Do your friend a favour: Hit them hard…

Man with Boxing Gloves

I spend a significant part of my week outside the UK gospel scene’s self-contained bubble: Media Guardian for news, and BBC 1Xtra for radio (I rarely miss Ras Kwame and Twin B‘s 100% UK shows).

I also indulge my old-school Reggae interest by trying to catch up with David Rodigan on KISS as often as I can.

So what’s this got to do with UK gospel music…?

Well, not much. At least not directly.

But the thing is this: 2008 was tremendously significant (Guvna B, Ryan Carty and Sammy G/Jimmy James did good, in my view).

Mediocre Music

It’s March 2009.  Now that the echoes of New Year clichés have died down I’m looking to see if the 09 shine will be brighter than the 08 great (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Anyway here’s what this is really about:

  • there seems to be a lot of very mediocre music around at the moment.
  • And people seem to be encouraging it.

Thing is you’ll always get good stuff and downright bad stuff.  That’s just the way it goes.  Just because something is done in the name of gospel doesn’t automatically make it good.  Sorry, it just doesn’t.


I’ve seen and heard tracks around the place where responses to decidedly ordinary tunes have been greeted with ‘fantastic’!  ‘Great! ‘ ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Can’t wait!’ ‘Sick!’ [add your own superlative here]…

Am I missing something?

When Sammy G and Jimmy James released Dublit, we knew things had changed.  When Guvna dropped The Narrow Road I had to beat a path to his door and get a copy. Ryan Carty‘s album Journey To Purpose is still serious.

When I’m listening to music outside UK gospel, and hearing how the UK mainstream independent scene is going on, I’m not sure there are that many of ‘our’ tunes I can be recommending to my non-Christian friends at the moment.

Give it to Them Straight

So, if you have a friend that is an artist in any shape or form: tell them the truth.  If their craft and/or skill needs to be much better and much tighter, give it to them straight.

They may not like to hear it, but hopefully they’ll thank you one day when they raise their game as a result of your honesty.  If you like their sub-standard stuff as it is, cool.

I know it’s March, so there’s still a long way to go.  And I certainly haven’t heard everything that’s out at the moment.  So there’s still hope.

Like Mystman once said on the Swift Phase beat: We need to rise the level up… Because the world is rising the level up every day…’



6 thoughts on “Do your friend a favour: Hit them hard…

  1. Its 2010, but I still enjoy reading this! I think (myself included) we need more reviews/reviewers of the Gospel scene. If we get more like UKGospel, GL360, Crossrhythms etc critiquing stuff and then promoting it, this then allows feedback from those who read it to agree/disagree with assessments of the stuff being put out. I don’t mind taking the brunt of people saying the reviews right/wrong so long as there’s a place we can be honest with our thoughts!


  2. :-S lol I may be one of those ppl u know! lol I just get so excited when I see pp doing something for “the Kingdom” BUT with time I have been learning to relax take a moment and think before passing on a comment… if it’s good then I will definitely keep being excited BUT if not… I guess everybody can benefit from constructive criticism :O) x


  3. Rachel,

    That’s all I ask.

    A bit of quality control. If the music is staying within the church, I can (kind of) understand….

    However, if we’re thinking of taking this music out of the four walls, then goodness me, we need to step up and represent!


  4. It’s October 2010 and this blog is more relevant than ever. Everyday I get tagged in a mediocre video or track and I struggle to find a pleasant thing about it.
    However, every once in a while there’s a speck of gold among the dust.
    LOL! That being said, I’m fortunate enough to have friends who ask me to promote ‘great’ music. So if I’m prmoting something, you best believe I’ve bought it and I love it.
    Awesome blog uncle! 😉


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