When it comes to Christian music you can pretty much go one of two ways. The first conjures up images of fans totally dominated by the power of the Holy Spirit, raising their hands as if they can’t control them and signing along to tunes with titles like “Awesome God.” Tears are streaking down their faces and you find yourself just waiting for someone to start speaking in tongues.

needtobreathe2We at Fresh Scouts are happy for those people who can get so into their sacred songs, and we respect their ability to get so emotionally attached to music, but it’s all just a little too cheesy for us. Honestly, we prefer the other type of Christian music—the kind that tricks you into loving it long before you realize it’s about God.

Bands like Needtobreathe are really good at this. They write fantastic music that just so happens to be about Jesus—not really intense prayers that just so happen to be music. I first heard their song, “Washed by the Water,” on XM Radio while driving a rental car in Massachusetts, and I loved it to so much I took a picture of the tuner with my cell phone so I wouldn’t forget the title.

When I got home I pulled down the MP3 immediately and listened to it over and over again. I even found this YouTube video that made it even more amazing, because lead singer Bear Rinehart is a voice best experienced live. Dude can sing, for realzies. All kinds of oomph and feeling behind those vocals.

So I dug deeper and found that they had a relatively new album out with another soulful single, “Something Beautiful,” that I grew to love almost as much as “Washed by the Water,” and from there I just immersed myself in the group’s catalog and found that pretty much everything they’ve ever written is gorgeous, acoustic, meaningful music. The fact that it’s got some serious religious undertones doesn’t bother me one bit, the way some overtly Christian music does sometimes.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with Christian music, despite the fact that there are so many people who won’t give it a chance once they see the crucifix on the CD cover. But Needtobreathe is genuinely good stuff. Bands like Creed and Evanescence hit the mainstream despite religious subjects in their songs, so there’s no reason Needtobreathe shouldn’t get the chance, too. They’re just as credible as those other bands, and quite possible even better.

Can I get an Amen?

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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