Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

Playlists

I bought a new car recently. And by “new car” I mean a 2012 Chevy Cruz. It’s new to me though, so that counts right? It’s smaller than the SUV I traded. I got something smaller because I do a lot of driving and it gets really good gas mileage, plus I wanted to upgrade my wife to something bigger because she is the one who is generally transporting the kids day-to-day and they’re getting bigger, thus more difficult to get in and out of vehicles. Anyway, there were really two main features I was looking for when I bought the car for myself (of course price, mileage, maintenance were considered, but on top that)…

Bluetooth connectivity so I could be hands free if I needed to be on the phone.

An auxiliary input in case I wanted to listen to music or whatever through my iPhone and iPod.

I generally listen to podcasts on my phone and/or sports radio, the occasional Top 40 station. But today I plugged the iPhone in and began listening to the new Sleeping At Last song, “Sight.” I. was. blown. away. I listening to it over and over again and couldn’t enough of the haunting melody and amazing lyrics. I didn’t full on cry, but I definitely had tears welling up in my eyes because this melody, these lyrics – were moving me. Creating an emotional response I couldn’t control. Music doesn’t things.

Have you ever noticed this?

Sometimes an artist, a song, a style of music can literally express EXACTLY how you are feeling but you couldn’t have ever expressed it yourself. It’s like, when someone asks you how you are feeling, sometimes it almost better to let them listen to a song so that way they can FEEL the same way you feel and that’s the best explanation.

Why does this happen?

Why is music so powerful? What it is about the guitars, pounding bass lines, drum rhythms, piano melodies and everything else that makes those little goosebumps rise on our flesh and make us want to turn up the volume in our cars until we cross the line into completely outrageous-looking as we pound our fists on the steering wheel or belt out the lyrics as if we’re in an arena filled with screaming fans?

When I drive and I hear a good song, it doesn’t matter if I’ve heard it before. I’m just gonna jam. How do you jam? Do you contemplate each word and how it applies to your life? Do you pick out the melodies and harmonies and find the pacing of the rhythm? Do you separate each instrument and listen to what each musician is doing? Or do you dance like a crazy person? Come on, admit it… you dance like a crazy person don’t you??

Me too.

What is it about music, exactly?

I think it’s more than just driving beats and amazing vocals. I think it’s just another fingerprint of God. You see, in the Bible, music was a key component to life. They even used it in their military as a way to keep the soldiers ready, in step and encouraged. It’s almost like it was something to keep them reminded of why they do what they do.

Music as a reminder.

Maybe music is so moving to us because it reveals something about our souls. That part inside that no ones sees and we really just don’t fully understand. Maybe when you start tapping your toes to that sweet beat, your really letting your soul express itself in a way it can’t do otherwise.

When you go to a foreign country and you don’t know the language, you need a translator to make your stay effective and fun. You need to know what’s going on. If you don’t have a translator, even if you know where you are in the world, you would be….lost.

Maybe music is a translator. The language of our souls is so complex and sometimes foreign that we need to translate it so we are not…lost.

You can learn a lot about a person by the music they listen to.

It’s an extension of yourself, an expression of the person’s soul. We can get closer to God through music. We can find out about ourselves through music. Since God created us, if we find out more about ourselves, don’t we find out more about God?

Music is beautiful. You are beautiful. God is beautiful. God created music. Just another fact that points to His absolute creativity and undeniable imagination.

Enjoy the music…

What are your top 5 favorite songs of all time?

Hit me up on Twitter @andydenen, Instagram @adenen, and Facebook.com/andy.denen and let me know.

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