An uncritical critic? (Adventures of a reviewer)

Simon Cowell

OK so I was just doing some discussion and dreaming today over coffee with my good friend Daryl Wong from Integrity Music (well actually he had tea, and I had a Mucho Mango)… We talked about taking worship ministry in the Body of Christ to the next level (excited about that), family, ministry, and then a new thing that I’m being asked to do for Integrity Music in Singapore, which I am excited about…

They asked me to be their resident music reviewer… at least the first one…

Now here’s the thing –

I’ve been reviewing movies for quite a while here but that’s a ton easier to me than reviewing music… especially Christian music. I say that reviewing movies is easier, because I appreciate the art, yet I’m not a filmmaker myself. Now understanding that I am a musician that is a follower of Christ, am I to skew a review towards positivity and be Mr Nice Guy all the time just because we’re on the same team, both as musicians and as Christians? Or is there room to be “Simon Cowellish?”

I’ll be honest – I’m not a huge fan of American Idol, but when I do catch portions of a show – guess who’s giving the only opinion I care about and agree with 9 times out of ten? (yes you were right it was Paula… haha… no).

Does Jesus like critics?

Didn’t Jesus rebuke the Pharisees and Saducees for their critical attitude towards the ministerial and miraculous work that He’d do? I just don’t wanna be that dude that Jesus calls a Viper… a bunch of snakes…

Jesus though did what it took to rectify the teachable life: commanded Zacchaeus to come down from the tree. Told a lame man full of excuses to pick up his mat and walk. Told a blind man to wash his eyes in mud and spittle. All this to make their lives much better. Helpful Advice. Repositioning Counsel. Constructive Criticism.

But then how do we make improvements if someone is not willing to speak up?… I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do feel that we’ll reach a lot more people for the King if we make good music, and stop settling for secondary scraps. It’s gonna take some guts to speak up, but I think the key is going to be the attitude of the review (and especially the reviewer).

So How lah?

So here’s my disclaimer from the get-go…

  1. I have preferences in style of music – although I know my way around most popular genre’s of music, I may not hear something a lover of Bluegrass, Shoegaze or Concrete music might hear. That being said, I think this will be a great way to learn more about what different sections of the body of Christ are doing musically!
  2. I will review from three perspectives (a) my humble opinion (is it humble when you call it humble?) (b) what I like/areas of improvement (c) who the album may appeal to…
  3. The Most High deserves the Most High quality…
  4. As an artist myself, the pressure will be on to do a better job of putting music out that will both impact lives and be bumped in every ghetto, every barrio, every hood, every block on the regular.

I personally think this is one of the two main reasons Christian music fails to set trends for the most part outside of the four walls of church services, and a lot of former CCM artists have become worship artists. Just keeping it real and ‘one hundid’ y’all…

Our God created the ability to be creative.

To all my fellow Christian musicians, please see my heart, and don’t take anything personal, I expect you to do to the same with me when I release my album in October (shameless plug)… after all the criticism should be constructive and directed at the music, not the minstrel.

Let’s BRING IT for the KING!

The reviews will start in the next few days – watch this space…

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “An uncritical critic? (Adventures of a reviewer)

  1. Well said Neli! Good thoughts. I too have recently been thinking about the whole idea of being constructively critical, or in Christianese, speaking the truth in love. Unfortunately more than not, I find myself avoiding conflict for fear that I will hurt the other person’s feeling. I’m left miserable, having not said what my heart feels will help that other person, and the burden staying unnecessarily with me yet again. I gotta rise up to the occasion though. Would love to hear your thoughts bro. Hope all is well! Blessings from Toronto, Canada!

  2. Hey Neli! Good thoughts. I appreciate them. I too have recently been thinking about the whole idea of being constructively critical, or in Christianese, speaking the truth in love. Unfortunately more than not, I find myself avoiding conflict for fear that I will hurt the other person’s feeling. I’m left miserable, having not said what my heart feels will help that other person, and the burden staying unnecessarily with me yet again. I gotta rise up to the occasion though. Would love to hear your thoughts bro. Hope all is well! Blessings from Toronto, Canada!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s