Shae Shoc Records
There are so many things that I love about this song.
And let me be clear. This song is probably not going to be considered by anyone as “great art.” It is not rife with moral ambiguity, or a profound sense of personal identity, and it doesn’t make any statements about any of the defining issues of our day, unless a general lack of love qualifies.
(Actually, now that I’m thinking about it… yes. Yes, it does.)
Because this is a song about love, wrapped up in a modern R&B/hip-hop shell and adorned with the most original and gimmicky song title in years, complete with Twitter hashtag for maximum trendability.
And maybe on a subconscious level, part of what I respect about this song is that it knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t try to do more. The style of the song, especially the hypnotic rhythm of the chorus, suggests a lyrical paradigm that doesn’t ask much of you, other than to nod to the music, and agree with the general premise, that we all need to put our love glasses on — whatever that means.
See, I’m already getting ahead of myself.
First, I really dig Beckah Shae’s voice. She has the voice of a modern R&B diva — playful but assured, smooth but still powerful. It carries enough punch that you want to hear what she has to say, but not so much that you can’t enjoy the delivery.
The playful vibe is augmented by her husband Jack “Shoc” Shocklee, who has a good feel for production. His synth chords and 808 beats are evocative of classic hip-hop, but unlike the more famous Shocklee duo (The Bomb Squad of Public Enemy fame), he eschews the overcrowded sampling or overly aggressive beat subdivision. Rather, he establishes a groove and lets it variate throughout the song. His instrumentals might not be that interesting by themselves, but he wisely gives room for Beckah’s expansive voice to fill the aural space.
And also, let’s just be honest, I love the chorus itself. It is, very, very catchy and fun to say — almost the evangelical equivalent of the classic woodchuck tongue twister, with all the “love”s and “putcha”s moshing around in your mouth. This is the positive version of the ridiculous pimpin-pimpin-pimpin-murder-murder-sell-drugs song from that Don’t Waste Your Life promo video. Catchy enough to spread.
The last, and most important thing, of course, is the meaning of the song. In case the above hyperlink to Beckah’s blog failed to interest you, I will just tell you. The meaning of the phrase “put your love glasses on,” is to abide in Christ to such a degree that you begin to see the world around you more like how he sees it, through a lens of love.
And I’m not ashamed to say that I need more reminders to do this, to walk and live in this way. Someone inconveniences me, someone gets on my nerves, and I need to be like, “RIGHT… love glasses… got it.”
Really, this song is one of the best examples I’ve seen recently of “Christian music,” that is, music by believers in Christ intended to virally spread His worldview. It’s not soul-wrenching emo, it’s not going to bring anyone to their knees or be the rock-you-to-the-core catalyst for a dramatic life conversion (at least, not that I can tell).
But it’s sticky, and according to Seth Godin, idea diffusion means that the sticky ideas rule. Well, in this case, sticky songs rule.
Which is why, “#putyourloveglasseson” is today’s Jam of the Moment.