I thought we could make it through 2008 without any completely ridiculous upsets in the Christian music industry. After all, it’s been at least a couple years since the last scandal, and most of those folks who’ve kicked up a fuss are either dead or utter pariahs by now, so we’ve had nothing looming on the horizon. But alas, things have apparently been too quiet to warrant a year of peace.
Pop band Inhabited, a commercial punk outfit fronted by the dodgy Sara Acker (who, as I’m sure you could guess, is the spitting image of the tough rocker-chick clichÉ) has angered the fine folks of the industry with the release of an “uncensored” version of one of their songs online. The offending track is a remix of “Hush” from the band’s sophomore effort (if you could call it an effort), the ironically titled LOVE. After multiple listens, I’d love to tell you I actually understand the song, but let’s face it— I don’t have a clue what these people are talking about, sans the lyrics in question. It’s a dance number, with a trippy string back-up that’s more annoying than creative and our leading lady’s hubby, Marcus Acker’s never-ending stoner drone.
Back to the lyrics. By “uncensored,” I was hoping that their lead singer had dropped some lines about her lovely lady lumps, stopping off at the local pub for a nightcap, or popping a cap in someone’s [ahem] “keister.” After all, that’s generally what it takes to get the proverbial duct tape strung over an artist’s mouth these days. Right? Right?!
Alas, the industry has once again disappointed me. Instead of something actually worth getting censored, all the band gives us is a silly snub at Christian pop’s leading ladies, BarlowGirl (and a more ridiculous name I have yet to find since Mr. Mister made their debut— sooo wish I was kidding right now).
We’re gonna beat that system in a round about way
Won’t make sucky music so my records will play
There’s a whole new breed of us coming up
This eloquent piece of sagacity is followed by the [ahem] offending lines:
They said just sing these words and you’ll sound real nice
Something more like Barlow Girl, do something right
Ain’t got nothing against “em, but it just ain’t me
No, I’m gonna change the world, I’ll make history
That’s right, it’s a snub. And not even a GOOD snub; we’ve got the Christian music equivalent of two college girls arguing over who’s the biggest slut in the room. So they called BarlowGirl mainstream. Wow. What a surprise! Mainstream Christian music? I’m getting sick just thinking about it!
For those of you who’ve been keeping score, Inhabited isn’t as talented as BarlowGirl, and that’s truly saying something considering that the latter’s music sounds as unsettlingly familiar as walking into a room and realizing that everyone looks exactly the same, down to their “designer” jeans and stupid “punk” haircuts (“scuse the high school flashback).
Now, on to the tour-de-force! Apparently Inhabited have been forced to issue a public apology for their lyrics in order to smooth over BarlowGirl’s very conservatively designed skirts.
This of course, was followed by a ceremony in which the slighted band were bowed down to, had their respective rings kissed (oh, scratch that— none of them are married, something about not dating until after they get hitched; good luck with that, ladies), and then officially declared the band in Christian music most deserving of our attention and respect. Yeah…. that was sarcasm. Except the thing about not dating; totally read that somewhere.
What is this industry coming to? Hopefully a sudden death, if the public gets its wish. People are getting sick of this derivative radio crap anyway, and eventually the whole “religious market” will kill over as it gives birth to a new generation of artists who can actually communicate spiritual realities in fresh, exciting ways. In the meantime, we have to put up with these teenyboppers and their high school-level tiffs over stupid lyrics in ridiculous songs that attack laughable “artists”— folks who barely deserve the name, let alone our hard-earned cash.
Slaps on the wrist have been issued to both parties involved— Inhabited, for not standing their ground and forgetting to actually have a few radio successes before bashing one of the biggest bands in the industry (even if they did deserve it) and BarlowGirl, for just…being BarlowGirl and not bowing out before they ever made it big enough to barrage us with their “music.”
John Wofford is a Patrol contributor.
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