• Musical criticism and commentary

    Contrary to Popular Belief, The Devil Does NOT Have All the Good Music.

    In the late 60s, the Christian music sounded pretty abysmal. Most recordings consisted of nothing but hymns. Christian rock? Why – that was an oxymoron! All the good music was secular! Even Elvis Presley’s two religious albums were not rock and roll – they were hymns and gospel standards. If the King of Rock and Roll couldn’t make a real Christian rock album in the late 60s, was there any hope for the future of the genre? Sure there was – a movement called “The Jesus People” brought about a fresh voice to the Christian music world. The Jesus People certainly didn’t start out with rock and roll songs, most…

  • Musical criticism and commentary

    Mack the Knife – The Many Lives of a Murder Ballad.

    If you know the song, “Mack the Knife,” you probably know the Bobby Darin version more than any other version. You might even think that’s the only version, or that maybe Darin’s is the original version. If you believe this, you’re dead wrong. “Mack the Knife” is a standard that has been done by everyone from The Psychedelic Furs to Louise Armstrong. Fun fact: The character of Jack “Mack the Knife” MacHeath is a fictional descendant of none other than Jack the Ripper! Another fun fact: The original song, sung in German, was a murder ballad composed for “Die Dreigroschenoper”  (in English, “The Three Penny Opera”). The song was originally…

  • Musical criticism and commentary

    Song Rating – 5 Intersecting Points in Time and Space.

    A few weeks ago, in my post, “It’s ok to like bad music,” I explore a theory for song rating. I stated that rating a song can be done with a three axis cube, ie a three dimensional box. As I explored this theory a bit in my own mind, as well as looking at the research of others, I discovered this theory is wrong. The cube is actually a fourth or fifth dimensional object (depends on how you view time – but we’ll get to that later). Song rating has five specific areas that makes it “good” or “bad.” I put good and bad in quotation marks because there’s…

  • Musical criticism and commentary

    Next Time I Fall in Love – It Will be with Metaphors.

    Last week, I created a playlist called the 70’s and 80’s Soft Rock Supercoma. One canonical soft rock song missing from this list: Peter Cetera (with Amy Grant) – Next Time I Fall. Some of you might wonder why this omission was made. Sure, I did include Peter Cetara’s “For the Glory of Love,” as well as Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now.” So Cetera was represented enough. Truth be told – I decided to leave “Next Time I Fall” for this very article. “Next Time I Fall” might sound dated. Seriously, what is with those synthesizers and electric pianos? The song might also not really make any sense –…

  • Musical criticism and commentary

    Family Guy’s Music…

    NSFW Warning – this article contains offensive language. Nearly 20 years ago, the first episode of Family Guy aired. That fact alone boggles the mind. I have seen every single episode several times, which makes me wonder if perhaps I need to rethink my life. From the antics of Peter Griffin, to the, err, antics of Stewie and Brian, Family Guy really shows what society has become – a cesspool of bad jokes and rehashed pop cultural references. Alright, alright, cheap shot – there are many reasons to love Family Guy. But perhaps one of the best reasons to love Family Guy – the music! Family Guy ‘s music, appearing…