Because life is a series of edits

Music Week 2010

In Education, Musicians, Westminster on September 24, 2010 at 9:12 am

 Pioneer_SE-DIR800C_WirelessHeadphones

Here are the songs from this year's Discerning Ear Project in Ethics class. The gist of the project is that the kids bring in music (MP3s with lyric sheets) and explain it as fitting in one of three moral categories (good, bad, or neutral); thus, we spend the week listening, discussing, and debating meaning and morality.

After they spend a week wrestling through the difficulties of trying to categorize their music (dualism example: If there's some good and some bad in the song, does that then make it neutral?), we then talk about a more Reformed way of approaching things, asking what we can affirm in each song, what we should challenge, and (and this is where it gets dicey), what our listening responses should be in light of passages like 1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23, and others.

There was plenty of new music this year that I wasn't familiar with, but I confess nothing really stuck out enough to make me want to instantly (or even eventually) download it. Take a look through the songs and bands and let me know what I ought to take a chance on the next time I have some iTunes money.

  • 100 Years by Five for Fighting
  • Accidents Can Happen by Sixx A.M.
  • American Honey by Lady Antebellum
  • Apologize by One Republic
  • Away from the Sun by 3 Doors Down
  • Beauty from Pain by Superchick
  • Bicycle Race by Queen
  • Billionaire by Travie McCoy (featuring Bruno Mars)
  • Black Rock by O.A.R.
  • Buddy by Musiq Soulchild
  • California Stars by Billy Bragg and Wilco
  • Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
  • Chicken Fried by Zach Brown Band
  • Chop Suey by System of a Down
  • Cleaning this Gun by Rodney Atkins
  • Dance Anthem of the 80’s by Regina Spektor
  • Dead and Gone by T.I. (featuring Justin Timberlake)
  • Dear Life by Anthony Hamilton
  • Dynamite by Taio Cruz
  • Eclipse (All Yours) by Metric
  • Everything by Michael Buble
  • First Date by Blink 182
  • Ghetto Gospel by Tupac (featuring Elton John)
  • Grassman by Dodgy
  • Handlebars by The Flobots
  • I Am the Walrus by The Beatles
  • I Run to You by Lady Antebellum
  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You by KISS
  • If It’s Love by Train
  • If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw
  • Imagine by John Lennon
  • Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
  • King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
  • Lasso by Phoenix
  • Laughing With by Regina Spektor
  • Live and Let Die by Guns ‘N Roses
  • Love the Way You Lie by Eminem (with Rihanna)
  • Maxwell’s Silver Hammer by The Beatles
  • Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
  • Mr. Brightside by The Killers
  • My Generation by Nas and Damien Marley
  • My Heart by Paramore
  • Narwhals by Weebl’s Stuff
  • Needle and Haystack Life by Switchfoot
  • Not Afraid by Eminem
  • Play the Song by Joey & Rory
  • Pray for You by Jason and the Long Road to Love
  • Put Your Records by Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Roxanne by The Police
  • Scapegoat by Epik High
  • Second Chance by Shinedown
  • Show Me What I’m Looking For by Carolina Liar
  • Sing for the Moment by Eminem
  • Snuggle Song by Schnuffel Bunny
  • Sorrow by Flyleaf
  • That’s What Youth Is by No Brain
  • The Cave by Mumford and Sons
  • The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script
  • The Show by Lenka
    Tricky by RUN D.M.C.
  • Queen Jane by Bob Dylan
  • Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
  • What I’ve Done by Linkin Park
  • Where is the Love? by the Black-Eyed Peas
  • Unthinkable by Alicia Keys
  • Vengeance by Yngwie Malmsteen
  • Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
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  1. Thanks for posting this. This was possibly my favorite project in Ethics.
    I’m not familiar with many of the songs/artists. However, the ones that stuck out to me as ones that I know and like are as follows. I recommend all of these songs (and/or artists where noted).
    – The Black-Eyed Peas: Where is the Love?
    – Bruno Mars: Just the Way You Are (both)
    – Eminem: Not Afraid (song and SOME of the rest of his music; his songs vary in quality. His latest album is my favorite.)
    – Eminem: Sing for the Moment
    – Eminem feat. Rihanna: Love the Way You Lie
    – Jaron (you misspelled his name) and the Long Road to Love: Pray for You
    – Linkin Park: What I’ve Done (artist is good; unfamiliar with the song)
    – Switchfoot: Needle and Haystack Life (artist is good; unfamiliar with the song)
    – T.I. feat. Justin Timberlake: Dead and Gone
    – Tim McGraw: If You’re Reading This (artist is good; unfamiliar with the song)
    – Zac Brown Band: Chicken Fried (both)

  2. I’d suggest watching the video for Flobots “Handlebars”. I think it’s on youtube. And Mumford and Sons have some fantastic music that deals with rather spiritual themes. Pay special attention to “Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons. (Also on youtube – isn’t everything these days).
    I have also found Gungor’s most recent album (“Beautiful Things”) honest and refreshing.

  3. Craig, love that you’re helping these students learn to think critically through music rather than just leaving it at good and bad categories. Much easier to just establish categories; much harder to live in the gray of critically thinking and praying through the music they listen to. Helpful skill for them to have even in critically thinking through “worship songs” and their theology.

  4. Well if you don’t have the Beatles songs yet, I’d start with them.

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