Belle & Sebastian's newest album is overtly religious and the group's main singer, Murdoch, openly discusses his Christian faith in the lyrics. From the NPR interview
"The Ghost of Rockschool" features these words: "I've seen God in the sun, I've seen God in the street / God before bed and the promise of sleep." It's always tricky, that line between pop music and so-called Christian rock. I'm not a fan of Christian rock, and I hope that ["The Ghost of Rockschool"] doesn't sound too much like a mawkish Christian rock song.*Sigh*
So... I feel sort of let down? As they say in the interview, the group's lyrics used to be far more cynical of religion. Murdoch sort of writes that off, blaming his young age at the time. But I LIKE their old stuff better. I always interpreted those songs as being completely non or even anti-religious. But maybe I was interpreting them completely wrong?? This is from "If You're Feeling Sinister."
The funny thing is that LP (other half of this blog) has never cared for Belle & Sebastian and pointed me in the direction of the NPR interview as a sort of vindication. Of course, LP has his own "Surprise Christian Band of the Millennium." Have you heard ICP's totally awful Miracles?But if you are feeling sinister
Go off and see a minister
He'll try in vain to take away the pain of being a hopeless unbeliever
But if you are feeling sinister
Go off and see a minister
Chances are you'll probably feel better
If you stayed and played with yourself
It's so bizarre and sadly hilarious. ICP announced a couple years ago that they were secretly Evangelical Christians, but I've never bought it. LP has always liked ICP, he's from Michigan, after all, and he has his own interpretation on the matter that I'll make him post someday.
I have to say that ICP has a few songs that I really do like. They aren't all that bad. Seriously, some of their songs are kind of catchy... you actually have to listen to it, but not take it too seriously. But "Miracles" doesn't really sound like anything from their most recent album to the point that they must be tongue in cheek. Jon Ronson interviewed them in The Guardian recently... and they don't come off looking so great. In fact, they come off looking completely stupid. So, are they actually serious Christians? Or just dumb? Or secretly brilliant hoaxers?
An ode to ignorance that will be interpreted many different ways. Some will see it as ironic, some will take it at face value, some will see it as a glorious Christian message. What do you think?
And what do you do when you find out that a band or musician or artist you like is overtly religious? Does it change how you feel about them? Lyrics are never the most important thing to me in music, so if I otherwise like a song, it doesn't bother me much. And random references here or there don't really bother me. I would hope that if a religious person found out that an artist they admired was an atheist, that it wouldn't sway their opinion much.