So what exactly is a Christian Artist? A musician that is a Christian? Not exactly… According to Christian Music radio stations, a Christian Artist is an artist that is signed to a Christian Music record label. If you’re a “secular” musician, meaning signed to one of the more popular record labels, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian or not. You will NOT be getting air play on the “Christian” radio stations like K-LOVE or Air1.
Sound hypocritical? Well, if you don’t believe me, here is the history of the Gospel Music Industry on Wikipedia. This quote in particular, backs up my assertion:
“Christian music is sometimes cited as a “ghetto,” meaning that the majority of artists in the industry are pigeonholed to operate solely in it. These artists are isolated from the mainstream public, to Christian media, including radio, magazines, and book stores. For many this is a conscious choice, however others, not content to stay in an isolated industry segment, attempt to “cross over” and gain acceptance in the general market.”
This speaks to a larger issue that many have talked about in the church, which is treating your church like a spiritual bomb shelter. You are huddled together, only doing business with people in your church, hanging out only with people in your church, and attending only events hosted at your church. It’s very common, especially in today’s megachurches. I’ve heard several sermons addressing this problem, reminding what Jesus asked us to do, which is to leave our comfortable spaces and go out to meet other people who most likely don’t share our beliefs and to share the gospel with them.
Getting back to music, I was part of the praise and worship band when I attended Shoreline church in Austin, TX. We would play to crowds of between 2000 and 3000 people every weekend. It was an amazing experience to perform to crowds that size that were truly into the music.
One of the bands that came through on tour of the megachurches in our area was Audio Adrenaline, the band featured here. Up until that point, much of the Christian music I’d heard didn’t really speak to me. It was slow and boring to be honest. And then in comes these guys, guitars cranked and rocking out. Finally!! I didn’t have to “settle” in my listening anymore. After that I was able to find more bands that I enjoyed, like Casting Crowns, Hillsong United, and Toby Mac, but these guys were the first to really break the K-LOVE mold.
Is it hurting bands that only stay within the Christian Music “ghetto”? I would say no, because they get a ton of promotion and captive audiences that they normally wouldn’t get. Just don’t get mad when I call U2 “The Most Successful Christian Band of All Time”, because in my mind it matters whether you believe in God, not what label you’re signed to.
Here’s my tribute to Audio Adrenaline, a band that I think is great, no matter what their label.
In my opinion, the best album these guys ever put out. It just rocks from the start and continues on with great songs from there. It was recorded in several locations, so it naturally has a variety of sound throughout the recording. That makes for a more pleasurable experience to my ears.
Worldwide (title track)
Another great song from this album. Leaving 99. It’s about sheep, but really about us.
A solid album with a great message, but a bit of a let down after Worldwide. It does have one of my favorite songs on it, Ocean Floor. Nice message about taking your sins as far as the East is from the West. It sounds so much like Oasis, but I don’t care. Great song.
I only have the two albums I bought at the concert, so there could be more good music out there. It might be worth a trip to youtube to see what’s new. A musician friend of mind told me a bit about the band, that basically they’ve been swapping out band members like you’d change out parts to a car lately. Just swap out somebody and keep on truckin’. Guess that’s cool, keeping the legacy alive.
Thanks for listening. Up next is a compilation that the end of the A’s. It shows my love for a local music scene that I was a part of for 3 wonderful years.