Song Of The Day 12/5/2013: Larry Norman - "I Am The Six O'Clock News"

Larry Norman (1947-2008) was and remains the greatest Christian pop/rock artist ever. Some might prefer the bullethead polemics of Keith Green, but I could never get past that picture of him holding up his index finger as if he was about to drop a mind-blowing axiom to a gaggle of upturned, formless chins. I don't like it when you point. Or maybe you like the relative purity of Amy Grant, the arena-saving strains of Casting Crowns or MercyMe, the savvy earth-heaven fusion of Mat Kearney (I genuinely like Mat Kearney) or the terrible idea to begin with that was Stryper.

But none of them held a candle to Larry Norman, who wrote songs that questioned the moral and philosophical centers of both Christians like him and heathens like myself. I don't know where Norman would fit in today's inspirational music landscape -- he was a little too honest about mankind's fallibilities and shortcomings, whereas I sense there's a big pressure in contemporary Christian music to arrive perfect and not complain about anything (or complain really quietly, with a regretful hiccup and a strangled teardrop in your voice). Norman was pissed off half the time, like on "I Am The Six O'Clock News," which says everything Don Henley tried to say in "Dirty Laundry" without the unctuous superiority complex.

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