February 15, 2013 13 Comments
Christian music can get on my nerves. Sometimes I have to take a hiatus from listening to it. And a lot of times, other music – *gasp* secular music – speaks to my soul. Sometimes the right note from Sister Hazel lifts me up. A piano solo from Elton John awakens me. A chorus from Fun. inspires me.
One reason is because they’re all different. They all sound different from each other. They’re all unique in their own way. And that’s a big reason why Christian music can get on my nerves – because you can’t tell one band from another. And oftentimes it’s hard to tell the lyrics of one song written in 1995 apart from the lyrics of another song released last week.
Check out this 5-minute video that proves my point in a humorous way at some point when you have the time. Regular churchgoers will love this video.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have my favorite Christian musicians lined up on my itunes playlist. The reason they’re on my playlist to begin with is because they’ve really tapped into their musical gifts and they stretch themselves out and go against the tired Christian sound.
Andrew Peterson is one such Christian artist who has dared to break out of the conventional Christian barrier. His lyrics alone are sheer poetry that speak to the heart of any person in any walk of life.
Not since Keith and Kristyn Getty have I been so moved by the sound of music. Now, I’m not you’re typical music-listener. I tend to ignore the lyrics in many songs and am moved by the tune. This can oftentimes be to my disadvantage because Sarabeth has been known to ask, out of sheer shock, “What in the world are you listening to??”
My case of “It’s beautiful music” is often shattered when I look up the lyrics to that particular song and see that it’s all about young girls sunbathing on the beach and booty calls.
But with Andrew Peterson, the real magic of his music lies in the lyrics, so I have to actually work at enjoying his art – but it’s so worth it! Each song tells a story, or captures a snapshot of an ofttimes overlooked Bible passage, and brings it to life.
His songs encircle the themes of paradise lost, and our longing for hope and redemption and a savior to come and finally rescue us from this hell we call earth. (Much like the themes in my book, The Man in the Box. I feel like he and I would get along.)
Just look over the opening lyrics capturing Abraham and Sarah’s sojourn to Canaan taken out of the book of Genesis:
Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound
Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron’s hills are amber crowned
So bid your troubled heart be still
The grass, they say, is soft and green
The trees are tall and honey-filled
So, Sarah, come and walk with me
An artist with a paintbrush could do the scene no better. (The song is “Canaan Bound” if you want to look it up on itunes.)
And really, most, if not all of his songs are like this. Beautiful. Emotional. Flawless. I would also like to pay special tribute to his backup guys, who each performed just as well as Peterson. Look up Ben Shive and Andy Gullahorn on itunes and enjoy their music as well.
Check out Andrew Peterson’s tour schedule and be sure to book your ticket if he’s coming to your town. Otherwise, get his music on itunes or through his website (he also writes awesome fantasy books!). Listen to it. Love it. And let it open up your mind and heart to the Creator of all that’s good and wonderful.