Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Christian’


Singer Kevin Max by a window, taken for public...

Kevin Max Smith, formely of DC Talk.

A few months ago I was at my day job and I was listening to Out of the Grey’s 1993 self-titled debut album on my Grooveshark account. My boss waltzes in and sees my home screen, which has a picture of the album cover and asks “Out of the Grey: are they still ALIVE?!” to which I respond with a “yes.” Needless to say, he was surprised that someone as young as I would actually know who Out of the Grey is.Unbeknownst to him, I am well-versed in who Scott and Christine Dente are as I am with the likes of Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. I have or have had at one point all of their albums and seen them in concert twice in the 90’s – my parents would take me.

It got me to rethink something I have been pondering for a considerable amout of time now: why can’t the Contemporary Christian Music industry see that there maybe a market for a CCM classic station? One of the things that I hate about CCM radio is they refuse to play anything from the 70’s-mid 2000’s. With the exception of their golden boy Chris Tomlin, its like artists such as Point of Grace, DC Talk, Rebecca St. James, Out of the Grey, Russ Taff, etc have all dropped off the face of the earth.

As a result of this, a whole generation is now coming of age not knowing that TobyMac is famous for being in DC Talk, not just his solo work. They’ll never know who the other two guys are: Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith. Nevertheless, it’s a travesty that these guys will never know that great band.

Plus, people like retro. They love nostalgia. That’s why classic rock is very popular. That’s why, whenever a long-broken up band (such as Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, the GoGos’s, Aerosmith) return, they return in a major way. People buy their tickets and albums because not only do they like the new stuff, but they also like the familiar faces. From what I saw when TobyMac performed “Jesus Freak” in concert as the encore, the crowd LOVED it.

Also, with CCM, there is one thing that makes it stand out from all other genres: its the same rhetoric from over 2000 years ago. Granted, yes, some of the slang maybe different as well as styles and fashion choices, but the message is the same. Though yes, Christians should try to remain relevant but relevancy for one person is irrelevancy to another. Who knows? Some people may love 80’s hair metal bands.

Additionally, great musicians are influenced by other great musicians. Margaret Becker and Amy Grant. would not exist without Joanie Mitchell. Without Metallica, P.O.D would not exist. Music, generally-speaking,  is a form of building blocks. If CCM doesn’t start both openly promoting older artists, they will be taking away a major building block in creativity. One must be inspired to create, so how come other, older Christian artists inspire a younger generation? Why can’t Amy Grant to a 16-year-old girl who feels excluded because of some of her nonlegalistic ways?


What happens when you mix a virtually unknown Christian rock band from Australia that sounds better than its mainstream

The Newsboys are one of the craziest and most serious bands in Contemporary Christian Music.

Australian predecessors (INXS, Kylie Minogue, the BeeGees, and even Men at Work), a rotating drum set, the message of Christ‘s love and forgiveness, and all-around craziness? You get the Newsboys!

Since the landmark release of their eponymous album Not Ashamed in 1992, the Newsboys have been at the top of their game within modern-day Contemporary Christian music.

One of the best things about Take Me To Your Leader is that it is an album that is fun to listen to. You don’t have to be a Christian to love their music because it is fun for everyone. Especially on the title track, where they talk about those that are searching for Christ in all the wrong places. Co-lead singer John James proclaims “I don’t know why you care/ I don’t know what’s out there/ I don’t know how it’s done/ Just take me to your leader son” Breathe, in the same vain, talks about how Christ is all about renewal to humanity.

However, one of the most standout tracks is the disco-friendly Reality, which is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son.

The Newsboys are not immune to their own sense of humor, especially on Breakfast where they exclaim “with spoons held high we bid our brother ‘cheerio.'”

On the other hand, the album gets a bit more serious with songs that talk about why forgiveness, though hard, is something that needs to be done because it is what Christ says to do (Let It Go) and even miracles on Miracle Child.

This album is definetly a classic.


Up until 1985, nobody ever would have thought that the words “Amy Grant” and the word “rock star” would have ever been uttered in the same sentence. That is, until 1985 when she released Unguarded.

This was definitely an album that broke many barriers within Contemporary Christian music back in the 1980’s. For starters, not every song was about Christ – some, such as I Love You, were love songs written for her then-husband, Gary Chapman.

For a Christian album, it has very few musical weak spots and one thing is clear: Grant knows how to rock. She proves it on the opening track, Love Of Another Kind, a track that seems reminiscent of  Jump by Van Halen. However, Grant truly shines on Find A Way and Wise Up. However, they sound better when performed in a live setting.

Unguarded shows its weakness in the end song, The Prodigal – which is a retelling of the story of the prodigal son from the perspective of the father. It is simply overproduced and cheesy.

Overall, I would highly recommend this album due to the fact that, for a Christian album, it does state the beliefs of the artist in a very creative way but at the same time, it does not come across as too preachy.