Today? Not my best day. Not my worst either. When Jody tried to cheer me up with a rendition of "Lean on Me," I couldn't bring myself to help him with it. He was sure I knew the song - and I do - but to be honest, the version that sticks in my head belongs to one of the most stellar Christian rock groups of the '90s : dc Talk.
From the dc Talk website:
"Although various rock predecessors have examined spiritual issues - U2, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan immediately come to mind - dc Talk has taken the notion to new lengths, both in commercial terms and depth of artistic exploration. Numerous Dove Awards, three Grammy Awards, one multi-platinum album, two platinum albums, two gold albums and two gold-certified long-form videos attest to the group's ability to bridge the wall between religious and secular audiences."
Toby Mac. Michael Tait. Kevin Max. These guys had serious cred, and judging from the Youtube and iTunes comments, they've still got it. Hip hop, rap, pop-rock - it's all there as they experiment with their sound, but they never lose their standout voices or their firm beliefs.
I did try to teach Jody the dc Talk version of "Lean on Me," but I hit him with the boys' untraditional bridge first:
Make it funky, make it funky. It's more "fun-kay" than "fun-kee" - oh, just go listen to it already. In the Youtube comments purethug says, "whoa... was not expecting that. it's got everything - soul, funk.. perfect."
After I heard "Lean on Me" after so many years away from my sister's music collection, I tried to think of which five dc Talk songs were my favourites... and I couldn't. There are so many awesome songs, it was more like a top 10.
Lean on Me
Luv is a Verb
Jesus Is Just Alright
What Have We Become
What if I Stumble
In the Light
Those last four are particularly amazing to me. If you think Christian music is all choirs and piano, take a listen, especially to anything from the "Jesus Freak" album.
dc Talk's music was one of the best things about my teen years. It's nice to know that some things stick with you, and even nicer when you come back to them and they're just as good as you remember.
* Free at Last album cover from Christianmusic.com