Friday, June 3, 2011

Codes and Keys:

Just a very short post to comment on the new album by Death Cab For Cutie, "Codes and Keys".

This album is brilliant in so many ways.  I've listened to it 4-5 times and find that it's musically and melodically engaging and brilliantly crafted and layered.  A true delight to listen to.  Musically speaking, it's definitely a 5-star album.

Unfortunately, it's a 0-star album when it comes to the lyrics.  While the lyrics are often poetic and quite meaningful, it's absolutely apparent that Ben Gibbard doesn't believe in God.  Too bad, really, because it's one of the best-sounding albums I've heard in a long, long time.

I hope that somehow in some way Christian music artists are listening.  The secular music scene is growing in creativity, while I feel Christian - and more specifically, worship - music has remained stagnant since about 1995.  If a Christian band had released Codes and Keys with amazing and worshipful lyrics, it'd be the best album I've heard in years.  No offense Passion artists...and Hillsong...and others.  But I believe we're being outcreated by other artists. 

More thoughts on this later...until then, I'm probably going to listen to Codes and Keys a few more times.


  1. I look at the fact that worship music became a multi-billion dollar genre in a multi-billion dollar industry and blanch. I have to wonder if the stagnation of the worship music genre is indicative of a larger problem.

    Secular music, which can create without boundaries, will always progress in a variety of ways. Christian music is hemmed in by a label and the need to maintain a certain image. Worship music is confined even further. Is it possible that the worship genre has colored in and explored all the space that it has been given in which to be creative?

    - mike

  2. 1) You hit the nail on the head. "Worship" has become a musical genre...and that just shouldn't be the case.

    2) "Christian" music can/should be created without boundaries as well (minus what could be considered language/lyrics that place oneself above God). And I think there are some really darn good "Christian" albums out nowadays. While "Christian" music is still lagging behind in some areas, there are some artists who have become popular both within the church and within secular culture (Mumford & Sons, John Mark McMillan, Gungor, The Violet Burning, even Lecrae).

    As for the "genre" comment...I'm with you. But like I said, not all artists recognize these boundaries, and the results are being noticed within/outside the "Christian" music industry.

    Nevertheless, Codes & Keys is a great album. But the more I think about it and the more I search for "Christian" music that breaks the typical boundaries, the greater the impact they're having. More thoughts to come in a future post...

  3. I previewed Codes and Keys, last night ironically, and came away with an "eh" feeling. But I also came knowing Death Cab cannot be previewed and said as much to my son.

    Looking forward to that post about those cross-boundary bands.

    - mike

  4. Was thinking about this conversation when I read this post from Matthew Paul Turner today:

    I think he pretty much nails it. And #6 made me LOL for serious.