Category: Music

Taylor Swift’s False Reputation

I've followed Taylor Swift’s career from the beginning. I’ve admired her flair for storytelling, her ability to transform the mundane details of everyday experience into profound life lessons. I’ve also admired her knack for creating an endless number of catchy melodies. Being a fellow millennial woman, I feel like I’ve gone through the awkward transition from insecure, adolescent teenager…  [more]

Beck’s Colors: Songs in the Key of Joy

It’s not unheard of for me to cry while jogging. Something about the endorphins and just the right track mixed with a bit of exhaustion can prove to be an intoxicating concoction. If you find me nearing the end of a five-mile trek, just drive by blaring the closing minutes of Sigur Ros’ “Glosoli,” and you are sure to get me all puffy-eyed. Recently I went running after a particularly good…  [more]

The Divided Heart of Tyminski’s Southern Gothic

It’s rare that the first lyrics of the first song on a new album are enough to keep me listening straight through. But Tyminski’s “Southern Gothic,” from the album of the same name, has done just that. Blackbird on the old church steeple Spanish moss hanging in the setting sun Every house has got a Bible and a loaded gun We've got preachers and politicians Round here it’s kinda…  [more]

All Things Work Together for Lecrae

Biblically literate hip hop fans will immediately recognize that the title of Lecrae’s latest project, All Things Work Together, comes from Romans 8:28. Others might notice the significant number of collaborations with mainstream artists and assume that this is the “working together” he’s talking about. The record actually functions on both levels. It is a deeply theological, while still…  [more]

The Biblical Hope of Chance the Rapper

What do we hope for? And how do we live in the meantime? It’s a pertinent question we all have to answer, and perhaps those who have social and cultural influence feel the weight of it to a greater degree than most of us. Based on his recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Chance the Rapper struggles with those questions. He debuted an untitled song that lets us into his fame, his struggle,…  [more]

Open Mike Eagle and ‘Brick Body’ Temples

John Mayer famously sang of bodies as wonderlands. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler cried that his body was a cage. On his new record, hip-hop artist Open Mike Eagle regards bodies as temples being torn down brick by brick. A visionary concept album about concepts we’d like to avoid, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream tackles gentrification and the disposability of black bodies. The record’s locus is…  [more]

With Dear Hate, Maren Morris Gets Biblical

In response to the Sept. 30 mass shooting in Las Vegas, upstart country artist Maren Morris unveiled a fascinating ballad, one she originally wrote with Tom Douglas and David Hodges after the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre but had not yet released. The song, entitled “Dear Hate,” features a duet vocal with Vince Gill over sparse acoustic guitar and piano instrumentation.…  [more]

Tom Petty: Our Companion Into the Great Wide Open

What a gut punch this is. Tom Petty is gone? One of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock and roll will never compose again? One of the most generous and magnanimous performers will never again take the stage? A week after the final show of his final tour, one of the best voices in rock and roll is silent, succumbing to cardiac arrest at the age of 66. Petty had announced that he was done touring, but I…  [more]

Hammock’s Numinous Ministry of Presence

We are a wordy people, casting about for phrases and metaphors as we try to make sense of the big and small things in life. Sometimes, however, we should just shut up. The apostle Paul, when addressing the deeply troubled church in Corinth, said that he didn’t come proclaiming things about God with lofty words or advice, but instead came “in weakness with great fear and trembling.” Words allow us…  [more]

The Deep Desire Beneath Lana Del Rey’s Shallow Lust for Life

On her latest album, Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey stays true to her musical style. She maintains her haunting vocals, which are deep and rich and can take off with soaring clarity. The light, slow beats that accompany her voice are in the background, while her vocals take up the focus. Her sound is pretty and gritty all at the same time. At The Atlantic, Spencer Kornhaber describes Del Rey’s new release as a…  [more]

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