I love melody. The Duke and Irving Mills really were on to something when they penned, “It don’t mean a thing, if ain’t got that swing.” For everything that occurs in a song, melody is always the most important thing. After all, a song can have inane lyrics, completely void of any substance, but if the melody draws you in – chances are you will find yourself humming the tune later.
In the church where I work (St. John’s in Fort Mill – check it out Sunday!) – I’ve had several conversations with older members of the church who state they love to sing, but songs today just lack decent melody. And I have to agree. Just listen to Maroon 5’s new single Misery, it is fun and catchy, but the melody…ehh….
So are there folks out there writing melody? YES! Just check the earlier blog about Corinne Bailey Rae, she’s great.
But today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite guys that puts out stuff in the world of “Contemporary Christian” music. He is Chris Rice.
Rice started out initially a song writer, and was then signed as an artist to Michael W. Smith‘s label. He put out many great albums then when his commitment was up, he left Rocketown Records and joined with a new label (Eb+Flo Records) to have greater freedom.
One of the albums he has put out on his new label is What A Heart Is Beating For. This album came out in 2007, so it has been a few years, but it is still totally awesome. The band is über tight, and the melodies are so great. As an album it is full of memorable melodies, lush sonic landscapes, and beautiful lyricism. Musically it is a little difficult to nail down, running the gambit from Brit-pop, soul, to folk. But one thing remains a constant, superior songwriting. What a Heart is Beating For is a great listen, and I encourage you to check out Chris Rice’s other work. www.chrisrice.com
Here’s a couple songs off What A Heart Is Beating For
This is the title track – however this is a simple solo acoustic version. I really encourage you to check out the album version!
Here’s a video someone put together for the first song on the album, So Much For My Sad Songs: