Idol Chatter

DCTalk070703.jpgThe “Jesus Freaks” have grown up, as has their audience, a dynamic captured nicely in the new release entitled “dcTalk: Greatest Hits.” Since Christian songs often linger in terms of airplay, it actually takes a compilation CD such as this to remind us of how many hits dcTalk has had and how far their music has come. They had a “greatest hits” CD called “Intermission” several years ago, but this one is more selective, broader, and closes stronger.
“Jesus Freak” is the song that launched them, back in the day when it was considered radical to stand up and claim “Jesus Freak”-ness. Many of their hits since then, such as “Colored People,” “Between You and Me,” “Consume Me,” and “What if I Stumble” will be recognizable to many seeker- or mega-church attendees who don’t know dcTalk but have heard the songs at church or church concerts.
The songs of dcTalk also reflect the evolution of evangelical Christian thought over the last two decades, as they’ve been a leading (if not prophetic) voice within the culture of the movement. They’ve always been young and cool-looking guys with a tremendous fan following, but they’ve also managed to have a wider influence among Cultural Creatives, Busters, Boomers and their kids. Their ability to do rap, pop, and rock–and combinations–is attractive.
From the 80s’ beat of their first few songs, we’re reminded of how long dcTalk has been around. The last song, “Red Letters,” from the “Supernatural” album, pre-dated the current “Red Letter Christian” or “Jesus Christian” movement. For their version of “Jesus is Just Alright,” they improved on the Doobie Brothers’ version (at least if you’re sober) and showed their attractiveness for a crossover audience.
Whether you’re on the political or religious right, left, or in the middle, you may well like this compilation, especially since it’s more selective (16 fine songs) than the one they came out with several years ago, and this one has a DVD with the deluxe edition.

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