I wouldn’t want to say “retractions”, but maybe a couple of clarifications:
1) My rant may not suggest it, but I have no problem with somebody reading theological/philosophical non-fiction. In fact, I think it’s probably good for you in helping you reflect on your own life and your own beliefs. What I get annoyed about is when that is ALL it seems a person will read/think about/discuss. This seems WAY out of balance. Jeff made some particularly clear comments on this subject. He probably even said what I meant to say better than I actually did. So, check that out.
2) I read t-rev’s comment a couple of days ago, and I’m being too lazy to go back and re-read it to comment on some things he said specifically, but here’s some responses that I remember:
Yes, writing “worship music” (and I’m referring to the most simplistic definition of this) is and should be much more concrete in its terminology and “craft” if you will. Consequently, I’m not sure that you can have really “good art” in a worship song. I wrestle with this. And it opens a huge can of worms in terms of “good art” vs. “bad art”, but I don’t really want to go there.
When I was younger, I was told the the highest aspiration or highest purpose of the art of songwriting would be writing praise and worship songs. I have all kinds of problems with this statement now, and I’m not sure if I really bought it to begin with. And I don’t really want to go there right now, either. (I’m tired and lazy.)
My point here is that Mockingbird was NOT a Praise & Worship record. If it were, I would be evaluating it by a different set of criteria. I would say its purpose was to be an “artistic” statement and in that regard, I believe it failed horribly. I would contend that it was definitely a statement, but feebly artistic if at all. And again, I say that even though I agreed with most of what he had to say. I just think that if he’s going to say it in the way he did (lacking poetry/nuance/etc.), he should write a brochure or booklet or something instead of a record.
I felt the same way a couple of years ago about Allanis Morrissette. (spelling?) I had read in an interview that she’d decided that she didn’t talk or think in meter or rhyming, so she decided that her songs didn’t need to either. I’m sorry but that’s not really songwriting to me. I’d call it writing that you sing. And if it’s just writing, why don’t you just write for somebody to read.
I realize that my ideas of songwriting are not the same as others’. Some want more structure and more craft than I do. Some want less. I’m ok with that. I’m just saying that Mockingbird does not fit my definition of good songwriting craft and/or art.
P.S. Thanks for commenting. I really didn’t know if anybody looked at this anymore.