Looking In The Mirror: Part 1
I’ve had the majority of these thoughts in my dashboard but with Daniel Mount’s post today, now seemed like a good time. I didn’t read all the comments. I didn’t have to. I would’ve posted on his blog, but since this was set to go, here’s my opinion mixed with some fact.
I’ve mentioned before why southern gospel begins to emulate CCM and other genres after 10 + years. I’m not singling out just the musical aspect, but the current state of SG as an industry. We may not always like it, but a lot of it is our fault. One side wants southern gospel to go further, because they believe it can and should reach a broader and wider audience. Here’s why it should: Because it contains the Gospel.
Southern gospel is slow to change because the majority of fans are older and many are found in the Bible belt of the south. And that makes the traditional aspect of SG majestic to some. And sometimes we find this contradiction in the lyrics.
Let’s put aside musical styles aside. What’s in these lyrics? Much of southern gospel in the past has contained some excellent, theologically rich lyrics. Some is rather watered down. You can say that for every genre of Christian music, whether it be Rock or Rap, etc. But what I’ve realized by folks in churches across America is that the ones who don’t want it to change musically, back up their stance by pursuing to sing and love and write some of the worst lyrics in the genre.
Others pursue more deeply impacting, theologically correct lyrics, and see some sects of southern gospel standing in the way.
That baffles me, honestly. Why defend something when the evidence you are using to defend your own point of view, is in contradiction to the reality. Many fans are blindfolded. Rock or Pop music can progress much more rapidly than other genres. Things can change dramatically within just a short 2 or 3 years. The popular culture went from Nirvana to Backstreet Boys in less than 5 years. That may not be true for all, but to a large extent, that is an accurate statement. It’s expected to expand, broaden, progress. It’s unacceptable if it doesn’t to some degree. The Beatles went through stylistic changes, heavily setting the pace for innovation and pioneering, and in turn, became inspiration for more artists to do the same. Some if this dilemma lies with aging and maturing. I don’t listen to half of what I listened to as a 17 year old kid. Southern gospel is discouraged to change so quickly, so dramatically, so gracefully. And well, it may fail to be southern gospel if it does.
Once again, that’s exactly what makes it unique. But if we want to stay the same, we shouldn’t have a problem with emulating CCM or any other genre 10 + years down the road.