Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nothing is Sound

On Thursday I am going to the "Music Builds" tour with my son. I've been looking forward to this Concert for months.

The concert features Third Day, which is the band most responsible for revolutionizing the worship music genre. They have a classic southern-rock type of sound which reminds me of the Eagles or Lynyrd Skinard. That's not the style I usually prefer, but they have a few songs I really like, such as "Show me your glory."

Also appearing is Jars of Clay, the alternative band which released one of the best albums ever clear back in 1995, featuring remarkable songs like Flood and Love Song for a Savior. I stopped following them when their second album stunk. Turns out I should not have given up on them so soon. Their 2002 album "The Eleventh Hour" was exceptional including a wide variety of songs ranging from the rocking "Revolution" to the deeply pensive "Edge of Water." "Redemption Songs" was a one of the most unique and inventive worship albums ever, featuring modern recordings of ancient hymns. Their recent song "Dead Man" is easily as good as anything on their first album.

But the band that I am most excited to see is Switchfoot, a newcomer compared to the others. Switchfoot arrived on the national scene on 2003 with their amazing album "The Beautiful Letdown." "Meant to Live" is one great song from this album, but there are really too many to list them all. If you want my recommendation for one album to buy, this is it. Their rise to fame brought new attention to their independently produced song "Dare you to Move", a great song in spite of the obviously low-budget video. Their next album, Nothing is Sound included the big hit "Stars". But the real gem on this album is "Happy is a Yuppie Word", a song which sums up why I love Switchfoot. The idea behind this song came from an interview of Bob Dylan on his fiftieth birthday. He was asked if he was "happy". Dylan answered "You know, these are yuppie words: happiness, unhappiness. It is not happiness or unhappiness, it is blessed or unblessed." That idea is combined in a very unlikely way with themes from Ecclesiastes. Now Bob Dylan and Solomon have nothing at all in common, but the song works amazingly well. Listen to it and get lost in the lyrics. Once you get to know this song you can't avoid being swept away by the refrain "Nothing is sound" as the song reaches its climax. This rings particularly true today as the financial markets crumble. Switchfoot's most recent CD, "Oh, Gravity" included some hit songs such as "American dream" and the title track (I love the completely unexpected transition into the second verse). However, my favorite is the much-overlooked "In this life" with one of my favorite lines in any song: "You're everything that's fair in love and war." The song builds to a passionate apex where Jon howls "In this life you're my only one" a heart-felt cry to God which in my opinion is the high-point of the album.

Each of these three bands has enough top-quality material to make a great show. Put them all together and it will be an unforgettable night of music.

No comments: