Geoff Moore & The Distance - A Friend Like You
Music You Might Want to Consider - G
I don’t think I’ve mentioned in these posts before how much I dislike modern Christian Contemporary Music. Actually, dislike is too kind of a term. I loathe most modern Christian Contemporary Music. Every time I start my car, the radio is tuned to one of the local CCM stations, and I can’t switch to my phone input fast enough.1
I’m not sure when the switch flipped for me when it came to CCM. I spent a lot of my youth dabbling in the world of CCM, and stayed there for a good part of my early adulthood. There was a moment when something happened in the music business, where larger labels ate up the smaller Christian labels, resulting in a lot of cookie cutter albums starting in the late nineties and continuing today. Maybe that was the catalyst for my shift.
Because I still dig a lot of CCM from my youth. Including the music of Geoff Moore & The Distance.
A Friend Like You was released in 1994. In context, the secular pop charts included the R&B stylings of All-4-One, the queen of pop herself, Madonna, Mariah Carey before “All I want for Christmas”, and Warren G, taking a throwaway piece of dialogue from Young Guns and turning it into a hit with “Regulate”. In Rock and Roll, grunge was king. In CCM, Geoff Moore & The Distance were at the top of their game, along with Steven Curtis Chapman and Amy Grant.
You couldn’t find music like this in the world of secular music in 1994. Maybe in the late 80’s, because CCM is traditionally a few years behind pop music trends, but not in 1994. The vocals, the arrangements, even the guitar tones would fit much better alongside something from 1988.
But does that make it bad? Not in the least.
What A Friend Like You lacks in innovation is more than made up for in the positivity that oozes from pretty much every track. The title track is a celebration of friendship. “Good to be Alive” is a celebration of hope and joy at any age. “Listen to our Hearts” is as good a worship song as anything on any of the thousands of “worship” records foisted upon us when worship became a genre in and of itself.
Listening to this album now, I’m immediately sent back to 1994 myself. It was the year I met my wife. She was a junior. I was a sophomore. And like every lovestruck 16 year old in 1994, I made her a mix tape. Of course, this mix tape included some of my favorite Christian metal power ballads, but it was lead off by a song that defined how our relationship began - as friends.
And doggone it, the whole album is just fun. While it plays as I write this, I can’t get in the mindset to list every issue I have with modern CCM. And I guess that’s a good thing.
I blame this on my wife. She will be the first to admit that she has no loyalty to any music artist, but CCM is safe, comfort food for her, and I can’t blame her because most modern music sucks, and most modern secular pop music is vile.