Sometimes you just need to relax and listen to music that isn't part of the daily curriculum or a program for self-improvement. Music is the most spiritual art form, and as such has the ability to heal us in ways we don't even know we need to be healed. That means, however, not just any music will do—we need music that is truly beautiful, truly reflective of God's goodness and truth, truly musical.
Too much of the modern songbook is cluttered with offerings that are lyrically unwholesome or just plain ugly sounding. The stuff on the radio is mostly missing arguably the central element of a good composition: melody. It's got rhythm, but cohesive phrasing is absent and even lead singers seem only capable of producing harmony.
We're not just here to dog on modern popular music, though, and we're certainly not saying all modern music is bad (far from it). We are saying that plenty of it isn't the kind of stuff Christians ought to be listening to, and that we've worked hard to offer CDs by artists who observe a different standard than the Grammy Awards or the Billboard Top Twenty.
Rich Mullins is the most familiar artist we carry, beloved by Christian listeners for three decades for his Christ-centered folk rock. Other Christian artists we enjoy are Jamie Soles and Judy Rogers, also folk-based musicians who write explicitly biblical lyrics for both children and adults, accompanied by ultra-catchy (but not overly obnoxious) folk-based tunes.
Among our favorite Christian artists are Sons of Korah. Their band name is a reference to the authors of many of the Psalms, and they simply put Psalms to music, word-for-word. Based in Australia, their brand of acoustic rockis heavily influenced both by world folk sounds and the folk rock of the 1970s. We really don't get tired of listening to these guys.
Not all the music we carry is specifically Christian. Owain Phyfe and the New World Renaissance Band offer classical-style Renaissance-era compositions, both vocal and instrumental. Vienna Teng plays piano-based folk rock, and while her lyrics sometimes evidence a less than Christian worldview, mostly they are simply poetic and thought-provoking.
We also have some Classical music, the Westminster Shorter Catechism set to charming tunes, and are always looking for more quality CDs to offer. Music is one of God's greatest gifts to us, and it is important enough to Him that He has filled heaven with it; it would be ungrateful and even rebellious of us not to appreciate and enjoy it. We hope these albums will help you do the same.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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