Lifehouse “rocks” Harding
I’ve been trying to figure out what I would say in my review since last night’s concert ended, and I’m still somewhat stumped. First, let’s get a few things straight. I love live music, and I always have. Of the 30 or so bands I have seen over the last six years, there have been good and bad performances. The worst was Tesla at this year’s Beale Street Music Festival, and the best was Collective Soul, who immediately followed Tesla at the same show. Also, I’ve started to acquire a taste for Christian music, after years of thinking it was all inferior to secular music (despite being a Christian myself). Switchfoot is now one of my favorite bands, and there are others I’ve begun to like.
Lifehouse kind of gets lumped in with Switchfoot, Relient K, and others as bands that are pseudo-Christian, meaning that they’re trying to make it in mainstream music while their songs feature Christian themes. Of course I was familiar with their radio hits, especially “Hanging by a Moment,” and I figured they were decent enough. After all, I loved Sister Hazel and Vertical Horizon, which had similar radio track records.
Something felt missing, though, with Lifehouse. Often, a band will leave you wanting more after the end of the show, and that’s a good thing. Lifehouse just left me wanting another band, preferably a more talented one. Now, before any girls start thinking I’m jealous of Jason Wade (that hunk of a lead singer) and his sexy voice and amazing songwriting skills, I’ll point out again that Switchfoot (from what I can tell) has a similar appeal, and I love them. Wade’s lyrics were decent enough, and he was confident enough to tell us that one particular song, when he sang it for a girl, made him her next boyfriend. The music, however, was severely lacking in originality. Lifehouse just wasn’t able to keep my interest.
Maybe I’ve been to too many concerts, and I’m just jaded by music that’s actually good, or maybe Lifehouse just sucks. I’d say that reality is somewhere in between. They have a few decent songs, and Wade wasn’t a terrible singer, but the problem was that all their songs sound the same. I can handle one sappy-but-not-all-that-powerful love song, but not fifteen. They all had a trademarked slow guitar solo that’s supposed to be emotionally powerful but really just isn’t very good.
What perhaps amazed me the most is that everyone was buying their schtick. I like Christian music, even their brand that doesn’t really admit that it’s Christian. They just don’t do anything to distinguish themselves from any other rock band. They have no discernible exceptional musical talents, and the lyrics and melodies are barely average. So what’s their draw? I just don’t get it. If I have to choose between mildly inspirational lyrics with little musical value and, say, a book, I’ll take the book every time.
Okay, so maybe I’ve been a little harsh. I’m just not impressed with Lifehouse because I’ve seen other bands do so much more. “Hanging by a Moment,” “Spin,” and “Sick Cycle Carousel” are good enough songs for the radio, but that’s about all I can say for them. In my opinion, there’s a lot better music you can listen to out there. So, with all that said, you can call me a cynic, but please don’t call me a Lifehouse fan.