So I’ve mentioned in a few of the past lists that I used to be completely into Christian rock. Well this is the story of how that happened.
My mom used to force me to go to church. I hated it. I’d go to sunday school and then after sunday school I’d have to sit through a church service. I hated the uncomfortable clothes and the boring sermons and the cheesy songs that meant little to nothing to a kid who loved Bloodhound Gang, Rage Against the Machine and Green Day. There was one thing I did like however, a weird pastor we called Pastor Dan. He was the youth pastor and he looked like a younger Santa Claus and just as jolly.
One day my mom came home from church with a cassette tape that Dan had given to her to give to me. The tape was the comp from Forefront Records and contained artists like Audio Adrenaline, Bleach, Big Tent Revival and DC Talk.
The first song was DC Talk’s Jesus Freak and I was blown away. Christian music could sound like this? The music was heavy, it had some rapping in it and in general it just sounded like the music I was already listening to. I really liked a bunch of other stuff on the cassette tape but it was that song that pulled me in. I bought the CD and while some of the stuff was much softer (but not all) I loved it all.
This album helped blow open the doors between Christian and Mainstream music when it debuted #16 on the Billboard 200. The songs Between You & Me and Jesus Freak both did well on the charts (I remember seeing Jesus Freak on The Box and getting crazy excited).
A few years ago I went through my CD collection and was embarrassed by how bad some of the albums were, but DC Talk: Jesus Freak was still great. The reason is that while it was just as preachy as the other groups on ForeFront (except Pax217) it never felt that way.
It’s just a great rock record regardless of lyrics. But the lyrics don’t bother me. It has songs like Colored People and What Have We Become? which discuss things like racism and a song like What if I Stumble? about why people hate christians for their inability to show love and compassion.