Thursday, March 23, 2006

YourTurn: A Not so Beautiful Letdown

I don't know about y'all, but I am becoming more and more dissapointed and cynical of Christian artists whose lives don't match their songs. Jaci Velasquez divorces her husband after a very brief marriage citing things just didn't work out. What's that all about? Former lead singer of Creed, Scott Stapp, accepted Christ as his Savior, Creed disbanded, and he started a solo career last year, releasing what could be called a "Christian album," The Great Divide. And yet just a few weeks ago, the day after he remarried, he was arrested for public intoxication at the LAX airport and causing a commotion. Is it just me, or aren't Christians called to be sober? I don't want to sound all holier-than-thou, because trust me, I'm not perfect. Christian musicians aren't perfect, but some things are just plain wrong, no matter who you are. And now, it's Switchfoot.
A few years ago, Switchfoot released The Beautiful Letdown, an album that went mulit-platinum, with large success in the mainstream market. And yet they didn't compromise their moral standards in their lyrics at all. Last year Switchfoot released Nothing is Sound, arbuably one of their best albums to date. In the album, the group doesn't write explicitly Christian lyrics, but each song has a positive theme, addressing suicide, sex, and happiness, all from a Christian perspective. The group has declined being put on the cover of CCM magazine, seemingly wanting to distance themselves from the "Christian music industry", but that's fine with me. They told CCM, "We're Christian in faith, not in genre." Because of this, many Christian publications including Plugged-In from Focus on the Family have given the group a scolding and negative reviews. But throughout it all, I have strongly supported the group and what they stand for.
Then, a Victoria's Secrets ad came out with Switchfoot's song "Adding to the Noise" from Beautiful Letdown in the background. What's with that? Not exactly the type of company a group of Christians should be supporting. Switchfoot even decries our cultures' obsession with sex in their song "Easier than love": "Sex is currency She sells cars, She sells magazines Addictive bittersweet, crack your hands, with the hopeless nicotines...She, is easier to love It's easier to lie It's easier to fake and smile and brag." So why on earth would Switchfoot allow their song, which contains great lyrics, stating that if they are just adding to the noise of this world, turn off this song, to be featured by a company that promotes sexuality in all the wrong ways?
In Switchfoot's defense, it is possible that the comapny used the song sithout permission, or their record label allowed it to be used without the group's express permission. But both Plugged-In and Christian magazine Breakaway contacted Switchfoot to see if this was the case, and the band declined to comment. If it wasn't their decision, you would think they would be eager to clear their name, so this seems almost an admission of guilt.
I know that when you put someone on a pedestal, they are bound to fall, but sometimes it comes where you're not expecting it. Switchfoot, you let me down. In my opinion, Switchfoot just might be adding to the noise and the proper response is to turn them off.
What's your opinion? This is your turn to comment and give your 2 cents!


Anonymous Lizzie said...

Wow, that was one powerful post. I didn't know that about Jaci V. and Switchfoot. It really oepned my eyes though. What are some of these so called Christian groups coming to now a days? But I am disappointed in Switchfoot's so sad...Thanks Zach.

3/24/2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger bobby said...

Hmmm ... if Switchfoot did give permission for their song to be used, SHAME ON THEM!

But just to be neutral for a minute here I'd say ... What's sinful about an underwear company trying to promote its product? They are in no way promoting sex. It's all in the eyes & mind of the viewer. When you see the ad (ignore the music playing), what do you feel? Think about it ... So now that you've answered that, we know that the Victoria's Secret ad was geared towards the XX chromosome (female) generation. So to me when a woman sees an ad that convinces her to wear some nicer or better looking underwear and at the same time hears music related to not being tempted to sex or lust or any related sin, there seems to be NOT MUCH OF A RELATIONSHIP between the two! What would we say if Kutless music played with a Fruit of the Loom ad?? :D

Anyways coming back to being Christian about this issue, if I were Switchfoot I'd ask for my music to be taken back and never aired again with that ad!

(It's more than my 2 cents, I know but I just needed something interesting to read in the middle of work :P)

3/27/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zach,
I didn't know that either! That is so sad...they have really let me down too. They were one of the few groups that I never get tired of. All of their previous albums have been great and had positive songs even if they didn't mention God. I have noticed more that groups are using the Christian music industry to get a foot in and then just slowly slipping away from it as they become is a sad thing though, because they are dragging teens along with them into the non-christian music...and the worst part is...THE TEENS NEVER NOW ITS HAPPENING! We really need to be in prayer about all of this...and be extra careful we don't get dragged down with it! Thanks a lot Zach for this interesting post!
In Christ,

3/27/2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger w8nforhim said...

I agree with you in some respects. There is nothing inherently wrong with an underwear company, or a clothing company that wants people to look nice and attractive. It's what we do with it though...Victoria's Secret tends toward seduction in their honest, is a woman going to get turned on by a sexual ad? In my opinion, no, they make them sexual in order to draw in the male audience. The men will then want their wives, girlfriends, etc. to dress like that. Thus, I am not in favor of a Christian group affiliating themselves with any of their ads.
But you did make me think through some things...and i really don't think i could bear to see Kutless in a FTL commercial ;)

3/28/2006 11:27 AM  
Blogger Strider said...

I'm hoping, like every other fan in their Christian fanbase, that the guys in the band didn't know what was going on. But let's assume for a moment that they did it intentionally. It's hard enough to make good money in the music industry, and a band has to consider any possibility to make more of it. Switchfoot is trying to both earn money and make it big in mainstream music. If I were one of Switchfoot's agents, the Victoria's Secret ad would be a perfect publicity stunt for the band to further make a name for themselves in mainstream. Hopefully, all of the popularity from "Nothing is Sound" hasn't gotten to their heads. When you play with fire, you're inevitably going to get burned. For Switchfoot's sake, I hope they make a full 180 soon.

3/29/2006 10:58 AM  
Blogger Divided_Heart said...

Wow Zach you are really a persuausive writer and I definitely side with you on the victoria's Secret topic as I know it can't be the girls they are appealing to as me and my friends blush when we walk past the displays in the mall...

4/05/2006 11:37 AM  

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