Guest Post by Eric Blair
Some people have expressed the view that Christian Rock has decreased in popularity over the years. With bands like Paramore, MxPx, Critical Mass and Switchfoot, rock certainly doesn’t appear to be going away. In fact, some of these groups are now experiencing the most popularity they ever had in their careers. While digital distribution has hurt some segments of the record industry, the contemporary Christian music segment has really started to carve out its own niche.
Magnified Plaid Puts out New Music
Since fans haven’t heard anything out of MxPx since 2007, it was nice to see “Plans Within Plans” hit store shelves in April 2012. Mike Herrera described the title as a reference to the fact that day-to-day life in the recording industry requires you to make plans on top of other plans. At various times, the members of MxPx have said they prefer to be described as a band made up of Christians rather than a Christian band.
Nevertheless, even secular songs on their ninth studio album show some clear Christian themes. “Stay On Your Feet” has a pretty positive message that surely resonated well with a lot of fans. It probably also resonated well with Herrera, since the drama of his work seemed to be getting to him.
Few bands can please hipsters and Christians equally, but Critical Mass has a following among members of both groups. They’ve come out and said that they’re proud of being an independent band, and have no wish to sign a major record deal. Even though they’re one of the most successful indie bands in Canada, they’re best-selling records have only ever sold slightly over 60,000 copies.
It’s pretty safe to say that they’re still underground. Unlike a lot of groups that enjoy crossover popularity, however, Critical Mass has never tried to downplay Christian themes in their music. Their 2009 album “Body Language” deals with themes of love and sexuality in a way few rock bands would ever dare to. In fact, Blessed Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” directly influenced it.
Paramore’s New Release
Strangely, Paramore has chosen April 2013 to be the release date of their eponymous album. It’s sure to interest a ton of contemporary Christian music fans, and the response to Hayley Williams’ recent comments about the recording have been pretty positive. She stated that Justin Meldal-Johnsen will be producing the record, and he said the sound is going to be much less computerized than a lot of recent recordings.
License: Creative Commons image source
Eric Blair writes about rock music and live concerts- in his spare time he goes to car shows and listens to his Beatles Vinyl.