So-called Contemporary Christian Music, sacred music explicitly intended for popular consumption, has led a contentious existence since its development in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Cynics have charged that it is a vapid product devoid of artistic relevance, a manipulation of the popular song structure to serve a purpose for which it was never intended. Such a viewpoint is, of course, prejudicial but there is something to be said for the assertion that, in a purely musical sense, the quality of the output of CCM artists pales in comparison to that of their secular counterparts. For almost every type of popular music taste imaginable there emerges a corresponding CCM act, whether it be the as-seen-on-TV eclecticism of Carman, the quasi-credibility of bands like dc Talk and Pedro the Lion or the pop-metal of P.O.D. and, yes, Stryper. All this begs the question: Can a CCM act establish for itself a unique artistic identity to be respected and enjoyed by the sacred music fan and secular listener alike?

Paul Wong

Ginny Owens, a Jackson, Miss. born singer/songwriter, probably had this question in mind when she wrote and recorded her sophomore effort, Something More. On the opening track, “Prelude,” she admits the futility of self-righteous attempts to “change the world,” (read: bible-thump). This realization tempers the tone of the album’s remainder, which tends instead towards introverted material; the resulting lyrical d

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