We are on the cusp of the days known as March Madness - the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Compared to nearly every other major sporting event out there, March Madness has some of the most raucous and exuberant crowds in existence. And there's one chant that's so explosive, every team dreads being on the receiving end: "OVER-RATED!"
While it's futile to debate if a piece of art is over-rated or not, a growing chorus of listeners are chanting something equally powerful to all the Program Directors out there: "OVER-PLAYED!"
I remember working at a CHR station in the late 90's, when I was tired of hearing the heavy rotation songs repeated once every 3 hours (meaning it was played 8 times in a single day). I recently tuned into a different CHR station and heard the same Third Day song played twice in 55-minutes! And even when it's not the same song, so many ‘hits' don't have the artistic layers to justify hearing it that many times anyway.
Judy, one of my listeners, recently wrote: "I don't listen to Christian radio anymore because so many of the songs sound the same and don't seem to connect with my own life. Thank you for bringing out the good stuff that may not be popular. This has given me hope!" Focus less on what she said about my program, and more on the first sentence. I hear a growing gathering of voices saying, "Stop feeding us the same 100 songs. Go find the good stuff and share it with us."
Just like not all cheeseburgers are created equally (and I'm partial toward Culver's), music has so many unique chefs (the songwriters) that there's a flavor and texture for every unique taste. My hope is to find, enjoy, celebrate, and share some of the best burgers... uh, I mean SONGS... being made by Christian artists. [Yes, I can easily be distracted by food analogies.]
And that DOESN'T mean the music that is promoted the best. Dare I say, please avoid Simon Cowell's fascination with what's "commercial" and start celebrating art that stirs our hearts, stands the test of time, and lifts our eyes to our ultimate Artist and Creator.