The National Catholic Review

Though I may not like most Christian rock, as with nearly everything, there are exceptions. Here are a few notable songs fellow skeptics of the Christian rock genre might enjoy:

“Turn Around,” by Matt Maher. Maher, a Catholic, is both popular and critically acclaimed. This song, and his music in general, is often textured and complicated. It adeptly combines the sort of stories you’d hear in an old country song with the rhythm of a good road trip song.

“The Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie,” by mewithoutyou. This song is entirely alt-rock, reminiscent of Bright Eyes, and while it comes from a Christian band, it is actually a retelling of a Sufi folk tale. It’s twangy and edgy in all the right places, with a solid but not in-your-face lesson.

“That’s All the Lumber,” by Ceili Rain. It’s hard not to like a song that refers to St. Peter as Pete. Besides, the Celtic sounds are so cheerful and rich, you won’t mind the somewhat ominous depiction of heaven.

“Revelation,” by Third Day. This song from the Grammy Award-winning band has an anthemic quality and a sound that builds as it goes along. The lyrics are a direct invocation to God for help and direction, though they never say the word.

Kerry Weber is an associate editor at America.

Comments

William Cassidy | 9/18/2011 - 12:29am
I listen to Third Day almost everyday. I also have Springsteen, Dylan, The Dead, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Miles Davis, and a couple of 100 other bands on my ipod. But I listen to Third Day becasue they are an amazing Southern Rock band. And despite my desire NOT to listen to Christian Rock, this band opened my mind and heart to some of the genre's artists. I play for a Lifeteen Band Sunday nights, and what I have found interesting is how much people in their 20's and 40's like the music. Since we don't do hip hop, it is less likely that we are reaching the teens as intended, but they seem to appreciate the music better than the organ driven Sunday morning masses.

As a musician, choir member, BC Chorale Alumni, I feel like I am open to most music - if it is good. And just like Rock (and even the music of the Stones and the Boss), sometimes you have to look harder to find the good stuff. But when you do, it is worth it!
David Cruz-Uribe | 9/16/2011 - 12:53pm

To paraphrase Theodore Sturgeon's comment about science fiction:  90% of Christian music is junk; but then, so is 90% of everything.  I have been listening to Christian music for over 20 years, and it has always stood or fallen based on the musical quality.  I have found some powerful stuff over the years:  old school stuff like Rez, or Stryper, the first Christian hair metal band; recent bands like Evanescence, or Eowyn, or even the cheesy of Stellar Kart.  I have also been preached at, patronized, and exposed to earnest lyrics set to cookie cutter music that sounds like it was made with Garage Band or Guitar Hero.  It is worth the search.


For something completely different, I recommend Fratello Metallo:  hard core metal sung by a 70 year old Italian Franciscan.  The Italian metal community takes him seriously, with most of the criticisms being about the quality of his music. 

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