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barely scratches the surface in the UK. Save for Delirious (who have been knocking around for 15 or so years and got into the top 10 at Easter following a massive internet campaign), there is pretty much no Christian Rock in the UK charts.
In terms of DiS types, most of the Christian artists (Sufjan Stevens, Pedro the Lion, etc) tend to succeed by not singing exclusively about God.
but then a band like Delirious (or Michael W Smith or whoever) will sing almost exclusively about God.
I want the really good story-telling stuff with massively over-wrought rhymes and metaphors ("All my exes live in Texas, that's why I reside in Tennessee"). Who's that guy they cut to in Family Guy - Conway Twitty or something? Stuff like that.
Being open about your faith in the good ol' US of A is seen as relatively normal and much less of a distinction is made between secular and religious music whereas Christian bands in the UK tend to rely solely on a Christian audience to keep them afloat. Delirious did have a few chart singles but ultimately made a loss on the singles they released and survived from playing to larger audiences in America and Australia.
Country music...I don't get it either! But then I hate folk music in general.
There are a lot of good bands who either have Christian members, sing from a Christian viewpoint or are overtly Christian, who don't resort to the kind of musical cheese that Michael W Smith delivers! Good examples of the above would be Thrice, Norma Jean, MeWithoutYou, Paramore and The Gaslight Anthem. As a Christian myself I do listen to worship music and try to avoid exposure to cheese by listening to The David Crowder Band, The Violet Burning, onehundredhours, Tim Hughes, to name a few. My only regret is that there are next to no Christian shoegazing bands...
that stuff is shite. but i can tell you i like a lot of that old fashioned country stuff made by rednecks working in the fields who go to church on sunday and sing their little hearts out... o! the authenticity - badly recorded, frequently out of tune, not very good at their instruments etc (all the qualities lo-fi supposedly worships, except it actually pulls them off). this kinda thing; http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Music-Kentucky-2-CD-Set/dp/B000001DJN it's not all christian stuff, but a lot of it is.
^wanky paragraph, condescending poor agricultural workers, but fuck it. fuck everything.
also modern music is shit
One of the kids I teach came into school with his banjo last week and proceeded to knock out a note-perfect rendition of the duelling banjos theme from Deliverance. He was held in awe by the rest of the class...maybe the future belongs to country/songs sung by rural folk/thigh-slappin' banjo-pluckin' beard-sproutin' sing-a-longs
I hate all things evangelical though, which is a particularly american and off-putting thing. it's non-reflective and void of any deeper understanding of the world, rather paints things in simple black and white. honestly, I rather listen to morbid angel than any christian rock when it reeks of evangelicalism.
this Larry Norman song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TliWDSLrYb8.
A mate of my older brother used to work in a Christian book shop and used to get given loads of dodgy metal albums (Stryper, Rez and also tons of Larry Norman albums).
...I have a friend who is still massively into them...I can't persuade him otherwise!
Despite the glass ceiling, they managed to do pretty well. I quite enjoyed their records, much more than, say.... U2. They had a concept-ish album, an all pop tunes and no Jesus album, a Spanish one...
Bless 'em, they gave it a good go but the saaf-east accent shone through! Audio lessonover was also absolutely awful...they played the single off it on some saturday morning kids show and I had to look away in horror...by contrast Glo is an exceptionally good album from start to finish and crammed with long drawn out ambient guitar jams, so yeah, Delirious? did Christendom proud overall.
When they hear that you're a Jesus Freak? ;)
What will people do when they find out it's true?