principles, they need the Bible interpenetrated in today’s language so that it’s relevant. So, if P.O.D. makes a song about ‘I feel so alive’, but they don’t say it’s because of Jesus; I think that person will eventually become a follower of P.O.D.; listening to their music, going to their website, researching and finding out “Hey, these guys are Christians. So that’s what they mean by ‘I feel so alive’.” So they don’t have to put it into a song for me. Now, a lot of people would disagree with that but, we need wholesome music. We need songs that deal with drugs, and the dangers of drugs; songs that deal with abstinence. These songs don’t have to say anything about God.  God is in that, God wants people to live an abstinent life, God wants people to avoid drugs. So, I’m ok with making music that is relevant to that market or that particular group of people. Going into public schools we can’t do Christian music, especially during school hours. You can’t just go in there preaching about Jesus. So, if you are going to make music relevant to a school; if it’s an elementary school, then you need to write some stuff elementary level. Junior high, High school…so that’s what I mean by relevant.”

I was blown away. This was a concept that had always been in the back of my mind, but I had never heard put into words.  I also realized that this line of thinking could be applied to all music, not just the world of hip-hop.  As I thought about it more, I became aware that this was how the whole scope of the Christian music scene fit together, even the artists that wanted to exists outside the borders of what is traditionally thought of as Christian music.  This is how we can talk about really good music that is being made by believers, but not really overtly spiritually, and then turn around and talk about worship music in the same breathe.  It is because in “Christian music” there are different forms of it, but all of them are written from a world-view of Christ.

In the end, I propose that all music, written from a foundation of hope and faith, that God can use to touch people’s hearts, can be divided into three categories:

The Spiritual- this is music that is made by believers, and is mainly intended for believers.  This music uses language and subjects that believers understand, and is made mainly for the purpose of worship, education, and encouragement. This music will use a lot of direct Biblical scripture, or discuss the literal concepts within the Bible. The gospel message is OBVIOUS to anyone. This music is meant to celebrate and discuss God and His teachings. This is were the majority of worship music will exist, as well as artist who talk about heavy Biblical truths.
Examples:
The Ambassador
Becoming The Archetype
Third Day
Derek Webb
Jason Upton
Shane and Shane
Enter The Worship Circle
Toby Mac
For Today
Dirt

The Message- the music in this category is evangelical in nature. It is made by believers for everyone. While it deals with strong Biblical truths, the music is made to appeal to both believers and non-believers alike.  The messages are meant to talk about address the need for Christ and the struggles that people go through before the come to know Him, and the relationship that exists afterward. Sometimes the message is obvious, sometimes it isn’t.  Most artists talk about their faith not only through their lyrics, but also from the stages that they play from (be it a church or a bar stage). This category is a musical response to the great commission.
Examples:
Switchfoot
Lecrae
August Burns Red
P.O.D.
SuperChick
Kaboose
A Plea For Purging
mewithoutYou
Project 86
Joy Whitlock

The Light- this is the category that collects all the Christians who are out their making music, but are not necessarily talking about anything that is directly Biblical. This is just music made by believers. Most of the time, the songs have a indirect message pertaining to the artists faith. The artists in this category are not trying to speak to their beliefs, but are simply trying to make music , and their faith shines through from time to time.  The artists in this category most times exist completely outside of the Christian music radar, some of them you will know, but most you have never heard of. What is important to note is that while the music in this category is not overtly faith-based, it is music that is written from a heart changed by Christ, and can be used as a catalyst  people’s life.
Examples:
Rootbeer
Anathallo
Brooke Waggoner
Paramore
Bob Dylan
Cold War Kids
Thrice
Danielson
Bodies Of Water
Buddy Miller

On our site, we are going to begin using these categories to define our artists better. You will begin to see them on our “Christian Artists To Know”, and as we build our database of artists, the categories will also be incorporated.

The idea behind these categories to allow all the many ways that music is made by believers to be viewed as a unified music scene. For the artists that sing honestly about thier life  and for the worship leader in the church, God uses all this music to touch people’s hearts.