Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Update on Kings Kaleidoscope: Their use of the F-word in the new album

On July 2 I'd mentioned in the occasional Potpourri essay that I post, I've been enjoying a Christian band called Kings Kaleidoscope. I'd written,
For those of you, like me, who despair of ever finding current music that's doctrinal and treats Biblical subjects appropriately, here is a new musical group I can recommend. Kings Kaleidoscope is a faith-based alternative band based in Seattle, Washington. As their Wiki says, they style themselves as a band "sporting a variety of influences from math rock and hip-hop to the dense sound of Canadian indie outfit Broken Social Scene". They have released 8 EPs since 2011. You can find them on all the usual places such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and also Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Pandora, etc. My favorite songs are Grace Alone, and their How Deep cover. The album graphics are terrific, too.
I can't recommend them any more. In their new album released July 1, they used the F-word several times in their song "A Prayer".

Their decision to use the most base vulgarity has split their fans, and has sparked debate and arguments from Youtube to Reddit. The immature defend the band's use of profanity, saying the song in context 'speaks to them' and that 'they can relate.'

However the more biblical fans rejoin that Ephesians 4:29 commands us,

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

It's hard to defend the F-word as a word that gives grace. In addition, Matthew 15:18 says,

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Who can stand to listen to profanity of this sort in the same song that lauds Jesus? Who can sing along to such a song? Who wants to expose the younger children in the car or in the room who will hear it? Who would ever want to sing this song in church or at a church-oriented event? Why do they think this is OK?

In researching the band for the previous blog essay, I had seen that the band was formed in 2010 by singer/songwriter Chad Gardner, in a Mars Hill Church plant on the campus of the University of Washington, where Gardner was a worship leader. Uh-oh. Bells went off but I'd hoped for the best. Their music up to now has been stunning and doctrinal.

However, the Young, Restless, Reformed movement shepherded by immature hipster bad boy pastors has had a devastating influence on not just the congregations within its walls, but all modes of church culture, and the generations that have come after. Music has suffered, too. It's a shame that Kings Kaleidoscope made the decision that they did. One would not expect to see the following warning on a Christian band's page:


Here is an article about it:

The Use of the "F" Word Has Raised Concerns Over Kings Kaleidoscope's New Album

We just want purity, holiness, and something, anything, to enjoy that's undefiled in this polluted world. Kings Kaleidoscope, you disappoint.

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Further Reading

Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty

'Gimmicks over gospel': Group draws flak for using tattoos, booze to raise funds for planting new church

Perry Noble and Highway to Hell




11 comments :

  1. Elizabeth, am I reading this right? This is supposedly a "Christian" music group using that language?...

    Then I got to where you said the leader was from the Mars Hill system and part of the YRR. Well, that makes sense.

    To say that Christian music has suffered in this generation is an understatement. I'd love to hear - dare I say, I might even pay money to hear - Amazing Grace sung in its entirety in a church service without that goofy contemporary bridge thrown in it.

    I bet there are believers today who don't understand that "My Chains Are Gone" is not part of the original lyrics... but I digress.

    Yet another reason why I love the old hymns, many of which have good doctrine... oh and no worries... nary an unclean word to be found in them.

    -Carolyn

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    1. I agree totally about the contemporary arrangements of our beloved hymns.

      I learned of KK thru a young friend who was excited about it. For him as for all of us it's a struggle to find something Christ-centered AND clean. He told me about KK.

      The KK musicians are extremely talented, no doubt. I got excited, not enjoying ALL thier music, I am a fuddy dyddy after all, lol, but several of their songs were just astounding to me.

      Now this. It only took them five and a half years since forming the band to slide, but the shocking thing is that it wasn't a slide like usual in other places and bands. It was all good, all good, hold the course, and then, a PRECIPICE. No slide chipping away at purity, just an instant crumbled heap of integrity at the bottom of a cliff with an evaporating witness. Sad.

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    2. When it comes to worship music, it certainly can be a struggle today to find something Christ centered AND clean. Most of the contemporary music is weak at best... hence my love for the old hymnody... and why I no longer listen to any of my local Christian radio stations. They gave up on hymnody and doctrinally sound contemporary music years ago...

      While it is sad, seriously I am not shocked that something else stemming from MH went off a precipice. No student is above their teacher, and who was the "leader" of that whole mess?

      Happy to be a fuddy duddy with you.

      -Carolyn

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    3. PS, from your other commenter, I had to look up what "math rock" was... I've never heard of it. Apparently it's a term for unnecessarily complicated musical structure and rhythms. Used for Christian worship, it means creating songs that the average pew congregant cannot follow or sing. In other words, it is performance music written by performers for performers. And honestly, from what little I read of it, I'm not impressed.

      From the wiki entry for "math rock", I read this music is defined as having "atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting)", "odd time signatures", "angular melodies", and "dissonant, chords"... all of which hardly sounds like beautiful, orderly music fitting for worship of the King of Kings, who Himself is beautiful and orderly.

      I think the definitions of "quality, well written music" and "talented musicians" need a healthy overhaul.

      -Carolyn

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    4. I looked up math rock too when I was writing this orignially. It's dissonant, and indeed many of their songs are. I like the three hymn/praise songs I mentioned above though- I'm sure they have other more songs that can be sung in church. But I agree with you, the bulk of their music seems like it is not appropriate for congregations, it's intended more for the concert stage and radio. Kids need a clean group to put on their iPods and play as background music at their parties etc. It's likely meant to be listened to outside of church. But what parent wants their child to be exposed to profanity? None I know.

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    5. I get what you are saying... and especially appreciate your integrity in bringing to everyone's attention the profanity in a group that not too long ago you thought you could recommend. You are right, no Christian parent I know wants their child to hear profanity in "worship" music.

      I do think that unplugging this younger generation from their constant need for iPods and cell phones and various other i-gadgets and endless "background" music would be a helpful thing to do. A lot of these kids cannot even have conversations with their peers, let alone with adults, because they are so electronics-dependent.

      That and music has become so common that in a way it is losing it's true beauty and worth.

      Ok, I'll stop. :)

      Thanks for giving the saints a place for mutual edification, Elizabeth.

      -Carolyn

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    6. Thank you Carolyn for your wisdom and kindness. You're always worth reading & learning from

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  2. What did you think was going to come from a band that styles itself after hip hop and math rock. By their fruits you shall know them.Both those styles of music are very worldly.I don't get why Christians are always trying to appeal to the world.

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    1. I'd feared the worst, but had hoped for the best. I will still enjoy my favorites of their tunes, Grace Alone, Come Thou Fount, How Deep.

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  3. I commented about your first post, pointing you to the modern post...and then unrecommendig them. I am always SO disappointed to hear things like this. I suppose it shouldn't take me by surprise anymore. I really hope the citizens don't go down that path (I think I will go research that now...).

    Thank you for the information, Elizabeth. I have learned a lot from you and appreciate your work.

    PS. Seeds family worship is good...and it is straight scripture. It looks like it is for kids, but my husband and I love it. I find myself listening to them a lot lately. At least I don't haveto wonder if the songs are sound...and I am memorizing the Word :-)

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  4. If this is not the "beginning of sorrows", then I don't dare think what that time will look like. May God help us all, especially those that haven't heard the Truth. How will they know what is truth and of the One True God, if not for the Holy Spirit?

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