Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NERF #2 COME JUST AS YOU ARE - Crystal Lewis

So, what does NERF mean? Well, since I've gotten a ton of new viewers since I first explained it, I probably should go over it again. NERF stands for 'Not Enough Room For', as in there's not enough room for this song on the regular top 100 countdown. I explain it in more detail in my first NERF post, 20th Century Worship. My plan throughout the countdown to stop every 10 songs and make a NERF post on songs, artists, genres, etc, of worship music that for one reason or another didn't make it on the countdown.

In this case, Crystal Lewis'(1) great song Come Just As You Are, the main reason it appears as a NERF instead of on the regular countdown is that I may have made a mistake. Yes, I'll say it again - I may have made a mistake. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "Andy, I've been reading your blog forever, and there's no way that I believe that you could make a mistake. You're the greatest blogger ever, and you are perfect in my eyes. Oh, by the way, will you be the godfather to my children?" Thanks for the kind words, but it's very possible that this song should be on the top 100 list, and I'll explain why.

(1) Grammar police, help me out here: Is the possessive form here Lewis', or Lewis's. To me, that second one doesn't look right, so henceforth I'll go with Lewis'. Oh, and by the way, I'm going to start using words like 'henceforth'.

I'm thinking I might get a lot of mileage out of this image
If you've read the post where I explain the rules for including songs on this list, here, you'll recall that I sort of loosely define 'modern worship' as starting in 1994/1995 with Delirious' Cutting Edge CDs. And since my first exposure to Crystal Lewis was her 1989 album Joy, I've always thought of Crystal Lewis as a late 80s Debbie Gibson-esque pop princess. So, when I started listing which songs would be considered for the top 100 countdown, I dismissed Come Just As You Are as too old. Oddly enough, most of the ladies I meet dismiss me for the same reason. Oh, that and the fact that I'm monumentally unattractive.

Turns out that even though I thought of the song as a late 80s type song, Come Just As You Are was actually written in 1993. And, as near as I can figure (I mean, I didn't search the WHOLE internet), Crystal Lewis first sang the song in 1995. This makes the song just barely eligible for inclusion. But, during my whole song selection process, I just dismissed it. Oops.

Faithful blog reader Todd from Saginaw, Michigan asks, "Hey, couldn't you just stick it in the countdown now? I mean, how would we know?". Good question, Todd. No, I can't really do that. The Top 100 list is already completed(2), so if I put Come Just As You Are in the list now, I'd have to get rid of another song. And believe me, you don't want to be the one to tell Chris Tomlin that one of his songs got bumped. I replied to a Facebook post last month saying that I though Tomlin's last album was a tad derivative, and he hasn't spoken to me since.

(2) The Top 100 list is already completed, but the blog will continue for quite some time. I figure at this rate, the we should finally get to the #1 song sometime in the fall of 2007. Oh, by the way, I should mention that I have a time machine. 

So, how big a mistake did I make by not including Come Just As You Are? Eh, it's probably not that big of a deal. First of all, the song will forever be a part of this blog, which is pretty good. Secondly, there's no real assurance that I would have included it anyway. Also, by the time I get to the last song, you'll see that many really, really, REALLY good worship songs get left off. No good Chris Tomlin songs will be left off, however.

So, I think the best thing to do now is just ignore my mistake. Acknowledge that sometimes mistakes happen, but just sweep this one under the rug, never speak of it again, and hope that the public gets distracted by something else and forgets all about it - sort of like the worship blogger version of Roger Goodell.

He's not gonna be happy about this, I'm sure
This blog post has been a little cathartic for me. I feel a real sense of relief to be able to finally admit that I'm not some super robo-blogger who never makes a mistake. And it's got me thinking that maybe now is a good time to get some other things off my chest. Here are some of the other mistakes I've made that I feel I should finally come clean and admit to:
  • Tried to dye my hair blonde in college
  • Once had a fender-bender and didn't leave a note
  • Shoplifted 27 times as a youth
  • Killed a hobo in Saginaw, Michigan
  • Sold all my Apple stock to go 'all in' on Netscape Navigator
  • I was the guy who told Bellicheck that no one would notice slightly under-inflated footballs
  • I regret uttering this phrase, "Don't worry, Carl, you're nowhere near that iceberg"(3)
  • Dated Cindy Crawford for about 5 months in the early 90s. Not really terrible, but she's kind of clingy is all - had to block her on Facebook. 
  • In 2006, while out drinking with my buddy, I regret saying this to him: "Hey, you know what you should do just for a goof? You should run for President. Wouldn't that be a hoot, Barak?"
  • When I was President of Decca Records, I refused to sign the Beatles(3)
  • After being fired from Decca, I took a job at Pendant Publishing, where I told a prospective author this, "I'm sorry, Miss Rowling, no one wants to read your little wizard books, we're going with the Billy Ray Cyrus biography instead"
  • Had tickets to the theater, didn't feel like going, gave them to Abe Lincoln(3)
  • Permanently maimed a hobo in Saginaw, Michigan (different hobo)
  • "WOW, what a thoughtful and wonderful gift. Bring it in here, I love big wooden horses"(3)
(3) Once again, for this bit to work, you have to imagine that I have a time machine

Ok, I could go on all day, and maybe eventually one of them will be funny. Let's get to the song. Come Just As You Are is definitely a great song. Since it's release, it's been sort of a standard 'invitation' song, it just seems to work perfectly for that. The piano intro sounds exactly like most music they play in churches and youth rallies while they're waiting for people to come forward. And then the song keeps saying 'Come just as you are', so the people probably think that the song is talking to them.

And to be honest, it does sound just a little bit dated to be called modern worship. But nevertheless, it's a wonderful song, and Crystal Lewis'es's voice is butter. This youtube video is from 1BlueStarRising, who does a lot of videos with cool motion images that I wish I knew how to do. Take a listen:

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