Will the Real Worship Music Please Stand Up?

Today and Sunday I’m going to be on the topic of the David Crowder Band. Anyone who knows me also knows that I am a huge fan of the David Crowder Band, more than any other band. But why? What makes them so great that they seem to put all other bands to shame? What makes their music so fulfilling, while other music seems so shallow? Today we will look at them in general, and tomorrow we will dissect their Magnum Opus album, A Collision, for clues.

Let me shoot straight to the heart of the matter. I consider the David Crowder Band to be the greatest band of all time. I have not listened to every band, but I do love music of almost all genres. In that regard, DC*B (as they will be referred to) shines above any other group of artists I have ever listened to, even to this day. This is my opinion, and I do not expect you to adopt this opinion for yourself over the course of these next two articles. I am merely using this opinion as a platform to further your musical expectations. You don’t even half to have listened to DC*B’s music to understand these blogs. I merely want you to come out of these articles, Christian or not, with expectations in music other than repetitive melody.
(Be sure to click “Read More”)

(This is what you non-Christian A Link to the Matt fans would refer to as the “Christian” section. But read it anyway lest I stick my tongue out at you, point, and call you closed-minded behind your back. Not really, but I’m not writing to Christians. I’m writing to people.)

We will start with the content of DC*B’s music. The band is too often boxed into the Christian worship genre. This is true; the music is for the church. But it is not JUST for the church. In essence, it’s unlike any worship music ever made. Each song, verse, chorus, and word is crafted painstakingly. There is no thought… ever… of just copy/pasting words from the “list of 50 worship words.” Each song is a collection of complete thoughts, not just a mixture of undefinable words. Hymns often did this, but as technology evolved, lyrical quality devolved. This turned “church music” into this nice little slime of boring, shallow lyrics we have today. No DC*B album will stand for this. God’s mercy is “a beautiful collision” of divinity and depravity. His grace is like flowers coming up from the broken earth.

 

Like I said in Wednesday’s blog, we as Christians get mad when people get bored with worship. Our problem is that we write our worship for the lowest common denominator. To use a Biblical example, we sing at the level of Christians who are still drinking their “spiritual milk” out of a baby bottle with cute little cherries embossed on the outside.

Let’s take a look at one of DC*B’s more popular songs for a look at some lyrics.

 

 “And the truest sign of grace was this:
From wounded hands redemption fell down,
Liberating man.”
(Wholly Yours – David Crowder Band)

We are learning what grace looks like. We are learning that no greater form of grace exists than the of Jesus’ death on the cross. We learn that his blood has redeemed us from the clutches of sin. And we learn that we are free from the bondage that Satan, sin, and our own nature has ensnared us with. All of this occurred in 16 words.

 

Don’t get mad at me for wanting more than repetitive nonsense.

 

This brings me to music. The DC*B is talented. They can play almost anything, and everything they play blends together into a layered electronic rock masterpiece. It is almost sad that they are lumped into a Christian band because if they weren’t they would be instant alternative rock sensations. The skills involved in being able to transition from electronic rock to bluegrass to metal to classical an pull it off naturally is something I have never seen elsewhere. It’s just incredible.

Beyond that is the formatting. Each album has a definitive structure. Not only does each song tell a story, but also each section and each album. Perhaps the most impressive example of this amazing forethought is their final album, Give Us Rest. The entire two disk album is formatted like a modern-day Mass. This is a rigid structure, but somehow the DC*B created an amazing work of art of it.

 

I could go on and on, but I’d like to sum up with one final question. Why is this band the only place I can find such intense creativity? Shouldn’t the Christian music genre be setting the example of creativity? We’re called to do everything to the best of our abilities. However, it seems the Christian genre is just as bad as the pop genre at making music that simply capitalizes on repetitive sounds and monetary gain. Why is this?

 

I may be simply a whisper in a room full of shouting people, but I want things to change. I want Christian artists to break out of their spoiled, lazy mold and truly be amazing.

 

Moreover, this attitude towards music seems to reflect the average American Christian’s life as well. Christians, we also need to break out of our spoiled, apathetic, religious molds and be amazing as well. Take the talents God have given you and show the world why they want and need this amazing Jesus. We can do this…

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Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.

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