Friday, June 02, 2006

In Memorium

While I'm here, I feel the need to write about something else: An ode to Jennifer.

I was introduced to Christian music in my first year of college. I ate it up. Newsboys. Third Day. dcTalk. I began to devour the favorites. But weirdo that I am, I always have to be a little different from the rest of the crowd. Everyone already loved those first 3 groups; I needed to find my own favorite -- the independent band or lesser known artist who I could call my own.

It wasn't long before I found her. Jennifer Knapp. Pretty new on the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) scene. I first discovered her by listening to her 2nd studio album, Lay It Down. I was impressed by songs like "A Little More" & "When Nothing Satisfies." I would often put them on my "going to bed" list, because they spoke to me, eased my nerves, and gave me peace as I laid down to sleep.

I then went & bought Kansas, and loved her even more. When The Way I Am was released, I bought it, too. Admittedly, it wasn't as good as the other two, but I cherished & digested each song just because it was Jen. I bought City On a Hill CD's on which she had several tracks, and to this day am entranced by her song, "Hallowed."

And then she stopped touring. Years have passed and she hasn't produced another studio album. Rumors began to fly. Some were saying she had taken a female lover -- that she had left her faith & music career behind. Others assert that her seemingly permanent hiatus is merely due to the grind. Produce an album, then go make money on tour, which you use to produce another album, so you can make more money on tour. And so the cycle goes. And if you know her music, you know her lyrics are so rich that it's a wonder she popped out 3 quality albums so quickly.

I choose to believe that she protects her craft by not recording or touring anymore. That she would not dumb down her product to make money. I hope that's it.

Her music & lyrics touch my heart like NO other. I hope she is still using her gift in some way wherever she is today. Even if it's at a church somewhere, for a group of kids, or whatever. When God made her, I know He smiled. He gave the world a great gift in Jennifer Knapp. And because of that, I've almost wanted to cry when I've listened to her music lately.

Jen, I hope you're well. I miss you.

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