A newspaper has published a "10 commandments of Christian pop" containing tongue-in-cheek advice to Christian pop artists.
The move was inspired after a journalist on the Scotsman was sent a press release for a new album, "The Best Worship Songs... Ever!" put out in time for Easter and billed as "the first definitive collection of popular modern worship songs"
"It was immediately intriguing since it is full of people Iíd never heard of" wrote journalist Andrew Eaton.
"Christian pop is, of course, the sort of thing pop columnists tend to be gratuitously mean about, so that was what I was planning to do. Until I realised how similar much of the album is to the proper pop charts."
According to the journalist Matt Redmanís The Heart of Worship is "the spit" of Snow Patrolís recent hit Run. Kristyn Lennox "sounds a lot like Emma Bunton" and "elsewhere, there are rather a lot of songs that sound like Travis."
Some songs however come in for criticism on the ground of plagiarism. "Lord I Lift Your Name On High by SONICFLOOd borrows so blatantly from Airbag by Radiohead that they should demand royalties" wrote Eaton. But he adds; "the song was originally written in 1989 by someone called Rick Founds, which raises the fascinating possibility that Ok Computer, one of the most influential albums of the 1990s, is actually ripped off from old Christian pop songs."
The journalist however makes an astute observation that "The Best Worship Songs... Ever!" to be true to its title would actually need figures such as Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Prince, U2, and the Beatles.
In conclusion, the paper offers "10 commandments" for Christian artists, if they want to make it in the mainstream.
1 Donít mention Jesus in absolutely every song. In pop terms, this is like writing an entire album about a girl called Janet. It becomes wearing after a while.
2 Wear fewer clothes. Or, if at all possible, none at all. Think of Adam and Eve before the fall and youíll be fine.
3 Resist the temptation to insert cheesy 1980s guitar solos and unironic Elton John piano plonking among the otherwise impressively trendy and up-to-the-minute production values. This, Matt Redman, is the main difference between you and Snow Patrol (apart from the Jesus stuff). It is not a big difference, but it is one the pop kids will notice. Hang around the Barrowland and take notes.
4 Donít have songs titles such as We Wanna See Jesus Lifted High or Jesus Lover of My Soul. Call them Lifted High and Lover of My Soul instead. People will assume they are about drugs and sex. No-one listens that closely to lyrics anyway.
5 Think of a better band name than SONICFLOOd. Although, come to think of it, all you really need to do is call yourself the Sonicflood and the NME will write huge features about you. Especially if you claim youíre from New York.
6 Employ fewer than 100 backing singers. This may achieve the hymn-like effect youíre after, but this is the problem.
7 Steal more ideas from Radiohead.
8 Cover Sex-O Matic Venus Freak by Macy Gray.
9 Change one letter of your name so that itís the same as a famous porn star. You will grab peopleís attention without having to do any of the above.
10 Never admit to not liking Nirvana. Itís not cool.
(i>The full article published in the Scotsman is available here