Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The trouble with modern rock music, from a Christian's point of view

It's very annoying trying to find an awesome rock band of some punk, metal or alternative genre- basically, anything that isn't AM pop music from the late '70s onward- and not being able to understand the lyrics.

See, I generally have a relatively high tolerance of what I see or hear when it comes to pop culture. These are my limitations:

  • Sex: Innuendo is okay by me, but getting explicit is going too far and I don't like anything violent, overly aggressive, or homosexual. Thing is, most classic rock is either about partying or mutual fornication so it's kinda hard to avoid that- but if it glorifies lust and the objectifying of women, then I don't like it.

  • Drugs: Meh. Drugs don't interest me, so I doubt anyone can really say anything about it that will offend me. It frequently results in immoral behavior, though.

  • Violence: Jackie Chan movies are ideal. No gore, please!

  • Politics: As long as you're not a right-wing or left-wing lunatic- I usually prefer slightly left- and don't scream in rage and swear all the time, I can tolerate it. Crass is about as much as I can stand.

  • Religion: I wouldn't be caught dead listening to a Satanic and/or anti-Christian band. I have no interest in other religions besides Christianity.

  • Swearing: Don't overdo it.

  • Horror: See everything above.

    So it's important to me to make sure that the bands I listen to don't go too far. As I may have touched upon before, I'm determined to learn about almost every musical genre in existence. Trouble is, most metal genres in particular go too far in all categories, so I'm pretty much stuck with either the most highly influential and popular metal bands, who are more commercially accessible, or some relatively unknown Christian metal band.
    Worse, almost every kind of punk, metal, or alternative band has extremely poor diction. It's a darn hassle looking up lyrics and checking if they live up to my standards. Sometimes though, I'll just shrug it off and ignore the lyrical content completely since I can't understand it anyway. How could the lyrics influence me if I don't know what they are?
    Sometimes it's hard to believe that a scary-sounding metal band could be Christian, so I do everything I can to make sure that they really are. Thing is, I'm into almost all forms of extreme metal, from drone doom to grindcore, and as you can imagine, they SOUND evil, but the lyrics say otherwise.

    But ultimately that's what I love about Christian metal. It proves that sound waves on their own, no matter how scared we instinctively are, aren't necessarily evil. Satan doesn't own scary! God has more power than anything in existence, so scary sounds are as much of a part of His Creation as anything else. It's only that most people bastardize these sounds and manipulate people's fears with them to commit evil deeds.

    Case in point: Disneyland's Haunted Mansion sounds scary, but it isn't evil. These ghosts are out to play!

    It seems to me that evil or immoral people are terrified by God's power and the power of love and good, so why not vanquish evil by scaring the pants off of them?

    There is one exception when it comes to it being questionable whether or not a band is immoral or not- power metal is almost always positive in lyrical themes, focusing on good conquering evil, hope, triumph, determination, and other feel-good stuff like that. Because of that, I listen to several power metal bands that aren't necessarily Christian. Metal influenced by Queen, classical and folk music, Yngwie Malsteem with epic fantasy stories? Count me in!

    I guess what I'm really trying to say is:

    • Sing with better diction, people! I don't care if you're trying to sound like a giant demonic frog- if you want your message to be clear, form some consonants!

    • Just because I have moral standards doesn't mean I can't listen to some insane, extreme music.

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