The Soft, Sanctified Sounds Of The Lord: We Listen To The Christian AC Hits, So You Can Read Along

Dan Gibson | September 16, 2008 5:45 am

Since apparently I have “no soul”, I’ve decided to embark on a journey to better myself. But since the likelihood of finding a replacement soul at my local Target is dicey at best I’ve decided to do the next best thing: I’m going to listen to the top five songs at Christian adult contemporary radio, in hopes that I can learn something from them.

No. 1: MercyMe,”You Reign”

WHAT I LEARNED: Before we breathed, God was on his throne. WHAT I THINK: The lyrics to this one–which was played 1,221 times this week on Christian A/C radio–are something of a cut-and-paste job from a classic hymnal, for better or worse. Also, this whole project is going to be difficult if every song sounds like this. Also, I’m pretty sure I prefer Sonseed.

No. 2: Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes”

WHAT I LEARNED: All around me, every day, there are people hurting. WHAT I THINK: While this verges on serious John Mayer-ish territory (it is adult contemporary radio, after all), this is definitely more my speed. Plus, the way things are going, the line about the guy in a suit who lost his job is pretty appropriate.

No. 3: Chris Tomlin, “Jesus Messiah”

WHAT I LEARNED: Jesus was not just someone’s friend, but the Messiah. WHAT I THINK: I’m really not the ideal audience for this sort of thing, since I find most modern worship music a bit tedious to listen to, but I appreciate the sincerity, even if the track sounds like original material from a Snow Patrol tribute act.

No. 4: Third Day, “Call My Name”

WHAT I LEARNED: This “all that your heart could ever want” bit sounds interesting. Sign me up! WHAT I THINK: I’m pretty sure the narrator in this song is supposed to be Jesus. But sung with a different inflection, this could be one of the creepiest stalker-songs of all time. I don’t think Third Day’s Mac Powell, who studied at the Hootie school of tone, is the right guy for these lyrics’ job.

No. 5: Francesca Battistelli, “I’m Letting Go”

WHAT I LEARNED: It used to take years before the CCM market ripped off secular trends; now it’s only taking a few months for Christian music to find its own Sara Bareilles, which is a significant improvement. WHAT I THINK: The name “Sara Bareilles” should hold a clue.

So far, I feel like the healing is starting to happen, but it might take more time, and I’m not willing to queue up the next song in the countdown (by Big Daddy Weave!) in order to keep on the path. Would God ask something that severe of me?

Christian AC National Airplay [R&R]