Colton Dixon: One Shining ExampleBy Joseph R. Atilano
Colton Dixon is one “American Idol” alumnus who has taken the Christian worship music route. His experience in “American Idol” didn’t change much his original music inclinations prior to his auditioning and making it to the finals of the show. There were a few signs though during the duration of the reality show that it seemed he would end up just like everybody else when he performed a rendition of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.
Thankfully he now doesn’t cover anymore songs from her. This shows that the glitz and glamor of “American Idol” didn’t rub off on him.
Instead, “American Idol” just provided him with a bigger platform and worldwide exposure he needed and it is because of these advantages/benefits that people recognize who he is.
However, name familiarity/name recall can only get one so far. Sure, it might get some people to purchase your cd but if the music doesn’t deliver, then he might just be remembered as one more guy from American Idol. But after listening to Colton Dixon’s first CD, he isn’t just another “American Idol” graduate with a forgettable name and a generic look.
In my opinion, he knows exactly who he is and what he is all about, as if to say he wears proudly on his sleeve being categorized as a Christian worship artist. That unique distinction alone separates him from the rest of the Season 11 finalists. Add to that his outward physical appearance that reminds me more of an 80′s punk-rock singer with his bleached mohawk, leather jacket and slick black boots.
It is just enough for anyone to take a second look at him. But that is just his personality showing. His choice of wardrobe only lends some distinction to him from the rest from a physical standpoint. But just maybe, it can also be used to call the attention from listeners and fans of the show to take notice of Colton Dixon.
Once you listen to the debut studio-release of Colton Dixon titled “A Messenger” from the first track to the last, it shows his faith which shines through in the album.
Even prior to joining “American Idol” and reaching the finals before his being eliminated, he was already an active performer of Christian-based music. His single “You Are” is a resounding piece of worship music that can be played in any worship service and wouldn’t sound a tad cheesy.
The structure of the song may be a bit redundant but with such a strong chorus accompanied by the electric guitar surging and the pounding of the drums, it only highlights the calling that Colton Dixon has heeded. Because it does almost feel like it is an invitation to others to praise God more, although he doesn’t specifically mention the word God. When you hear the line “You are the air I breathe in. You are the hope I’m needing,” you know he is referring to a Higher Power. That line is a testament of how deep his faith is, that he doesn’t have to physically see to know that the Spirit is around.
Some may think of nothing when they hear lines like that. But when was the last time I have heard something as honest and sincere as that line? It has been a very long time and that is the way music should also feel like. It is music that reflects who the artist is and not what an artist is trying to be and appearing as. If self-identity would be a factor or reason to purchase his debut album from Sparrow Records, then this album has loads of it.
Now when it comes to the production value of the album, which is a different matter. While Colton does deliver big in his articulate selection of his lyrics in each song, some tracks I feel required a little more “fine tuning” from the people behind the boards because there are a few tracks in the album in which the noise levels are not balanced out. A perfect example of this is the track ironically titled “Noise” wherein Colton’s voice gets drowned out by the guitars and drums.
His voice takes secondary importance in the track. The engineering of “Noise” could have been given more attention to clean up the sound and lessen the output of decibels by not churning up the instrumentation so much.
In my opinion, the strength of Christian worship lies in the singer. But when you can’t make out clearly what he is trying to say, no matter how good his words may be if the surrounding instrumentation is too loud or too overwhelming, then that is a flaw.
While there are a few negative traits/qualities in the album, the good does still outweigh the lacking spots. One of the characteristics I noticed in his songs is that Colton can encapsulate into words what he is exactly trying to say and it doesn’t sound like he is feeling around in the dark thinking of the next words to say. His music just flows and it sounds right for an artist such as him.
When you have a gift for singing as Colton Dixon has, you can either choose to develop that gift or take it for granted. Colton has taken his gift to new heights to express and show his gratitude to God. That attitude is so refreshing to have from an artist because admittedly, we are living in a society that is getting jaded by the day and more cynical by the minute and it does feel that way at times.
Music really is one of the few refuges we have left and when music is represented in such a spiritual manner as Colton Dixon does, then he is really something else. Because the way society thinks and behaves will always be reflected in the music we listen to. Music like this calms the senses and reminds me of the things we should be grateful for. Music really represents the good and the bad sides of life.
Colton Dixon is one shining example of the good that still exists in all of us and those who still believe in it.
Music wise, I feel that Colton Dixon has found his place already and he does have a future in the music he represents for many more years to come.
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