I am now a huge fan of NBC's show "Sing Off." Apparently, I missed the entire first season and I saw a cool ad for season two. Knowing I would forget about it by the time it rolled around, I scheduled it to record on our DVR.
Boy am I glad I did!
I have always been a fan of a cappella music--just pure voices singing in harmony. I think anyone who's ever been in a choir of some sort must love this music because you recognize how difficult it is to get it just right and also how marvelous it is when you do.
This show is far better than any American Idol show. Here, the troupes sing completely free of background music--although you may not realize it. They have to vocally reproduce any instrumentation that is normally in modern music. Think drums, bass lines, winds--all being produced by voice instead of instruments.
Now, at first, it was just a fun show. By the end I was COMMITTED. Here's why:
I find that most of today's popular music (and musicians for that matter) focus on hypersexualization. Songs abound dealing with illicit relationships, polygamy, hedonism, etc. It's blase to focus on music with pure topics or to focus on music that praises our Lord--even if musically (arrangement, content, actual musical ability) are far superior.
On the Sing Off, out of the ten initial groups, you had two groups on opposite ends of the spectrum: Pitch Slapped (a coed group from The Berklee School of Music) and Committed (an all male group who started singing worship and praise at church).
Pitch Slapped introduced themselves to America with an oversexualized choreographed performance of "Good Girls Go Bad." Just the type of plastified and "do whatever you want" type of junk that is so prevalent nowadays. These kids looked like a bunch of entitled young adults who party and believe they're superior to everyone else. Their background story was filled with self-aggrandizement. Talk about pride going before the fall! They ended up being the first group eliminated by the judges--hallelujah!
Now, Committed was the last group to perform. Based on the opening number, I wasn't sure what to expect from them. I LOVED their background story. They started in high school and sang at church and currently travel to perform praise and worship music for area congregations to bring glory to God. The most remarkable thing: their genuine humility and modesty. This group of six men dressed in black slacks, white dress shirts, ties, and red zip sweaters looked like they were poised to be anything but what the audience wanted. I so desperately wanted to see them advance, if nothing else simply for their message of Christ to be shared week after week. They wholly admitted that singing Top 40 was new for them and it was going to be an adjustment.
They began their number. They sang Maroon 5's "This Love," and at first I couldn't even recognize the song. My heart sank--but only for a split second. All of a sudden they burst in to form. They took the song, made it their own, and as I listened I heard the lyrics in a whole new light. They made it sound like they were singing about being tempted. See for yourself here. Wow! In no time, the crowd was up on their feet, swaying with the rhythm, and clapping along. The place erupted when they finished--even other teams leapt to their feet to applaud them. How did they respond? Pointing heavenward. Now THAT'S what music sounds like when the singers are filled with the Holy Spirit! I kid you not--if they had an album out right now I would be first in line to buy it. The judges were blown away. I think everyone was. I literally replayed their performance because it was THAT GOOD.
So, to close, I encourage you to watch the Sing Off. More than that, pray that God would continue to bless these young men in Committed, that they would stick with Him, share His love, use the gifts He's given them, and shine for His glory. I pray these young men will win and will have greater opportunities to spread the gospel and not be pressured by society to change or steer clear of faith-based music. Dove music and Christian labels--be in touch with this group and sign them immediately!