Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#73 NOTHING HOLDING BACK - Jesus Culture

Andy-Note: Once again I've gotten a bunch of new email subscribers since my last post. If you are getting this in your email, please go to the web site to view these posts - it shows up much better and sometimes email doesn't include the video. 

So, guess what? I got a new smartphone last week, and I already know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Big fat, hairy, soggy deal, we get a new smartphone every 12 months or every time Apple changes the number at the end of their iPhone". OK, fair enough. But it IS a big deal for me, because for me, believe it or not, it's my first EVER smartphone. (1)

(1) At this point in my blog's history, STILL around 80% of my traffic is new visitors, so I ought to explain right up front that sometimes it takes me a few paragraphs to get to the actual song. Rest assured that soon enough we'll get to the Jesus Culture stuff, but for now just enjoy the ramblings. By the way, I'll know if you attempt to skip ahead, my second cousin works for the NSA, and he's watching you right now.

That's right - I'm 50 years old and I have reluctantly made the decision to join the rest of humanity and get a smartphone. I finally decided to give in after taking a trip to the local malt shop and seeing all the jocks and preppies using their smartphones to play the 'Mad Birds' games, and listen to their Duran Duran songs and whatnot. Up until now I've had a, shall we say, older model cellular device that I just used in emergencies. Actually, I think I have a picture of my former cellular device:

Got great reception when the antenna was fully extended, but don't take it to church.

My new smartphone is already immediately paying dividends, as it's been good for my self-esteem. I used to call people and no one would answer, and I thought it was because no one liked me. But now when I text to people, a lot of times they will texty me right back. (It's 'texty' right? that's how you say it, right?). Helpful texting tip: People LOVE it when you text them pictures of your cats while they're at work. Do it many times a day to increase your number of friends.

I didn't go all out and buy a $800 cell phone on my first attempt. My smartphone is an HTC phone that, according to the Verizon lady, is absolutely and totally FREE! Of course, for some reason my Verizon bill is $40 more a month, but I'm sure it's just a clerical error that I can clear up with a quick phone call to their support line. If there's one thing I know about cell phone carriers, it's that they are up front and honest about all their fees and charges. (2)

(2) Nah. That joke is too easy even for me.

All kidding aside, I am impressed by the technology. I remember when I used to have to pay 78 cents per minute to talk to a girl that lived two towns over, AND I had to stand in the kitchen because that's where the phone was connected to the wall. Now I can be driving around and just tell my car which girl I want to call, and my car does it for me. Although I really don't appreciate it when my car says, "C'mon, Andy, you know she doesn't want to talk to you, stop bothering her." Mind your own business, stupid car.

Of course the cutting edge of the technological advances in modern day America is the fact that, get this, you can put a picture of a cat ON YOUR PHONE! That's right, when you pick up your phone, you can see one of your cats staring right back at you. I'm guessing this is something that NASA has been working on for decades, at the cost of several trillion dollars. I chose my cat Lucy, aka 'The Goose':

Lucy thinks this picture makes her look fat.
And now (finally, am I right?), it's time to get to this week's song:

"Hey, wait a sec. That's not Kim Walker-Smith". I think that's the first thing most die-hard Jesus Culture fans will say when the see the video for song #73 on the countdown, Nothing Holding Back, by the aforementioned Jesus Culture. If you look close, you can see KWS singing background in this song, but the lead singer for this one is Melissa How.

Don't fret, Kim-ophiles, she still appears prominently in this video, even if she isn't the lead singer. Not only does she appear, but I'm sure you'll notice that her haircut is quite fetching. She's wearing a cute little scarf to add a splash of color, and the glitter in her mascara really makes her eyes pop. And of course that top she's wearing is absolutely adorable - it's too-die-for, ladies. Wait a sec - what the heck did I just type? Wow. In order to rejuvenate some of my manliness, I will now go and watch the NFL Network for 4 hours.

I'm not exactly sure why KWS isn't the lead in this song. It's a bit older, so perhaps she wasn't taking on as much responsibility back then. Who knows?, maybe she had a cold that day and couldn't sing. Or maybe, just maybe, Kim was being punished because at the weekly meeting she suggested that they use the Bible to decide what they believe instead of just going by their feelings (OH SNAP!!)

This is what happens when you're late for Jesus Culture rehearsal.
The next thing that the Jesus Culture faithful will notice is that this particular song is much more of a runaway pop smash hit than we normally get from the JC folks. In general, Jesus Culture offerings tend to be less 'poppy' and more, well, ok, it's sort of hard to describe what they usually are, so let me make some crap up and see if it flies.

A lot of the kind of songs that Jesus Culture puts out seem 'important', for lack of a better word. The songs are long, orchestral, and somewhat brooding; and appear to attempt to convey some deeper spiritual meaning, much more so than the standard pop/worship offerings. This, of course, sets Jesus Culture apart from the pack, and is likely a big part of the reason they are so popular. 

But no one reviewing a Jesus Culture album ever said, "These guys give off a Call-Me-Maybe-esque, feel-good, bubble-gum pop vibe", if you get what I'm saying. In other words, 'catchy' is not the first word that comes out of people's mouths when describing Jesus Culture music. However, song #73 on the list, Nothing Holding Back IS catchy, I might even go so far as to say 'dang catchy'.

Now I'm a fella that appreciates a good 'dang catchy' tune every now and then. Heck, my alarm every morning is that one Spice Girls song. But for me, Nothing Holding Back goes even beyond that. I have to say that it's definitely one of my favorite songs right now. Every time I hear while I'm doing stuff I run a little faster, or mow the lawn with a little spring in my step, or just sing along at the top of my voice while in the shower.

Look, this here song is a good song. Does it belong as one of the top 100 best worship songs of all time? Eh, probably not, but I really like it. It's not an important song, it doesn't convey some grand spiritual message, it isn't being sung in churches all over the globe, but it's really a pretty decent song, that just sounds good. I'm sure you'll agree:

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