United Brethren has retired.


Mormon music is, by and large, rubbish. I'm afraid that includes the Songs of Zion too. I would love one day to be Ward Music Director so I can ban forever the singing of such stinkers as "Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel", "I Stand All Amazed", and "We Are All Enlisted". Let me say that I have nothing against the sentiment of these hymns, it's just that they are really horrible to sing. There are some good hymns: "Come, Come, Ye Saints", "Thy Spirit Lord", and anything by Vaughn Williams (English, you see).

Mormon "pop" is awful. Jingly, jangly junk. And don't get me started about the CES Seminary tapes... A friend of mine wrote about Mormon music in Dialogue (Warrick Kear: LDS Sound World and Global Mormonism) and complained that Mormon music (think JKP) was wholly "feminine" and had nothing to stir the boys. I'm not sure he was calling for Mormon Rock, although there are some practioners like Mark Hansen of Mo'Boy blog.

Now, if we had lots of good LDS guitar-music would I set aside my Pearl Jam Cd's? No, but, Oh Ye Mormon Musicians, please give us something with an edge.

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 12, 2004 3:29 PM) 

Thanks for the plug! I mostly agree with you. Overall, the LDS music world targets 35 year old housewives, so there's not much left for us who want to get our edge goin'...

But there are some bright spots. I really like Greg Simpson, and I like the SW and RM soundtracks, too.



Posted by Mark Hansen


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 12, 2004 4:00 PM) 

I totally agree about the lack of great music.

(Short story to illustrate):

I went to a Singles Dance (I know, why bother...sigh) who's theme was Mormon Music Mania. I thought it would be an interesting event, featuring music who's creators also happen to be Mormon. BIG MISTAKE! I almost threw my head into the punch bowl just to silence the horror!

Posted by Lizzy


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 12, 2004 4:15 PM) 

I have to confess to listening to JKP as a young woman, but now I don't really hear that much worth listening to. Although I agree with Mark the soundtrack to Singles Ward was funny. I can't stand the MTC and loathe some of the hymns we sing. Born Agains have plenty of christian rock music - surely in a membership of 12 million there's got to be a few dozen people who could do the same for a mormon audience 

Posted by Rebecca


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 12, 2004 4:22 PM) 

surely in a membership of 12 million there's got to be a few dozen people who could do the same for a mormon audienceWell, Mark is one, and he refers to others. MTC = Mo'Tab, right? They can be good, when they don't warble.


Posted by Ronan


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 12, 2004 4:37 PM) 

MTC=Mo'Tab - yes, One of my favourite spiritual recordings is their version of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (why it was taken out of the hymn book I'll never know!) But I don't think they can ever be really good, as they're too big. It makes it impossible to have good diction - which has improved under the new director, but if you didn't already know the hymns they were singing, it would be a lot harder to understand them.

There are good mormon composers - Kurt Bestor's soundtrack to 'The Lamb of God' is very moving, but something a bit more invigorating at times would be nice. I haven't heard any of Mark's music, so am not able to comment, although I'm sure it's great, but it will take more than one or two to revolutionise the mormon music scene.


Posted by Rebecca


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 13, 2004 1:54 AM) 

The best rendition of "Come Thou Font" I've ever heard is by a Celtic band called Fiddlesticks (http://fiddle-sticks.com). It's a family band, but they're fully professional quality. They've done four or so CD's so far and play all over the world, but mostly in the western US. They were finally recognized with a Pearl Award last year (The Pearl is like the grammy for the mormons) Great stuff.

The SW soundtrack was fun. There were, however, some tunes on the RM soundtrack that I felt were able to stand alone as works of art, apart from the movie, especially Kirby Heybourne's "Hie To Kolob".

It will take more than one or two. It will also take time. Unfortunately, most of the 12 million members of the church are even unaware that there IS an LDS music scene. In the meantime, most church members have the impression that LDS pop is all JKP and Michael McLean. It IS more varied than that, but it's still got a long way to go. That's why I mostly listen to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). It's an uphill battle.



Posted by Mark Hansen


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 13, 2004 1:56 AM) 

Another thought: if you don't mind another shameless plug...

I'm a part of a yahoogroup for LDS musicians, and every year we put out a compilation CD. This year's CD is particularly varied, and I'm really excited about it. http://ldsstyles.com/

Thanks! I'll shut up, now...


Posted by Mark Hansen


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 13, 2004 8:39 AM) 

Another good source of better LDS music (although it leans to the folky side of things) is the Timpanogos Singer/Songwriter alliance. Included at the website is a helpful listing of upcoming concerts for those of you who are in Utah. 

Posted by John Crawford


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 15, 2004 3:18 PM) 

Here is the problem as I see it. it is not so much the content of the songs, as it is the tendancy that the organ player has to lull the congregation to sleep with a funeral march. even the best of songs can absolutely be killed by these people.

I remember the first time I heard "Called to Serve Him" at it's truely recommended tempo. I really wanted to go out and kick some butt, "Onward Chirstian Soldiers" at a lively pace will have a similar effect of wanting to make you run out and grab your guns for the Lord. Sung at a slow leisurely pace though, these things are more akin to watching paint dry, or washing your cat.

As far as contemporary music goes... Keep the Mormons OUT! We have this bizzare cuture in the church that makes some people light up at the thought that ehy may have a small amount of talent. They produce an album, and then they figure..., "Hey, I am Mormon, you are Mormon, you should buy my stuff." You get people like Janice Kapp Perry. Sure she has written some great childrens songs for the kiddies, leave it with them. THe wiggles do kid stuff too, doesn't mean I want a captain Feather sword t-shirt.

Isn't there enough good music out there? why do we have to get out noses stuffed in there and screw things up. If you want to listen to rock, listen to rock, not some jazzed up version of, "I am a Child of God." Leave the hymns to MoTab.

THat goes for books too. Just because you are the gospel doctrine teacher of the Beaver Utah 45th ward, doesn't make you any kind of an expert on anything. If you feel compelled to write a book, do it, then burn it. And for those compelled to buy these silly books and then quote from the pulpit out of them, I say... STOP! Just because a Mormon wrote it, and you bought it at a LDS website or bookstore, does not make it gospel. Music, books, DVD's...ugh!

Give me Led Zepplin any day... Stairway to heaven is spiritual isn't it? 

Posted by Jake


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 16, 2004 9:53 AM) 

Stairway to heaven is spiritual isn't it?Yeah, the kind of spiritual that requires a bit of Puff the Magic Dragon :)

Posted by Ronan


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 18, 2004 9:32 PM) 

such stinkers as "Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel", "I Stand All Amazed", and "We Are All Enlisted"

I don't understand how a beautiful spiritual hymn like "I Stand All Amazed" got into the same category as the two others listed. I love that song! If you could know the effect that song has on my recently converted husband (baptized a year and a half ago), you might understand how that hymn touches the heart and spirit.
I don't too much care for the others, but this one I will defend. I do stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. Flabbergasted, sometimes. Always humbled. 

Posted by Peggy Snow Cahill


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 19, 2004 9:32 AM) 

I think Jake expresses what I really mean. Again, I have nothing against the sentiment of these songs (I too stand all amazed), but I *stand all amazed* not I stand all depressed and miserable as this hymn drones on and on (because it's played TOO SLOW!) Each to his/her own. 

Posted by Ronan


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (May 27, 2005 4:01 AM) 

Jake YOU crack me up..... Many of your comments and I can be silent no longer. WAY TO GO JAKE....lol Anyway My Uncle who owns a resturant some Mormon wanted to put him out of business. Hes not mormon he has no idea, but he actually believed that this Mormon would get up and say in Sacrament meeting TO stop attending My uncles resturant and start attending his or their souls would be in termoil for not supporting him as their brother. I laughed but hearing these comments makes me see where he could have come up with something so obsurd. SO all If I write a book and its just Not good literature will you all buy it? What if at the end it says After all Guys Im a mormon support me please..... lol How many mormons are there now? Think I could make some good money off it? lol

Posted by Janice


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 14, 2005 1:59 PM) 

you guys are all idiots 

Posted by walton


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