Theology

“Of Men and Angels” – and why you shouldn’t buy albums on iTunes

April 9, 2010

Per my brother’s suggestion, I just picked up a physical copy of The Rocket Summer’s new album “Of Men and Angels.” There’s something I love about having an actual copy of the album in my hands, as opposed to buying the album online. Whenever I buy a new CD, the first thing I do is pop it into my laptop to download it to my computer, and while that is happening I pull out the lyric book and thumb through it. I like to see the album art, skim through the lyrics, and see if the artist has anything to say about songs or in their “thank-you’s.” So when I got home I did that with “Of Men and Angels,” and found three interesting things.

1) Even if you don’t like the music Bryce Avary writes and records for The Rocket Summer, you have to give him props since he truly is a one-man-band. On the last page of the insert is this:

“Produced by… All music and lyrics written and arranged by… All vocals, drums, piano, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, percussion, synthesizers, organ and other keys performed by… Bryce Avery.”

2)  Bryce Avary gives commentary on his cover art:

“This cover is meant to illustrate my perceived reality of how when things in life are rough, perhaps they’re even supposed to be worse than they are. It’s about the importance of staying hopeful through life’s trials. I wanted to capture an image of someone that’s fallen on hard times and is focusing on the problems of life, but unbeknownst to this person on the other side of the wall is this angel, blocking so much from him.”

It’s a cool album cover idea, and a neat artistic representation. I wonder how much truth there is in that in life, particularly my life. How often do I focus on how hard or bad my life is when I don’t see the full picture and how much God is being gracious to me?

3) This is the first album that I have seen the Thank-you’s written differently than normal. He begins by thanking God (which is not unusual), but then the way he structures the rest of the Thank-you’s is significant: he doesn’t thank people, he thanks God for people who have contributed. I think that’s a better way to do it, and it’s more biblical. It’s interesting that Paul never thanks anyone, but he thanks God for people (see Rom 1:8, 1 Cor 1:4, Phil 1:3, Col 1:3, 1 Thess 1:2, 2 Thess 1:3, etc.). I think doing this gives us a better outlook on where blessings really come from and is a great reminder for you and the hearer. So I am trying to do this more in my life and change my language to fit with the true reality that “All good things come from above.”


Now, if I had just bought the CD on iTunes then I would have:


1) Paid $1 more for it.
2) Not had a hard copy to keep in my car or let other people listen to.
3) Not been able to see all the effort that went into making the album.
4) Not had a back-up in case my laptop dies.
5) And I would have missed these three insights, and perhaps more.

Next step: listen to the album and see if I like the music… 🙂

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