Recently, I have noted many pop songs are sounding very similar. The melodies, harmonies, even the overall structure of the composition and musical instruments seemed formulaic and contrived. Apparently, I am not the only one who has observed this trend. A recent study confirmed what I and many others have suspected, pop music has become more homogenous over the past sixty years.
A recent study conducted by Joan Serra and colleagues at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona examined nearly half a million songs recorded between 1955 and 2010. The researchers identified three major parameters: timbre, pitch, and loudness. They concluded that over time, timbral and pitch variety has decreased while the loudness has increased. Recent songs gravitate toward similar textures, tone qualities, chords and melodies leading to more homogeneity. Concurrently, songs have become louder, diminishing our ability to discern sonic subtleties. The end result is songs are all sounding the same! Source Scientific American
Popular music has sacrificed originality and creative thinking at the altar of formulaic compositions and mediocrity. It is understandable in the hyper-competitive business of popular music that artists and producers will stay with what works and sells. Sadly this trend can be applied to many modern Christian churches.
The oxymoron “seeker-friendly” has been applied to many churches today. Seeking to appeal to the broadest range of people, these churches indulge in contemporary music, initiated social gatherings devoid of any religious overtones, and softened the Gospel message. Hell, sin, the Blood of Jesus Christ…these terms have been minimized or eliminated and replaced with the inclusive and politically correct words of brotherly love, family, peace, and comfort.
It all sounds the same.
Brotherly love, family, contemporary music…all of these are very important messages of the Church. However, a true “seeker-friendly” church should not focus solely upon the external appearances of architecture, types of music, and a politically correct, non-offensive message, it should focus upon the heart of the seeker. Our true needs are much deeper and profound than finding music and social programs that resonate within us.
We are all sinners, hopelessly lost and deluded into believing that we can make our lives better through our own efforts. Our very natures prevent this from happening. We need something greater than ourselves. God knows this and made the effort to reconcile the chasm between Him and man that sin has caused. He gave us a Savior.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (ESV)
All churches need to be “seeker-friendly” and need to meet the seeker at their deepest needs. All seekers and believers are sinners. We all need to confess and repent of our sins to Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Once we do, we will become reconciled to God, friends and adopted children of the Creator of the universe.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.