There are few cover songs that I like. When a musical artist plays their own rendition of another artist’s song, I often find that the result is flat. To me it often sounds like an artist is doing their best impression of the artist they are covering and they inevitably fall short every time. Did you know that the new wave band, Blondie, did a cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire? I was not very impressed. I am also not in love with Tom Jones’ cover of Prince’s Kiss.
There is one recent band that has been doing some pretty interesting and enjoyable cover songs. Mexrissey is an all-Mexican band that covers the music of the former Smith’s frontman, Morrissey. Mexrissey takes the melodramatic music of this British rocker and infuses their uniquely Mexican flavor to it. This is not yet another cover band inadequately trying to imitate another musician. They have made the music their own while preserving the core of the songs. All of the songs they perform have been translated into Spanish and the traditional rock instrumentation of guitar, bass guitar, drums, and voice now include horns and are performed in a mariachi inspired style.
I really like Mexrissey because they were able to hold onto the core of the Morrissey songs including the familiar melodies, but managed to make them truly their own. They perform those old Morrissey songs in a fresh and contextual way.
The church is called into a similar relationship with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On the one hand, we have been entrusted with an old and timeless message. God so loved the world that God gave us Jesus Christ so that all who believe in him might have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. (John 3:16-17). At its core, that Gospel message never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus still is able and desires to save the world from the power of sin and death. The church has been called to proclaim that in Christ, all those powers that seek to separate us from each other and the love of God have been defeated on the cross. That message is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago. Continue reading