Category: music

Kanye West: Jesus is King

blogging, music November 10, 2019

For Kanye West, the album Jesus is King is a 4. For Christians, this album is a 10 and a much needed reflection.

Christians are throwing down their best zingers on Facebook threads for this album and it’s causing a bit of division. And that’s good. If i don’t say anything else that hasn’t already been said about the album i’ll say this: the division that this album brought on is good.

Average church-going Christians tend to struggle with change. I mean, that’s not really fair to say because people in general struggle with change. But you would think that as Christians, who praise the controversial nature of Christ, would be sort of okay with changing our thinking. The average sermon has the backbone message of “Christ didn’t come to serve you but to change you” and, yeah, that applies to everything still.

So let’s get into to the sources of division. Kanye West was known for being kind of terrible (i said ‘was’ and you should hang onto that as you read on). Not only was he an icon for self-indulgence and pride but he has a pretty well-documented history of diving into controversial things. So you may say the album follows a trend of benefiting from controversy once again. And here’s the thing; if this is your position, you might be right. but what if you’re wrong? Discernment is a valuable quality to the church and a gift from God but don’t confuse God’s discernment with cynicism. God doesn’t ‘call’ you to speculate the validity of someone’s confession. God gave Christians the church, a place for accountability and discernment to go hand in hand. When the church operates as intended there’s no need for that kind of cynicism.

Here’s another point of speculation i’ve seen recently: while the albums themes are spiritual it lacks the authenticity that would be called ‘faith’. And let me tell you that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. How many Christian movies need to be made before the Christian community can accept we’re putting ourselves into a bubble. I’m including myself here. There’s a bit of fear inherent that comes with being a Christian. It’s common for Christians to feel like not only do you need the answers but you need to sound confident in them. Faith is not blind and that’s a common pulpit phrase but who gets to define faith besides Christ? Faith is a process of growth as well as belief amongst failures and thorough conviction, not to an ideal, but to an ideology.

Also, some people have condemned the album because it’s blasphemous at times. I can’t really argue that as comparing your ‘hard times’ to Christ’s death on a cross isn’t a great message. At the same time plenty of Christian artists do the same so let’s be consistent in who we rebuke.

I don’t know what else i have to say. I think what i hope to say is, Christians, don’t be afraid in your own faith. Discern with discernment and be slow to condemn. Understand music preferences have nothing to do with the truth of the gospel. Christ’s message is stronger than that.

listen to the full album here

Angel by Massive Attack

blogging, music November 4, 2019


Angel is a dark subversive piece that has its roots in Jamaican soul, ambient trip hop, and something else that could only be described as Massive Attackesque. the song provides an atmosphere that is complex but easily recognizable. from start to finish this song is a bank robbery, or a heist gone right, or a silent stalking through dark alleys. it builds on itself with tight and stressed snares and a boding bass line that dominates every corner. it’s ambient but choppy leaving behind a sense of safety amongst chaos. this is what music should do. music, no matter what the mood or the presence of the song is, needs to say something. it needs to be something definable and if not definable it should leave you wondering why it was captivating. Angel, as an opener for the album Mezzanine, sets the tone of the whole album. to me, Angel is the best example of an opener setting the appropriate tone of any album i’ve come across.

more about Angel

Avril 14th by Aphex Twin

blogging, music October 9, 2019


i mean it’s just so good. there’s no lead in or gentle introduction, you are immersed in the melody from the second it starts. you really become a part of it. it’s two minutes long which means there’s no space for repetition or lingering in one part of the melody. you are on a road to a clear end. when i listen to this song it feels serious and confident. some critics say it has a feeling of a calm lullaby or a “butterfly floating” feeling. i really disagree. you can hear the robotic ticking of the keys on the track being pressed like they’re given some signal; which is exactly what’s happening. the piano itself is a Disklavier piano being fed MIDI data so there is no human touch, only the coding provided by the artist telling it what to do. this gives it such a unique character that i think the melody, when played by a human, would not be able to reproduce. it’s as electronic and measured as any other track by Aphex Twin.

Drukqs by Aphex Twin