Sunday, January 02, 2005

2004: The Year in Music

So I keep putting off the music recap of 2004. I think I’m going to skip it entirely and jsut do an overview. First of all, I don’t always buy cd’s. I often borrow them from the library to see if I like them. This means two things, if I did like it, I don’t always buy it right away since my library has a generous check-out policy and I can renew quite a bit. Often by the time I have to take the cd back, I’m bored with it. Secondly, it means that I often don’t listen to the cd for several months after it comes out, since my library isn’t what anyone would call efficient at getting cd’s out in a timely manner.

So my first hesitation is that I don’t have a very accurate record of what I’ve listened to this year as I didn’t keep track of what I checked out and I no longer have many of them still out to listen to.

My second hesitation lies in the fact that I am afraid to write about the music I like. This is because I have very pedestrian taste. In fact, my taste is called into question quite a bit. You see, I am not at all the kind of person who will fill up her “best of blah, blah, blah” list with obscure “brilliant” artists who are one moment away from being the next big thing. And I don’t appreciate art just for the fact that it’s art. Artists who produce music with obscene language don’t impress me even if two million “knowledgeable” critics consider them genius. I always have to laugh when I read many of these end-of-year lists because I imagine music reviewers bundled up in a trench coat and funny glasses, skulking into the music store, looking for an unkown band to pretend is the hottest act around.

I abhor when people think someone is a “fangirl” if they like two consecutive albums from the same artist. And it really annoys me when someone stops liking a band the moment they become popular or profitable. In addition, when visiting Christian music message boards, I see so much that bothers me. The only word I can think of to describe many of these people is pretentious. It’s as if there is some list of “quality music” that is passed around to only the select few. The rest of us have to go by our emotions and our taste, which if they don’t match the approved list must be suspect.

I think instead of trying to write about all my thoughts on the music of 2004, I’ll just summarize a few things, keeping in mind that my taste, while probably poor, is fine by me just the same.

I think the Point of Grace debut was the biggest dissapointment for me this year. Not one song really stood out to me and I found that Terry’s voice was missed so much more than I first thought it would be. They sound harsher and more brittle without her. In addition, I think the lyrics were some of their worst selections ever. Now let me add that this pains me, as I am a big fan and have enjoyed their music and message so much over the years.

I was introduced to some new-to-me artists this year. I especially enjoyed Jeremy Camp, Bethany Dillion, and Shaun Groves. I gave Jars of Clay another chance and found I really liked “The Eleventh Hour” and couldn’t even listen to two songs on “Who We Are Instead.”

And some random thoughts about Christian music…

Will we ever see more of Cindy Morgan, Susan Ashton or Lisa Bevil?

Why does Micheal W. Smith look younger with every album? Has no one looked into this?

How come the music industry promised cheaper cd’s in October of 2003 and I’m paying two dollar more per cd this past fall than I did in 2003? Were they lying or did I miss it?

Why is it that my Minidisc player with moving parts will run for 56 hours on ONE AA Battery and the Ipod only runs 8 hours (at most) before you have to recharge it and it has no moving parts? Am I the only one that thinks that’s odd?

Why are the Dove awards so cheesy? Do we really need choreographed dance moves with every song? And why is the music that is performed so slanted to one type? In addition, why do we try so hard to emulate the mainstream award shows. First of all, they aren’t all that great to begin with. Secondly, it only makes us look like we’re trying too hard to play with the “big dogs.” Like we have to put on a dog and pony show for our message to be worthwhile enough to be heard.

So that’s all I have to say about music. I will be keeping better track of my music this year so I can wrap up 2005 a little easier.

I’m off to get some sleep now. Illness this week has kept me from writing about my New Year’s goals and plans, but I hope to do that the next day or two.

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