I take any chance I can to talk about the power of music on this blog. However, I have yet to simply talk about music in general. Today, that all changes.
My favorite genre of music is soft rock/folk rock. Although this genre does not always line up with my moral compass, I do enjoy it for its design, detail, and execution. To me, successful soft/folk rock relies on the artist. The artist does not rely on the genre.
Let me explain. For instance, the genre is not too overbearing or obnoxious. It does not try to do too much in little time. Instead, it focuses on telling a story. It focuses on using music to captivate hearts and share.
The genre is authentic and genuine. It is not pushy. It does not demand your attention. It draws you in. It is the type of genre you can listen to whilst doing chores. You can be slightly distracted and still walk away with a message or takeaway.
My favorite artists are John Mayer, Andrew Peterson, James Blunt, and Five for Fighting.
For as long as I can remember, I have appreciated John Mayer’s music. However, I did not fully grasp the scope of his music until college. Now, I await all of his albums and know almost all, if not all, of his songs word-for-word.
Five for Fighting and James Blunt became a regular part of my listening, thanks to the John Mayer Pandora radio station. They are artists whose music I vaguely knew of prior to Pandora. When I say vaguely, I knew of their most popular songs and that was it.
One thing worth mentioning about the music I listen to is that most of the artists were popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. To be completely honest, I cannot stand most of the current day music. I am extremely picky about what I listen to and to whom.
Truthfully, though, I am picky about all of my music. Yet, I am extra picky about today’s music. There are only a handful of songs in today’s society that I genuinely appreciate. I always find myself going back to music in the 2000s.
I think this is because of the writer and storyteller in me. Personally, I do not think much of today’s music has a story to tell. It does not captivate me and cause me to want more. Music in the 2000s and prior told a story. It had a purpose. It wasn’t a bunch of repetitive nonsense with a bridge thrown in for pizzazz.
Andrew Peterson is a Christian artist. He is one of the few artists I know that lets God’s Word create the lyrics. He sticks to God’s Word for what it is. He does not try to change a lyric simply because it will make the song sound better.
Andrew Peterson sticks to what I believe is biblical and true. I realize that may not make many people happy, especially considering there are a lot of contemporary Christian artists. But, I want the Christian music I hear to be God’s Word through and through.
Of all of my favorite artists, I have only had the opportunity to see John Mayer live. I hope to one day see Andrew Peterson. I do realize I may never see Five for Fighting or James Blunt live. I am okay with this, though. Sometimes, the beauty of music is simply listening at your own convenience and leisure.
Other artists I do listen to on a semi-frequent basis but do not consider my favorite are Adele, The Vertical Church Band, Parachute, Michael Buble, and Josh Garrels. However, Josh Garrels could eventually become a favorite. A friend introduced me to him and Garrels fits my taste nicely.
Beyond my favorite artists and genre, I would describe myself as a one song at a time kind of gal. I have no trouble listening to the same song or album over and over again. I also tend to only like select songs from other artists.
For instance, one of my favorite songs is Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray. I have listened to other songs by him, but that song stands out the most. Yet, it also has a lot of meaning to me. I also only know of and enjoy the song Cars by Snow Patrol. Simply put, beyond my favorite artists, my music playlist often consists of single songs from various artists, rather than complete albums.
Speaking of albums, my favorites are John Mayer’s Paradise Valley and the soundtrack to the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Long story short, I only fully invest in a handful of artists. I don’t consider myself someone who knows a little bit of every genre—that is, beyond well-known songs in other genres. That does not bother me. There is a beauty in supporting an artist through all songs, albums, and seasons in life, not just in their popular ones.
My challenge to you is simple: If you have never listened to an entire album from beginning to end, do so. See what lessons you can learn about life. Try to understand what the artist wants to convey in the lyrics and style. Invest. Dig deep.
Let music captive your heart one song, one album, and one artist at a time.