Sunday Summary – Music: February 15, 2009

“What was with that second song? I hated it!”

That’s what I heard from my wife as I came off the East Auditorium stage this past Sunday morning after our worship set.

Gosh, I wish she’d learn to open up and share her feelings…. 😉

OK, so apparently you can’t win them all.

We opened the set with what would typically be a “third” song for us – a slower, very worshipful tune: “From The Inside Out” by Hillsong United.

We do a shortened version, just over 4 minutes, that nixes the solo and gets to the out choruses quicker. Anyway, it’s a great song, and the crowd usually reacts well and really worships through it.

We ramped it up after that, doing what will inevitably be a topic of conversation for weeks to come.

“Chainbreaker” by Charlie Hall is the tune in question….

Some of us were excited to do it, while others of us were questioning it as an effective corporate worship song. We all agreed that the verses were weird, wordy, and the weak part of the song, but the chorus and bridge were really cool and something that the crowd could latch on to after a couple go-rounds…

BUT, was the good chorus worth the awkward verses….?? Hmmm… Well, my wife sure didn’t think so! We’ll see what some others think…

Bottom line is that – in my opinion – the East band (Steve Fee, the Fee band boys and I) gave the song the best possible legs to stand on. I was really proud of us on that account. We gave it a great musical treatment, and introduced a cool piano part.

(OK Keyboardists – try this one on: Piano with 3-way delay at 154 bpm – right & left delay set to dotted 8ths and center delay set to normal 8ths. Now play a single note dotted quarter note pattern at 154 bpm.)

Anyhoo – we’ll bat this one around the table a while and let you know where we land…

We rounded out the set with Steve’s new tune “Glory to God Forever”. OK, it’s not totally new, but it does have a new name! The title Steve used for the first few months was just “Glory to God”, but the he adjusted the title as he and the boys hit the studio to record the upcoming radio release.

Well, there you go. An interesting Sunday: 2 winners and a questionable draft choice… Did we draft Michael Vick or Matt Ryan?

And if that just confused you, it’s time to do some research on the Atlanta Falcons’ last few seasons…

– – – – –

East Band – Steve Fee, Matt Adkins, Heath Baltzglier, Brandon Coker, and me.

West Band – Todd Fields, Brad Avery, Keith Thomas, Ashley Appling, Richard Meeder, Dee Dee Maillian

– – – – –

What has ever been your “draft choice in question”?

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Summary – Music: February 15, 2009

  1. i was in the east and i LOVED Chainbreaker! it might have helped that i already knew the song going into it. please don’t give up on it yet. give people a chance to learn it. it’s such a great worship song and may take some of our folks out of their little boxes!

  2. At our young adults service (Shift) we have had TERRIBLE luck with Charlie Hall. Sure, some may like his music, but it just doesn’t work “congregrationally”. The first song we tried was Walk the World. We tried it a few times to see if it would catch on, but the combination of confusing lyrics and “not-quite-fast but not-quite-slow” tempo ended up not working too well.
    The next song we tried was Thrill. I knew this would not work the first time I heard it, but I submitted to the Pastor who wanted to do it (He is a big Charlie Hall fan). This song is just a recipe for disaster. The 2 verses are in 7/8 timing and both of the verses have the lyrics placed in different locations with the music. Then our drummers had a hard time with the beat and catching some of the breaks and accents. All that to say Thrill ended up being an EPIC FAIL.
    I PERSONALLY hope to never hear another Charlie Hall song again. My life would be more pleasant without that kind of headache. But I don’t mean that to demean the gift of God on his life. I hope his music continues to bless other people. Just different strokes for different folks.

  3. I love Charlie Hall’s latest CD. Most of the songs are now in my auto “Top 25 Played” in my iPod, and songs like Chainbreaker are perfect for a concert setting, like when Charlie was at the Buckhead campus.

    But for corporate worship? I’d have to agree with your wife and Malachi, I don’t see that going too well. A group would have to know the song first, and even then, I just don’t see them as a corporate worship singing to God type of songs. I’d save them for maybe a night of worship, special openers or closers where you are singing to the audience, etc.

    But Knit My Heart and Mystery would be winners in my book.

  4. I’ll second the vote for “Mystery.” That’s a pretty good song. But for the most part, while Charlie’s songs are well suited for Passion gatherings, they just won’t take root in most multi-generational churches. One of my favorites of his is “Psalm 126 (You Have Done Great Things).” But again, the verses are so weird, that IF we do it, we only do the chorus and bridge…

    This gets back to the age-old question of modernity vs. singability. How far do you go toward sounding like modern music if you lose the crowd’s ability to sing along? I always go pretty far down that trail, reasoning that people sing along at today’s rock band’s concerts, so why can’t they do that at worship too? But I recently read an article (in Worship Leader maybe???) that urged planners to do just the opposite and stick toward folk tunes that are easily learnable and harmonizable. I guess it’s up to each church where the decide to land. You have to find where your particular congregation can best express their heart through music.

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