Monday, November 24, 2008

Music Monday: Albertine

I know that Kat has talked extensively about Brooke Fraser. But I think it bears repeating. Here is the title song off her most recent album - "Albertine". She met Albertine when she visited Rwanda for the first time in 2005. Like you hear in Sara Groves' "I Saw What Saw", what Brooke saw changed her life.

Christianity Today just released their year end list of the best albums of 2008, with Albertine topping the list. And it is a well-deserved placement, as the whole album is great. It hit the street in New Zealand, her home, in 2006 and has been hugely popular there, as well. In fact, it won the highest selling music award in New Zealand in 2007 and was the airplay record of the year.

As a curiosity, why do you think it is that her music is mainstream in New Zealand, but a niche in the U.S.? Seriously, why do we put her, and so many others, in a cubbyhole here in the U.S.? You can't say that her music just doesn't sound that Christian so it can blend in better - not with lyrics like "faith without works is dead" and "When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees / When time and space are through / I’ll be found in you" in two of her most popular songs. They just don't make sense outside a Christian worldview. So, why shuffle her off to the side here but not elsewhere? What do you think?


Kat @ Inspired To Action said...

I often wonder if the Christian music industry is it's own worst enemy. We've segregated ourselves so much that the mainstream industry often ignores Christian artists because they are a different "genre" - when, in fact, musically they aren't.

I'd guess the New Zealand and Australian music industries don't have as strong of a CCM niche - so the focus is on the music not the theme.

What boggles my mind is that the CCM industry here hasn't embraced Brooke's music. Of course, once she's a mainstream hit, they'll probably claim her as their own.

euphrony said...

I'd agree that the (seemingly) intentional segregation of CCM from mainstream has hurt the potential sales/reach and has branded the genre as not being as talented, as a whole, as their mainstream counterparts. Of course, it makes it easier to be a part of the scene and get you music played when you swim in a smaller pond; honestly, were the U.S. CCM more intermingled with mainstream you would see a lot of artists go away for lack of ability to produce good art.

It's easy to say that the market is smaller in NZ and Australia. It's true, of course, but there is much more to it than that, I think.

I think that Brooke has been making some inroads here. KSBJ has played "Shadowfeet" enough to put it in their weekly top ten, and she is #18 on the latest Radio and Records Christian AC charts. But, it looks like she's peaking about there.

Amy said...

The market in New Zealand has got to be a lot smaller....the population of the country is only like 4 million people isn't it? So a native artist becomes a rarer thing. Apart from idea.

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