Last night I had a conversation about Christian Pop music with a friend. She was looking for something new for a sister who used to listen to Jump5 and other Christian Pop groups. I told her that I and most of the staff at inReview.net try not to cover the very poppy side of Christian music because we find it a bit clichÃ©d and boring. But it got me thinking.
After going through my list of the usual pop artists, I decided that maybe Christian Pop was dead like CCM Editor Jay Swartzendruber purported in his April editorial. The last albums from Steven Curtis Chapman and Point of Grace were Christmas albums. Avalon's latest is a hymns collection. Amy Grant has only released hymns albums, a greatest hits collection, and a recent live CD and DVD to keep her fans buying for the last five years. Jaci Velasquez, Joy Williams and Rachael Lampa just releasd greatest hits collections over the last year too.
However, after taking a quick look through January's issue of CCM, I realized the Christian Pop is still represented in full force. This is easily noticed in the top winners of this year's Reader's Choice Awards. The biggest winners were Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and Aaron Shust. Of course, Casting Crowns, a supergroup comprised of youth group leaders, was featured prominently. Somehow, Rebecca St. James and Jeremy Camp managed to nab some awards despite the fact that I stopped listening to them five years ago. I guess the pop is still alive.
I told my friend last night that I was surprised her friend was still listening to Christian pop in high school. I told her that most high schoolers were these days all about Relient K, Hawk Nelson, and other new rock bands instead of pop music. I guess I could be wrong though.
My favorite part of the Reader's Choice Awards? The fact that Skillet managed to get one for each member: "Best Guitarist", "Best Keyboardist", "Best Bassist", and "Best Drummer". Phil Keaggy should get "Best Guitarist" over Ben Kasica but it's still cool. And although the impressionist artwork of Mary Sergent was unique, it was nowhere as fun as the zany photo shoots that they did last year.Â Those were great.