Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pull the Plug on CCM

Taylor Huckabee has written an interesting piece at The Week entitled Who killed the contemporary Christian music industry? He examines the rise, crest, and decline of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) over the past decades. Having seen the reported phenomenon myself, I agree with his overall assessment of CCM as a waning presence within the music industry.

I found one point to be quite telling:
The CCM industry began relying on sure bets, and the surest bet of all was what's broadly known as “worship music” — songs people sing at church. Initially fueled by musicians like Chris Tomlin and Sonic Flood, worship has since become CCM’s primary export — a fact worship-focused bands like Hillsong United have leveraged into playing stadiums around the world.…

The industry has eased into making church music for churches, unable to recapture the ideas that made it such a prominent force in decades past.
And herein lies a major problem. In the attempt to play things safe, what Huckabee describes above as “church music for churches” is generally unfit for church use. CCM songs are little more than bubblegum pop rejections having melodies suitable only for solo voices, feel-good deities, and all the substance and benefit of cotton candy, while voicing a narcissistic, never-ending prayer cycle of “I’m going to…,” “I want to…,” “I will…,” etc. In country music parlance, it would be like getting a steady diet of beer and babes as in Gretchen Wilson’s “I’m Here for the Party” when needing a punch in the gut from something like George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” CCM has lost the grit, angst, and sorrow of sinful human lives that is so prevalent in the Psalms of David. Only in directly facing reality do we comprehend our true condition and need for a Savior.

CCM seeks only to sell product regardless of how lackluster the content may be. Strong measures are needed. You musicians, let that entire industry implode into its inevitable demise and write substantive, biblical lyrics to singable tunes. We will gladly take them.

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