I laugh every time. Every single time. Whenever someone talks about how great Christian music used to be and how much worse things seem to be getting with time as if the music industry was on fire and there’s no way to put it out I don’t even get angry any more, I just laugh. Why? Because they say how much greater things were 3 or 4 years ago, but people were saying the same things then.
Does music ever really get better or worse with time or does it evolve and shift like any other art or creative outlet? I think that we tend to think of things we used to like with such a flare for nostalgia that we fail to appreciate what we have presented to us right now.
When comparing today’s Christian music with, let’s say, the Christian music coming out of the 90′s, I’ve heard a ton of people talk about how much better it was back then. Either because they were really into the CCM acts of the day like Newsboys, DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline or they were first in line for the early days of Tooth & Nail Records when they had a whole bunch of punk and ska bands. People talk so fondly of those bands as if they were somehow “better” than what anyone could come up with today.
While some of those older albums were certainly classics, few of them really hold up to the production standards of today’s music. Some of you might think that the over-production of music is what is killing it today, but that is generally only the case with the most generic of pop and rock acts. Great artists can use technology to their benefit and make something great even better. There were people that surely thought that the electric guitar was the downfall of artistic integrity, but how many people think that today?
Although I’d like to see rock music in general become more popular, I don’t think what is out there is any better or worse, it’s just not necessarily as “in” right now.