While waiting

While I was waiting for the main event, I was almost meditating like in a desert, when I heard “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

The song was over the sound system in the café section of the theatre.

It’s a U2 song. U2 were described by Time in 1987 as the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world. But they aren’t really rock n’ roll. They are rock although their sound has changed tempo from album to album, even going alternative. They have never gone country.

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is the most popular single from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. It was nominated for a Grammy.

Listening to it again today, I revisited the old feelings I had for the song back in 1987.

I loved singing along to it in my soul. But following the third section, which describes a love for what Jesus did, the section ends with the line, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I just couldn’t sing that.

Because I believe that what Jesus can do for someone is the beginning of a journey and not the stepping stone of a quest. Jesus satisfies the believer’s heart and sends him or her on a journey with him.

This U2 song, unfortunately, leaves me cold by the end. By the end of the third section, the song falls flat rather than resonates; I was waiting for the lyric, I have found what I’m looking for. That doesn’t fit this song.

So, where would I sit with the The Joshua Tree? It came to me today. The album’s about a quest that is barely satisfied even with knowledge about what Jesus has done.

I would not sit in the middle as I have always done. I would not sit on the positive. But when it comes to theme I would have to sit on the other side, on the negative.

The album sounds good musically, but looking at the lyrical facts of this album, it lacks the thrust of theme to fully satisfy, unfortunately.

I wish I could say otherwise, but I can’t. I don’t think my experience of the album is a solitary one. I think the feeling is not unusual, depending on who one is talking to.

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Slice of life cuts to the heart

Places in the Heart (1984) unwraps as a slice of life in a community of Texas in the 1930’s, it’s leisurely paced as Edna Spaulding responds to her husband’s accidental death, making her a widow, and the community also responds. She now must avoid foreclosure on her house with the help of unlikely allies. Beautifully rendered storytelling, cinematography and cast of characters. Forgiveness and facing the world with strength and resolve is in this slice of life movie. Rating: 9/10

Good quality album all over

Irresistible, addictive Christian R&B and soul, with one iffy moment—“I’ll trust in the blood”?—maybe a way of saying something. Different Lifestyles (1991) took Bebe and Cece Winans to a higher level of production quality and a broader thematic palette than their previous albums, creating their definitive album if not the definitive Bebe and Cece experience. On the tracks Two Different Lifestyles and Searching for Love they are at their most poignant, but on their other records they bared their soul and relationship with God more transparently. On this one they are more polished, with soft, soothing touches, seductively so. Seems to be saying that God being there and humans being here, God can still fill the void in someone’s life, which is a great theme, beautifully done. Rating: 9/10

Ambiant and fresh

Following their self-titled debut, contemporary gospel music duo Bebe and Cece Winans upped the ante with Heaven (1988). The duo brings smooth, soulful vocal delivery, finely tuned into God, gospel and Christian faith. This production is very much a visceral experience. Ambient, fresh and infinitely singable, I was impressed hearing many of the songs on Christian radio and still am. Rating: 8/10

The best thing I can tell you

It’s a song chorus that has stuck in my mind because it is so simple and defined and to the point. Among a hubbub of various voices that say good things, some bad perhaps, some that are neither good or bad, this lyric stood out: The best thing I can tell you. What is the best thing any of us can say? What would it come down to when all is said and done? Benny Hester, the singer, said the best thing I can tell you is that God loves you. It’s as simple as putting everything down to that. Surrounded by theology and Bible verses, it comes down to God’s love in the end. I love that simplicity and resonance. For me, it comes down to Jesus really. That’s the best I can tell you when it comes to faith and Jesus is love.

This one grew on me, after a toe-tapping start

Righteous Invasion of Truth which is a Christian contemporary album from 1995. Carman is the charismatic singer, who is an evangelical slash Pentecostal Christian. His style of music is Christian popular or Christian contemporary and is usually very imaginative with a strong Christian message. Righteous Invasion of Truth (1995) grew on me mostly. The highlights are bold and strong, ‘God is Exalted’ and ‘R.I.O.T’ open the album with a bang in forthright and toe tapping fashion. The rest is reasonable, perhaps quite good. Though I warmed more to it half-way in–‘Step of Faith’, ‘Not For Sale’, ‘There is a God’, and ‘Amen’ are simply kind of worshipful material. The theme of “righteous invasion” is more discernable throughout if one thinks about it. Rating: 7/10.

Never say die

With three publishers wanting to see my work, you’d think I’d be happy about that. Well, I am, but it’s just three isn’t it? It’s casual writing work. Short writing or thereabouts. Like it. Would like more avenues but am grateful for what’s in the writing department.

With avenues for writers scarce in the religious genre, the younger ones are being promoted.  Did a lot back in the day when the publishers were still going. Hope the younger ones do well.

May just find something else as well. So I keep the possibility open. Have two websites I use for information on publishing somewhere else.

With the thought of possibility, one may never let the possibility die. Opportunities may come and go, but possibility can be forever, whatever happens. Because one thinks, what if? Then you keep on going.