I am an admitted Music Snob. That doesn’t mean that I judge others for their taste in music nor do I think my musical taste are better than anyone else’s. They are the best to my ears and my soul. I consider myself a snob because I’ve heard sooooooo much music over the years and each time I hear something that really moves me… the bar gets higher. It’s continually getting harder and harder to impress me with a song. I’m easily impressed by vocal runs and guitar solos and amazing rhythmic creations. But lyrics and melody, the bones of the song… it takes something special to make me listen a second time.
Sadly the place that I seem to be impressed the least is Christian Music. Soooo much of it is lacking authenticity and vulnerability. Being a Christian, in my opinion, is not all rejoicing and praise and yet I feel like that is the majority of what I hear. Jesus lived through Hell here on Earth. Don't you think that a song that spoke to that part of His life would have resonated with Him? I think Jesus would have appreciated a song about struggle in the midst of His struggle. And when He was performing miracles I think He would have loved a song about God’s miraculous power. If Christian Music is music written and performed for God then I believe that authenticity should be the most important goal.
I believe that Christian Music can, and should, be vulnerable. I personally don’t want to praise God all the time. I wish I did. But there are times that “Praise Songs” depress me. Why? Because… my relationship with God is just that… a relationship. It’s not always pretty, a lot of the times it’s plain ugly. I want to sing songs about forgiveness or mourning or anger or hurt. For the most part, when people are going through heartbreak… they don’t crank up the love jams. No, you turn as quickly as possible to the country station or start belting out “Against All Odds”. Sitting in that pain and really feeling and understanding that someone else has felt that way before is comforting. It’s healing. It helps move you forward. Seeing beauty turned from pain helps mend your heart. Life isn’t always happy and I don’t believe God is only interested in our happy praise songs. I believe He wants and yearns for us to be vulnerable with ourselves and our art.
So, my guide for Christian Music is simple…
Ask yourself these questions to find “Good Christian Music”. Really, it could be a guide for just finding Good Music, Christian or Not.
1. Does this feel authentic?
2. Is this vulnerable?
3. Do I like this?
Here are some of my favorite authentic, vulnerable, and "sounds good to my soul" Christian Songs...