Like many people, I'm often asked what my favorite type of music is. More often than not I respond with a dismissive "a little bit of everything." While that answer isn't wrong, it is terribly incomplete. I listen to a wide variety of music, but I'm pretty picky about the music that I listen to and play.
At the center of it, I like music that is honest; music that comes from the core of who someone is. So much of the music that I come across is watered down and lifeless. I'm not naïve enough to think that the Christian music industry has escaped this affliction, either. Some of the most out-of-touch songs I've ever heard had a CCM label on them, while some of the most real, down-to-earth music comes from places of utter darkness.
A few months ago I discovered David Ramirez, a singer-song writer from Austin, Texas. His lyrics aren't clean, and most of the time his songs aren't uplifting, but they weave a beautiful disclosure of his personal struggles and heartbreak. More of music needs this mask-less approach.
Not every song needs to be depressing in order to be honest, nor is there honesty in every depressing song. I'm just tired of music that that is so polarizingly happy or materialistic. I want songs of value that meet us in the trenches of life - in the grey areas that we all wade through.