1981. Sonseed wasn't THE pioneer of "new" Christian music, but their one line of lyrics (the title of this post) has proven to become a movement in its own right.
I know the allure, I was captivated by it. The church choir has morphed into the "praise band" or "praise and worship team." Lights, camera, action! I've heard everything from U2 to Macy Gray sung on stage at a church service.
If there's one thing I miss about being a Christian, it's the music. Jennifer Knapp, Katy Hudson (now known as Katy Perry), Chris Rice, and Michelle Tumes still have a special place in my heart and in my music collection. Notably, though, none of these singers are ones who trick up the music (i.e. the music may sound different, but the message is the same)...all are pretty classic, soulful, acoustic, and truly vocally and lyrically talented. I don't love the Jesus or God they sing of, I love what they have done with music.
Some artists I remember who were contemporary trick masters..the Benjamin Gate, Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk (followed by their solo acts), and who can forget WOW! Hits and Worship collections. I know of some Benjamin Gate songs that you wouldn't think twice about if you heard them played in dance club amidst the strobes and sweaty ecstasy whores.
I think "alternative" Christian music had an honest beginning - in that there were Christian people who liked to rock (ie Petra, the Greek word for "rock") and didn't care for 'The Old Rugged Cross' being sung by the old lady with the waddle in church. If you're musically gifted, and you can pull it off...more power to ya. But it seems in the last 10 years or so, the Christian music industry has become a single-handed way to save souls who otherwise would tell you where to shove it. Couple music that sounds like Pearl Jam with a hot Christian guy singer...you might as well be in the 60's worshipping The Beatles. (I wonder what the world would be like if The Beatles had been a Christian group??)
So, to my Christian friends...what is your favorite "worship" music? Do you like the "new" stuff, or do you stick to the classics? What's on your ipod?
To my de-converted friends...do you miss the music like I do? :)