Friday, July 16, 2010

Born Again Drops (and Sucks)

As promised (or threatened...?) the Newsboys released their new album "Born Again" on Tuesday. While fans might find comfort in the band not heading in a drastically new direction, I'll submit that release is yet another exercise in sterile, polished noise; offering nothing new or interesting to the world (even if the "world" is limited to CCM).

I'm not trying to pick on the Newsboys and perhaps I'm wrong for using them as a template for everything I think is wrong with music. They brought it upon themselves, though. Breaking out with a cover of Degarmo and Key's "Boycott Hell", calling out "Christian" bands to step up and stop settling for being cheap imitations of popular secular music only to turn around and make a too-long career by doing just that.

I'm reminded of the U2 song "Even Better Than The Real Thing" as they articulate the copycat nature of popular culture:

"give me one last chance
and I'm going to make you sing
give me half a chance
to ride the waves that you bring"

While there is, of course, comfort in the familiar, people shouldn't be content to remain unchallenged. The "Real Thing", as U2 puts it, doesn't have to remained confined as this God-thing that alienates twice as many people as those that can identify with. Instead, the "real thing" can be found in the everyday and mundane. Just as struggles help to sharpen and grow, so does stripping away the layers of everyday life to find what makes life so good.

We'll find that the "real thing" isn't going to remain good if it's repackaged and sold over and over. It will spoil.

To answer Barry's rhetorical question, it is better to burn out. In a blaze of glory.

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