A Kinda Sorta Review of the New U2 Record

THE RECORD

Almost every review of the newest U2 record Songs of Innocence has told me more about the the reviewer and their issues than the record itself. When a reviewer starts admitting that they “don’t really like U2 that much” or by saying that they haven’t liked a U2 record since Actung Baby, why should we care what they say? When a reviewer spends (as many of them did) the opening half of the review critiquing and complaining about the way or method the band released the record, what does that actually tell us about the music itself? The answer is of course: nothing.

I actually like the new U2 record. It’s not their best record, but it’s certainly not their worst. The songs themselves are far better than most of the critics have given credit for. The final result of Dangermouse’s production work is a debatable point but again, it’s an interesting take on the music of the most iconic band since the Beatles. So now that we’ve had a few weeks to come to terms with the music and implication of the records surprise marketing/distribution method maybe we can look for some takeaways?

Instead of debating the finer points of U2’s latest offering, I would like to look at the response it has drawn. I feel like looking at Songs Of Innocence’s reception will shed light on issues that affect us as worship leaders and church musicians.

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The Electric: Does Tone Matter?

des tone matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On forums, on blogs, on Facebook, on Instagram. Worship guitarist posts pic after pic of their pedalboards, or their amps, or their guitars. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Then every so often a “really spiritual” person writes a blog post or a thread forum on how we need to remember that none of it matters… and then we go on posting our pics.

How much does “good tone” really matter? Does it make a difference to the bar band but not the worship band? Am I less Spiritual if I care about how my guitar sounds? Am I more spiritual if I don’t?

Let’s talk about it.

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The Electric: Fuzz In Worship

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about using Fuzz pedals in worship.

The question is asked often enough on internet forums and blogs: Can I use a Fuzz pedal in worship? The answer to this question is the answer to every gear related question the church guitarist may ask: Yes. Maybe. Depends.  So as we walk through the reasons why or why not to use Fuzz pedal at church, you can take the same principles and apply them to any other piece of gear.

So… can I use Fuzz in Worship?

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I’d Like To Play More

Recently, the question was put to me: I’d like to play more at church but the worship leader seems to always be picking others over me, what can I do about this?

The truth is that this is a complex issue. I know a lot of worship leaders who really like someone personally but they aren’t a good fit for whatever reason and the WL doesn’t like conflict so they just use them as little as possible. Sometimes another person is being picked over someone for valid reasons. That other person is being raised up for long term leadership, or the worship leader has figured out that out of three players one really only has the availability because of work or school to do worship so they get a shot more than people who have the ability or time to serve elsewhere. Is that right or wrong? I don’t know, but it is a reality in many churches.

If you’re feeling overlooked or passed over or simply just want to play a little more, what should you do? Here’s some thoughts that will hopefully be helpful.

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4 Ways To Make Your Worship Team Better

My friends over at The Church Collective have a new post up by Rob Carona that I think it worth your time called “4 Ways To Release The Potential Of Your Worship Team”.

I highly recommend this article to you.

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The Electric: Signal Chain

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll continue the conversation about finding the best amp for worship.

 

How have I never written a Signal Chain post? It’s almost criminal. Signal Chain posts are the Tube Screamer’s of guitar blogging! So after two and a half years, I think it’s finally time.

SIGNAL CHAIN

So you’ve got some pedals now, and you’re putting them together. Maybe they’re all Boss pedals (which is pretty much all we had back when I started) so you’ve just ordered them by color. That’s ok right? Well… not quite.

We order in pedals in a certain way (signal chain) because of the effects it has on the sound waves. For example a vibrato pedal affects the shape of the wave form while a delay pedal just repeats that shape. So the order you put the pedals affects the sound you get, and in some cases the way a pedal will act or respond.

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The Electric: Worship Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll continue the conversation about finding the best amp for worship.

 

Last week I gave some thoughts about finding the best amp to use for worship leading (HERE).  This week I thought it might be helpful to write out a check list or buyers guide of sorts that you can use as a tool in your search for you amp. The goal of this tool isn’t to tell you what to buy but to help bring clarity to your decision process.

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Easter Is Coming

It’s Easter Week!

For the Christian, this is the best of all holidays. While Christmas and the coming of Christ is wonderful, and Thanksgiving and taking time for to give thanks, and spend time with family is terrific, none of it matters without Easter. Even Good Friday, and Jesus’ death on the cross are meaningless if didn’t rise from the dead. Easter has historically also been a time when people are more likely than any other time to attend church, so churches tend to plan and schedule accordingly.

With all that in mind, here’s a few random thoughts on leading worship Easter weekend from RealWorldWorship.Org:

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Which Delay and Does It Matter?

This article is part of The Month Of Delay at the Real World Worship blog. All throughout the month of March we will be looking at different aspects of the delay effect in worship music.

 

We’ve covered the three main types of delay (Tape, Analog, and Digital) in previous posts. But which one should you put on your board? Is one better than the other? Will anyone in my church notice the difference?
WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?

If you are only going to put one delay on your pedalboard then I would recommend the one that gives you the most options. Either the Nova delay or the Alter Ego, both by TC Electronics would be my recommendation, depending on what you want/need and what your board space is (the Nova for larger boards, the AE for smaller space needs).

But really any type of delay will accomplish the same goal, which is to created repeated copies of the notes you play. (See why we use delay HERE). Ultimately I will all come down to personal preference so test out a lot of options before you make your decision.

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Digital Delay

This article is part of The Month Of Delay at the Real World Worship blog. All throughout the month of March we will be looking at different aspects of the delay effect in worship music.

“Understand that something may be true for one type of effect or piece of musical gear but not for another”

WHAT IS IT?
The last of the three main types of delay to hit the market, Digital Delay pedals use microchips and digital processing to convert your analog signal and create almost limitless repeats. In addition to creating crisp, clean and clear digital repeats, digital delay can be used to simulate or emulate the sounds and characteristics of the other two types of delay: Tape and Analog.

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