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The Great Divide
by Paul Landkamer
12/06/05
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Christianity Today called Scott Stapp's solo album, The Great Divide, a sort of re-make of Scott's older Creed work. For lack of originality, they rated it two of five stars. I bought a copy today (5 Dec. '05). I love it! I'm calling it a five of five.

My son introduced me to Creed. I liked their sound, but never seriously listened to them because of their somewhat ambiguous message. I liked what Focus on the Family said about Creed. They're a secular band, but if you have to go secular, they're a decent pick. I trust both Christianity Today and Focus on the Family. They're both usually right-on in their assessments.

There's a big difference between spiritual and Christian. Many ideas considered to be spiritual may be as far from Jesus as is Satan. Likewise, many of those ideas could have come directly from the Red Letters. I didn't want to buy stuff from a merely spiritual band. From some of my son's comments on my other music, I'd probably like Marilyn Manson's sound, too. A sound isn't enough for me any more. That's why I don't know Creed's work other than I like their sound.

Without knowing Creed's work, Scott Stapp is a new artist for me. So what if the album is a re-working of older stuff? It's a great case of "What I don't know won't hurt me." Collective Soul is another "spiritual" band I likely will never really know, though they've got a great sound, and some folks even hint that they might be Christian. If one of them went solo as a "Christian" the music would be new to me, just like Stapp's.

All that said, many of you probably haven't a clue about what musical sounds to expect from Scott Stapp. Reviewers and fans call Creed "alternative," and Christianity Today says Stapp sounds like Creed. If you don't know "alternative," you're still clueless.

Alternative was born in the early '90s as an "alternative" to big-hair and Spandex metal and arena rock. Remember when everyone sounded like Guns and Roses? That, to me, was terribly monotonous. Alternative is fairly heavy music, but lots more artistic than big-hair music. My son pointed out that the vocals are usually melodic and sung, rather than screamed or rapped. I think most alternative has a retro late-'60s heavy flavor.

Like Alice Cooper did in the mid '90s with the three back-to-back Christian albums, Last Temptation, Brutal Planet, and Dragontown, Scott Stapp came out of the dungeon to give us The Great Divide. Heavy retro and with a Christian message makes Scott Stapp a five in my rating system. Thanks, Scott!

Christianity Today Review of The Great Divide
Christianity Today interview with Scott Stapp
Article on Creed (close, but not the exact reference --anyway, I didn't exactly quote that Focus on the Family-backed radio program)

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