Sunday, December 28, 2014

#88 SURRENDER - Vineyard

Well, my people, now that Christmas is officially over, it's time for yours truly to get back to the exhausting work of the Top 100 Countdown. It's been over a week since I posted a song, and in that time, I've gotten literally thousands of letters wondering when I was going to get back to it. Ok, maybe it was more like hundreds of letters. OK, so it was only a few dozen. All right, if I'm being honest here, it would appear that no one even noticed I was gone.

The song coming in at #88 on the countdown is Surrender, off Vineyard's album of the same name. The Surrender album came out in 2000 and it was the much-anticipated follow-up to the ground-breaking Vineyard album Hungry, which I talked about at length here: Your Name Is Holy. Although Surrender featured many of the same people as Hungry (Brenton Brown, Brian Doerksen, Kathryn Scott, Vicky Beeching), it just wasn't nearly the same.

Take a look at the track listing. The fact that you guys, my faithful readers, probably only recognize 2 or 3 of those songs should tell you that the Surrender album was quite a disappointment in comparison to Hungry. Of course that's nothing new - can anyone tell me what album came after Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill? What was Pearl Jam's follow-up to Ten? What came after Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue? (of course that last one is a trick question, everything Debbie Gibson has ever done is great).

You see, we as music consumers want the artists we like to do the same stuff that we already like. But musical artists are a funny bunch - they always seem to want to explore new territory and "grow" as artists. So we have this tension between the buyers of music and the makers of music, and then you find yourself half-drunk at a James Taylor coffeehouse where he's telling the audience he wants to share some stuff from his new album, and you're screaming, "Play Fire and Rain! I paid 18 bucks to come here and listen to you sing Fire and Rain! I don't want to hear your new crap about what it's like being a grandpa." as the bouncers remove you from the venue.

Whoa. That last bit hit a little too close to home. Moving on.

I recently did a word search on my blog to find the words and phrases I use the most while writing this blog (NOTE: I did not actually do this). Anyway, the phrase I use the most, I mean, besides 'flux capacitor', is "I Love This Song". I say it all the time, as in I love this song, You Said; and I LOVE this song, Strong God; and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song Forever. So, right now we're going to talk about the song Surrender, and I can say without hesitation that I do NOT love this song.

Now, don't get me wrong, Surrender is a very good song, actually probably a great song. And I do have it on all my iPod lists and my in-car USB, so it comes up on the rotation occasionally, I just don't LOVE it, if you know what I mean. Heck, it's not even in my top 3 favorite songs in my iTunes that are named Surrender. That would be the Barlow Girl's Surrender, Jami Smith's Surrender, and of course the great Cheap Trick song Surrender.

"Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird" (youtube it, kids - totally worth it)

I think I may be able to put into words why I don't love Surrender: The song is flat. It's a very slow song, so there's no rockin' going on. It doesn't start slow and then build up to a crescendo. It doesn't have a great hook, and doesn't even have a bridge. It's not an anthem where you can picture 1000 voices singing in unison, like other slow songs Strong God, Healer, One Desire, etc.

Once again, I should reiterate, Surrender is a VERY good song, and probably would be ranked in the top 50 in a lot of these types of lists, it just doesn't do it for me personally. What I'm saying is that I realize the song's value and importance, but if I was forced to live with only 100 songs for the rest of my life, this would not be one of them. But it is good, I swear. I just don't want anyone here to think that I'm the Grinch That Stole Worship.

***For those of you who may be new, this is the part of the blog post where I veer off into unrelated silliness. If you came here just for the song, you can probably skip the next few paragraphs and go right to the video - I can confidently say that I will not write anything of value from here on. 

Oh, and while we're on the subject, why do people say things like "Stop being such a Grinch"? If someone told me I was being a Grinch, I'd simply say something like this: "Thank you for the compliment. Thanks for comparing me to a guy who's heart is three times normal size and who saved Christmas for the entire Whoville village."

Isn't there a spiritual lesson in there somewhere? I can see some trendy relevant pastor using Grinch clips at Christmas and then his voice gets really low and serious and he says, "Why does the church always see the man he was as opposed to the man he has now become"? And all the relevant church flocklings would ooh and ah and then go out to Perkins.

To me, the Grinch is a hero. No lie, I have Grinch underoos that I wear from time to time. Sure, the Grinch had his flaws - I'm sure the animal rights crowd aren't big fans; and it's likely that Cindy Lou Who spent years in therapy, but all in all the Grinch should be applauded, not be made the object of derision. Not only did he save Christmas for Whoville (OK, sure, he saved it from himself, but whateve'), but he also helped the Who's expose some serious flaws in their security apparatus. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that a factory that makes security systems moved into Whoville and provided a much-needed boost to the local Who economy.

Ok, then. I think I've sufficiently wandered off into AndyLand, here's your song:

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