Sunday, July 24, 2011

In which I share that rare specimen: good contemporary religious music

Seafinch - I've Got to Make Things Right

I love this song for a lot of reasons. For one, it's the only song I know of written from Judas' perspective, and originality is a big plus in my book. I also love horns, so anything with a horn arrangement gets another bump.

I love singing along with the climactic finale ("Not even He / could forgive me") because it reminds me that it's not true in my case. Though at the same time, it has that taint of irony because the character singing it might just be right.

I love that it takes Judas as a human being instead of a caricature. One who made a horrible choice, yes, but one who is still human and realizes what he's done. It is masterfully tragic.

I feel like it's hard to get a good religious song nowadays--they all either hit you over the head with their moral, sound like crap, and/or are just downright sappy/cheesy/campy. Seafinch has a whole album full of the exception: religious songs that, if you weren't paying close attention to the words, could pass for solid secular music (see especially "It Might Be You"). The songs are sung from the point of view of the New Testament's marginalized or underappreciated characters (a number of women, for example, are represented) or the famous at their less-than-best (Peter's remorse from denying Christ).

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