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Not Tropeworthy: Not Christian Rock

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GastonRabbit The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
Sep 28th 2022 at 11:23:43 AM

I feel like we're going in circles because:

And either way, I don't even know why you're arguing with me over the text of a crowner option I downvoted

I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride....
Walkinshadows from Arson City Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Sep 28th 2022 at 11:25:19 AM

That wasn't what was clear on the crowner to begin with, nor did you seem like you were against the idea of combining other genres and religions into Christian Rock, which was explicitly the issue I had.

I donít care about the hero or the heroine, I only care about the comic relief sidekick.
GastonRabbit The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
Sep 28th 2022 at 11:26:40 AM

If you had read the part I quoted in my previous post, you would have seen that I retracted that statement.

Edited by GastonRabbit on Sep 28th 2022 at 1:26:53 PM

I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride....
Sep 28th 2022 at 11:28:04 AM

It's fine to state you disagree with a proposal or crowner option. We're three pages in so more specific disagreement should be quoted or linked to.

Edited by Tabs on Sep 28th 2022 at 11:28:22 AM

GastonRabbit MOD The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
Sep 28th 2022 at 11:28:58 AM

Speaking of retracting, consensus is clear enough that I'm retracting the two-day delay and going back to waiting three days from when the crowner was hooked, so it'll be called tomorrow.

Edited by GastonRabbit on Sep 28th 2022 at 1:37:00 PM

I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride....
GastonRabbit MOD The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
GastonRabbit The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
Sep 29th 2022 at 2:55:26 AM

The page is disambiguated, the subpages have been cut, and the indexing has been updated.

Here are the wicks.

I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride....
Sep 29th 2022 at 8:37:02 AM

~Camassia do you want cleanup to save up examples fitting your page 1 proposal?

GrafVonTirol See me, feel me Relationship Status: It's a god-awful small affair
See me, feel me
Sep 29th 2022 at 12:08:08 PM

Added God-Is-Love Songs to the disambiguation.

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die progress: 144/1001 (14.39% complete) Currently at: The Who - Tommy
Adept Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sep 29th 2022 at 7:09:48 PM

Examples where "artist are practicing Christians, but their music don't really allude to the faith" don't belong anywhere right?

Sep 29th 2022 at 8:36:39 PM

Correct. That's sorta just creating stuff you're interested in. smile

GastonRabbit The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
Sep 30th 2022 at 5:46:18 AM

Archiving the wick check so the sandbox can be cut:

Not Christian Rock has description problems. Am attempting to sort the examples into categories to see if it can be turned into something more coherent.

Results: 39 of 50 wicks fit the description in some way. Of those, only 6 described musicians who sound Christian but aren't, and in two of those cases it was the band's name rather than their lyrics that was misleading, while one was really Hindu so it was more a case of listeners assuming God=Jesus. So very few wicks fit the Laconic description, and in fact four examples described the reverse situation. Meanwhile 21 wicks describe Christians expressing their faith outside of the Christian Rock genre, 3 seem to be disagreeing with themselves (probably due to Conversation on the Main Page) but also appear to be in that category, 3 describe ambiguously spiritual content, and 6 name specifically Christian content but the intentions aren't explained.

The most promising category here is "Christian, but not 'Christian Rock.'" There's definitely a recurring theme of Christian musicians leaving Christian Rock or shunning it to begin with because they want a wider audience, but still expressing their faith in music. I suggest that this be turned into a somewhat narrower item called Not That Kind Of Christian Rock, though I'm not sure if it's trope or trivia. I also suggest that this not include any music from before about 1980, since the presence of the Christian Rock industry is what makes this trope necessary to begin with.

    open/close all folders 

     Sounds Christian, but isn't (6/50) 
  • Music.All That Remains: Some songs (like "Not Alone", "Faithless", and "Become the Catalyst") have seemingly Christian themes, but they aren't a Christian band, and Phil has gone on record that he is in fact an atheist
  • Music.All Things Must Pass: A more literal example than most, as Harrison's God-Is-Love Songs were frequently interpreted as references to the God of Abraham, but he was writing from a Hindu/Krishna Consciousness perspective.
  • Music.CHVRCHES: Despite the name, they're not a Christian band. They chose the name because it "sounded cool".
  • Music.Collective Soul: The band will go to great lengths to deny that they include religious themes in their music. However, with the possible exceptions of Dosage, Blender and Youth, the lyrical content of some songs wouldn't be out of place at a Christian youth concert, including "God is always your strength; the only strength that you know", as well as "Hymn for My Father", which is just what it sounds like. It doesn't help their denial any that Ed and Dean Roland are preacher's kids and that the founding members of the band met in church. Roland says that growing up steeped in religious terminology heavily influenced his writing, and that it doesn't go further than that.
  • Music.Lamb Of God: While the band's name would lead an unsuspecting listener to believe they're Christian, they most certainly aren't and several of their songs are actually very critical of religion. The video for "Redneck" screws with this when a mother asks the band to play a child's birthday party. Guess what happens...
  • So: Despite featuring vaguely faith-related themes in its lyrics, "In Your Eyes" is not meant to be a profession of faith by any means, though Gabriel is not adverse towards interpretations of the song that depict it as such.
     Christians mistaken for non-Christian (4/50) 
  • LyricalDissonance.Christian: Many popular Christian Rock groups or groups that take inspiration from their beliefs; ie: Red, Skillet, Flyleaf, Dead By April. They're often so similar to typical rock and have such Alternate Character Interpretation that a lot of people would have never learned if someone didn't point it out.
  • MisaimedFandom.Music: Many fans of modern Christian Rock, or even Not Christian Rock, bands don't tend to take the songs into a religious sense. Many are surprised to hear the bands are Christian.
  • Music.Demon Hunter: Subverted. Most fans don't know they're Christian (see Christian Rock above) until they look it up. This is justified, as they rode the fence for their first couple releases and only became labeled a Christian metal band after they became more open about their faith, yet the content of their lyrics and music did not change following this revelation. It also helps that Ryan often gives official explanations for their songs' meanings, many of which aren't inspired by anything religious in the first place.
  • Music.Violent Femmes: Gano, a Baptist, occasionally includes Christian themes in the lyrics, though they are definitely not considered a Christian band. Indeed, some listeners initially assumed that some of their religiously-themed songs were tongue-in-cheek.
     Ambiguously spiritual (3/50) 

  • Music.Dire Straits: Both the music and lyrics of "Solid Rock" sound incredibly churchy, but it doesn't have any specific Biblical or God-related references.
    • "Ticket to Heaven", where the (imaginary) singer is clearly sincere about his belief, though the song itself is a pretty cynical jab at televangelists. The second item would be Poe's Law if it actually fooled anybody, but it's not stated whether it has.
  • Music.Leonard Cohen: Scriptural and religious imagery appears often in Cohen's lyrics, but not always as a statement of faith. The best-known example is "Hallelujah," which dwells on the biblical stories of David and Samson but is really more of a Break-Up Song.
  • New Sound Album: When their original vocalist was swapped out for one with a much softer voice, Destroy the Runner went from hard-hitting Christian metalcore on their debut album Saints, to melodic ambiguously-spiritual metal on their second album, I, Lucifer. Many fans were not pleased.

     Christian, but not "Christian Rock" (17/50) 
  • Contractual Purity: A perfect example of this is the soul-metal band King's X, which, despite always denying that they were a Christian Rock band, picked up a large Christian fanbase in the '90s due to their religious beliefs and their vaguely spiritual lyrics. Then frontman Doug Pinnick came out as being gay, and suddenly their fanbase condemned them as "traitors" to the Christian rock scene.
  • AwesomeMusic.Paramore: Paramore is Not Christian Rock, but "My Heart" is a song about faith complete with Josh Farro screaming.
  • Music.Anberlin: Most of the band members played together as Sagoh 24/7 in the late 90s/early 2000s, the name of which was an acronym for "Servants After God's Own Heart". The name change to Anberlin corresponded with the change in lyrical focus to songs that would still reference Christianity without being as preachy. Stephen still identifies as a devout Christian, but he prefers not to classify the band's music as such.
  • Music.Common: Common has quite a few songs about faith and spirituality but is not a Christian rapper, per say.
  • Music.Daniel Johnston: He was a Christian, and some of his lyrics sound vaguely religious, but he never called himself a Christian artist.
  • Music.Icon For Hire: Some bits and pieces lyrics allude to the Christian faith. They don't prefer to identify as Christian Rock, as they feel it will separate their non-Christian listeners from their audience.
  • Music.Kelly Clarkson: Some of her ballads, such as "Hear Me" and "Irvine", are very clearly musical prayers to the Judeo-Christian God.
  • Music.Lady Gaga: "Born This Way" has a pretty strong pro-Christian message, though definitely not in the sense that most religious figures would interpret it, and "Judas" earned her a rebuke from the Catholic League. All this despite the fact that she has openly claimed she is a devout Catholic.
  • Music.Lifehouse: As Jason Wade was brought up in a Christian missionary household, some of his lyrics - especially in Lifehouse's early work - contain reference to his faith. Not to mention Wade's quietly collaborated with artists in Christian Rock, such as Steven Curtis Chapman (Background vocals on All Things New) and Jeremy Camp (Co-wrote a song on the Beyond Measure album).
  • Music.Me Without You: Sorta. In interviews Aaron Weiss — a Christian who takes inspiration from Sufism and other religious traditions — comments that his lyrics are almost entirely personal in nature, and not targeted toward any particular audience (religious or otherwise). Even so, his religious views are evident in almost everything he sings. In essence, the songs detail more the struggles and triumphs in a religious man's life rather than being anything like straightforward worship songs (though a few of those sneak in here and there).
  • Music.Missy Elliott: While she is very open about her faith, including at least one Christian song on every albumnote , her music (while still sneaking Christian references in here or there) is hardly what you would call "Christian rap."
  • Music.NF: While he himself is a Christian and many of his songs have Christian undertones and subtext ("Oh Lord" in particular isn't very subtle in its message), NF himself doesn't categorize himself in the Christian hip hop genre in order to remain open to mainstream audiences.
  • Music.Owl City: Adam is a Christian, as is obvious from a quick look through his blog. While many of his songs aren't focused on God, there are quite a few that do have Christian themes. These include "Meteor Shower", "Tidal Wave", "Kamikaze", and "Galaxies", though, like most Owl City songs, it can be hard to figure out what exactly the song is about on the first few listens. Additionally, he mentions Jesus in "Christmas Song", has done a cover of "In Christ Alone", and one album ("All Things Bright and Beautiful") is named after a hymn.
  • Music.Sixpence None The Richer: Their work is often cited when the debate over what gets considered Christian Rock comes up. Leigh and Matt are Christians. The band's name was inspired by C. S. Lewis. Several tracks express praise to God and/or were inspired by Scripture. Their best-selling self-titled third album was produced by Steve Taylor, who was a big name in the Christian alt-rock world as both a musician and producer. But they tend to shy away from the "Christian Rock" descriptor for much the same reason as bands like Switchfoot and P.O.D..
  • Music.The Fray: A special example since all the members are Christians and their songs tend to feature some very spiritual imagery. Although they've decided to brand themselves as a secular band in an attempt to reach out to a wider audience, some of their songs are still played on Christian radio.
    • Perhaps to clearly demonstrate the trope, the word "shit" appears in the opening track "Hold My Hand", just within three minutes to begin their "Helios" album.
  • Music.U2: Bono does incorporate some themes into his songs, but more of the peace, happiness, and brotherhood kind.
    • Christian themes were more explicit in their early albums (Bono, the Edge and Larry all became friends while members of an evangelical students' group in Dublin). Bono continues to be a Christian to this day and in the early 2000's, he visited many churches to address the congregations as part of his campaign for African debt relief. He has consistently spoken of "Christian musicians" in 1st person plural, so they somewhat blur the line.
  • Justin Bieber: Narm: "Holy", another song dedicated to Hailey (and God), comes as more laughable than love-inspiring thanks to Bieber's vocals coming off as less soulful and more deadpan and several out-there lyrics, such as "On God! Running to the alter like a trackstar!".

     Christian-sounding lyrics, intentions unstated (6/50) 
  • Creator.Johnny Yong Bosch: Some songs mention God, angels, and, in the case of the album "Xmas", Jesus. Many others were written to have a wider appeal, and can be interpreted as alternately religious or romantic.
  • Music.Big Star: Aside from the aforementioned "Jesus Christ", the phrase At my side is God pops up in the lyrics to "The Ballad of El Goodo" (which itself doesn't make a big deal of it, it's just a standard "nobody's gonna get me down" song), and "Try Again"'s lyrics read like they belong in a gospel tune, but the band wasn't otherwise very Christian-oriented. Well, except Chris...
  • Music.Breaking Benjamin: The song "Give Me a Sign" is close to prayer and "The Great Divide" outright references prayer, and many of their songs seem to have some religious messages. However, the band isn't labelled as Christian.
  • Music.I Fight Dragons: IFD falls squarely in Geek Rock territory, but many songs use Christian (particularly Catholic) imagery and symbolism. Examples are "(If I Should Die) Before I Wake," "Suburban Doxology," "Angels and Demons."
  • Music.Physical Graffiti: "In My Time of Dying", based on a traditional gospel blues song that had been in the repertoire of Blind Willie Johnson. Bob Dylan also recorded a version on his self-titled debut album.
  • Music.Toad The Wet Sprocket: Some of their songs use Christian themes and imagery, despite being more generally spiritual than Christian. "Fly from Heaven" is a good example.

     Debated/Contradictory (3/50) 
  • Music.Creed: Christian Rock/Not Christian Rock: It's arguable which one they are, at least in some circles. If they are the former, then they're definitely the most successful Christian rock band ever. They never followed the pattern "Christian Rock": not on a Christian Music label, little mention on CCM radio, etc. Even their website mentioned that they were pretty open to whichever God was the real one. Plus there's all of the "Getting drunk, sloshing through concerts, and fighting with other bands" thing that kind of kills the debate. Most of the Christian influence seems to have been Scott Stapp's doing (he had grown up in a religious household and was forbidden from listening to rock music, with the exception of Elvis Presley and only because his mother was a fan); when the rest of the band formed Alter Bridge after Stapp left, the religious messages in the music were greatly downplayed.
  • Music.Gotye: Christian Rock: "In Your Light" is about how thrilled Gotye is to have God in his life, though this is his only really religious song.
  • Music.Prince: We can go all day over this, but the Hijacked by Jesus part above kind of makes it moot. Note: I removed the Hijacked by Jesus entry because it misused the trope, but the point was that Prince's religion became increasingly prominent in his music over the years.
    • And considering the content of the vast majority of his songs, it's not all that hard to figure out.
      • Although, Purple Rain and Let's Go Crazy can both be seen as (and have been stated to be) religious metaphors.
     Christian background, secular music (5/50) 
  • Music.Aly And AJ: After their debut, they took a turn against their Christian roots.
  • Music.As I Lay Dying: Despite the lack of overtly religious lyrics, they had embraced the "Christian band" label for most of their career, as all five members were Christian. However, many fans noticed that the lyrics to some tracks from Awakened expressed heavy skepticism and criticism of Christianity and religion and general. After the events that led to his arrest and guilty plea, Tim elaborated that a severe crisis of faith had caused him to briefly identify as an atheist, and that he had since returned to the faith.
  • Music.Evanescence: Evanescence set up a trend of spiritual sounding bands whose members all have Christian background but actively deny any relation between their music and Christianity.
  • Music.Falling Up: Zig-zagged as they have never gone out of their way to say they are no longer a Christian band, but definitely focused more on the Science Fiction elements of their music on later albums.
  • Music.Neon Trees: In the beginning, all four members are a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but their music never make any reference to this. Tyler Glenn has since resigned his membership of the Church due to its stance on same-sex couples.

     ZCEs, unclear (6/50) 

  • One-Hit Wonder: Jars of Clay: This Christian alt-folk band had a massive crossover hit with "Flood" in 1996, reaching #37 on the pop charts and #12 on the Modern Rock chart, with their appearance on the latter chart being the first time the Modern Rock and Christian charts ever housed the same song at the same time (the effect of Not Christian Rock has made such crossovers much more common in later years). It's unclear what definition is being used here, but probably "Christian lyrics in mainstream music."
  • Music.Black Sabbath: "After Forever," according to the band, was actually a song addressed to people who didn't 'get' the fact that their occult content was just a marketing ploy, rather than a Stealth Parody of Christian music. Poe's Law applies. "Lord of This World" also qualifies. This doesn't really describe the content of the songs.

  • Music.Slayer: Yes, Slayer of all bands has an example here: "Silent Scream" on South of Heaven is not only an anti-abortion song but is explicitly based on a rather obscure anti-abortion video entitled "The Silent Scream". The movie — most well known in evangelical Christian and Catholic anti-abortion circles where it is still used as a "scared straight" film — purports to depict a first-trimester D&X (dilation and extraction) abortion via ultrasound, and includes rather graphic descriptions of the dismemberment of the fetus and the "terror" of it trying to get away from the instruments of abortion including "screaming" (lending the film its name). Not that surprising since songwriter Tom Araya is Catholic. This seems too tenuously related to religion to count for anything.
  • Music.The Hold Steady: The Hold Steady write songs about Catholicism, but they're not a Christian rock band. It's all mixed up in drug taking, sex, and teenage rebellion anyway...
    "I guess I heard about original sin, I heard the dude blamed the chick, I heard the chick blamed the snake. I heard they were naked when they got busted, and I heard things ain't been the same since."
  • Music.The Alan Parsons Project: "The Eagle Will Rise Again"

  • Styx: "Show Me The Way".
  • Recap.Crazy Ex Girlfriend S 3 E 9 Nathaniel Gets The MessagePastiche: Of new-age rock and choral rock, skirting Not Christian Rock. Rachel Bloom compared it to Hair meets The Polyphonic Spree.

I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride....
GastonRabbit The world's forgotten boy (he/him) from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I wanna be your dog
The world's forgotten boy (he/him)
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Trope Repair Shop: Not Christian Rock
26th Sep '22 4:10:45 AM

Crown Description:

Not Christian Rock's usage is inconsistent. What should be done with it?

Total posts: 63