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Let’s face it guys, gospel music is going to pants at the moment. Just a bit..I mean, the songs are fairly repetitive, the themes are predictable, and the chord sequences are on repeat. If that wasn’t bad enough, we now have to contend with the awful phenomena of honeymoon songs directed at Jesus.
I had the pleasure of experiencing this fairly recently. Don’t get me wrong, the singer was a great singer – she had that kind of mellow voice that makes you want to sit back, close your eyes, and sip a virgin pina colada on the shores of a Jamaican beach. Top that with some nifty guitar finger work, and you’re on to a winner right? Wrong, because this wasn’t your average Christian song – this was a sexy slow jam about….Jesus.
Now, I’m not sure about you, but although I like to think my relationship with God is intimate, personal and all those other things, I’m really not comfortable with the idea of subbing Him into love songs that have sexual connotations. I can just about draw the line at those Christian songs that sound like they could sorta kinda be love songs, as long as they keep it kosher and don’t involve any type of weird heavy breathing into the microphone. Somehow though, talking about how Jesus ‘makes you so excited, ‘holds you like a lover’, (yes, J. Moss, I’m talking to you) with heavy bass and hushed tones, is a massive, ginormous step too far.
Forget the songs, some artists are even taking it into the video. One gospel video I watched the other day involved the artist lying on a beach, looking longingly into the camera as she writhed around slightly on the sand declaring “you are my world..”. That’s real cute for your husband – your own little private, non youtube disclosed video, but it’s just plain weird when you’re talking about the saviour of the world. In fact, I don’t think it’s just weird, I think it’s actually borderline sacrilegious and disrespectful.
I understand that the gospel industry is trying to appeal to a generation of young people that seem to be completely switched off religion. We’re all twerking and tweeting, pinteresting and planking, but surely authentic religion can sell itself without having to be Beyonce’d? Surely Jesus is sufficient without writing songs that make him sound like a hunked up boyfriend? Surely the word of God is exciting enough without adding 50 Shades of Grey flavour to it? No, we don’t have to do old school Mahalia Jackson style gospel necessarily, but can we draw the line somewhere?
What do you guys think? Am I being an old fuddy duddy, or has anyone else noticed this?