Earlier this week we posted about the power of the key change in evangelical praise songs. Read the post here.
Fred Clark noticed our post at his popular Patheos blog “Slacktivist.” He has obviously thought more about this. Here is a taste of his wonderfully-titled post “When will this strong yearning end?“:
I call this the Manilow Effect. The fact that a well-timed key change may be predictable, cheesy, and transparently manipulative won’t prevent it from working. You don’t have to like the song or to admire the song or to enjoy the song. You can even viscerally resent its contrived schmaltz. But none of that will prevent you from experiencing a brief sensation of exultation that you have, at last, made it through the rain and found yourself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it throooough.
That is what it is, but it shouldn’t be confused with an experience of actual worship any more than it should be confused with actual heartbreak for Mandy, who came and who gave without taking before you sent her away.
On a related note, I’d bet that in the hands of a talented worship band “Weekend in New England” could — with very few changes to the lyrics — inspire a very successful altar call. That’s partly because of the genius of Barry Manilow’s key changes, but mainly it’s because we haven’t really understood or examined what it is we’re doing or measuring when we think of “a very successful altar call.”
Read the entire post here.
A friend on Twitter sent this along: