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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

9.29.2005

Brave

Well, it's about stinkin' TIME!!! I've been waiting for Nichole Nordeman's new album to come out ever since I perfected every note of her last album, "Woven And Spun". I know she's had a baby and all... but GEEZ!

Why do I insanely LOVE this artist? Because she's real, she's talented, she's a great songwriter, pianist, vocalist, and she refuses to dumb down her style to fit into the *bubblegum-pop-sparkly-cotton-candy* mold that so many Christian artists find themselves.

If you haven't been paying attention, I have a HUGE gripe with the so-called Christian retailing industry. Its treatment of artists from every genre is shameful. Nearly all forms of art and creativity only exist in two or three formulas of sweet, saccharine, innocuously fluffy drivel that speaks in the language of Prozac and oft times, little else. I can't stand that crap. These people look like they're gonna' crack any second under the pressure of having to be so damned cheesy all the time. It's uncomfortable and annoying, to say the least. AND it's unforgivably condescending to their consumer base. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we're tasteless, plastic robots with paste for brains.

Nichole sticks her neck out, asks questions, takes risks and uses every ounce of her creativity. True, she's not the riskiest, but she raises the bar for the rest of the pack. She shows other Christian artists that naked and bold, soulful creativity is a positive attribute; that being an authentic creator is beautiful -- and marketable. How refreshing.

When I was a brand new Believer, I had to throw out a lot of my music. Music that reminded me of my former life, music that brought back foul memories. I had to fill the hole. Sadly, there wasn't much to fill that hole with in Christian music. I was stuck with Amy Grant, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Michael Smith -- standards in the field, pioneers even. But to go from Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos to that? Un-uh. Ain't happenin'. I bought some Chapman because he was the least annoying. But even he could be cloyingly sweet. I thought I was a goner. Worse, I thought there was something wrong with me.

Then Nichole's debut album came out. It wasn't perfect. It's actually turned out to be my least favorite of her albums. But it came at a time when I desperately needed some artistic stimulation. "Burning", "River God", and the album's title track, "Wide Eyed" were like a life line. I could breathe again. It wasn't avant garde art so much as it was a message from a friend. "Hey, I'm washing in all of this, too. Don't worry. There are plenty of us out here with you." What a relief.

I'm excited about getting the new album on special edition (with a booklet and bonus tracks), especially the song, "Crimson" which sounds like it might just be my new favorite song.

She's got 4 albums -- go to Amazon and snag one. Totally worth it.

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