Jennifer Knapp – does anyone really care?

Posted: July 14, 2010 in Church, Music, mutterings
Tags: , ,

For those people who haven’t heard of her, Jennifer Knapp was a semi famous Christian singer back in the late 90s. I say semi famous because… well you’d have to have known about Christian music to have heard of her. (It may have been different in America).

I’m starting to see her name pop up again on Twitter and various RSS feeds. Not because her first album in nearly ten years is any good but because she has come out as being gay… oh… and she has a new album as well.

Cross Rhythms has an interesting article called Jennifer Knapp’s sexuality causes controversy in US Christian retail – it asks stores in America if they are stocking her new album… and asks why not. The response mostly seems to be “no – no one has heard of her”. Where stores have taken her album of the shelves, the sentiment seems to be “Thank God for Grace”.

I cant help but wonder if the Christian Press has made a bigger deal out of Jennifer Knapp being a lesbian then is needed, and in the process giving her a bag full of free publicity.

While we’re on the topic, has anyone heard the new album – if so, is it any good?

Cross Rhythms

Christianity Today

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Comments
  1. A Music Lover says:

    In my opinion, the album is the best she’s written. The others are all quite good, but I always found myself skipping a song here or there. I can listen to this one straight through over and over again. Smartly written, superb production, beautiful melodies, provocative narrative. This one ranks in my top 3 albums of all times; alongside Patty Griffin’s “Living With Ghosts” and Emmylou Harris’ “Wrecking Ball.” Yes, it’s that good.

    Why not listen to it yourself? It’s available for free streaming in it’s entirety on her website: http://www.jenniferknapp.com.

  2. Diane says:

    Her new work is excellent. You might want to checkout the freebies on her website, or just pay the 5 buck to Amazon for the July sale. It doesn’t say much that you didn’t know that she’s giving a bunch of her music away for free/really cheap.

    As for the “free” publicity: she’s been all but torn apart by the various blogs, youtube vlogs, and the venom on her facebook page and her own web page (it got so bad they turned the comment section off). Things have kind of calmed down from the “Burn in Hell, Lezbo!” stage, but not by much.

    Do some research, she’s done a few interviews where she talks about why she left music, why she came back and the challenges of being Christian and gay.

    And, yep – people really do care.

  3. scribbled fish says:

    …but why…?

    The article I linked to, seemed to suggest that most stores didn’t stock her new music… because they didn’t care about the artist.

    That had me wondering if people really are that upset about her coming out, or if it was the Christian press making it seem a bigger deal then it is.

    @Music Fan – Thanks for the link. http://www.jenniferknapp.com is worth checking out – Really very cool album!

    • A Music Lover says:

      A rather tame explanation for your ‘why?’ is simply that Jennifer has been out of rotation and airplay for several years now. Thus, retail will claim there is not a demand for her music.

      However, I suspect, and the article you linked is only the second on such matters, that it has more to do w/ the fact that she is gay. Some Christian retailers will claim that customers expect it to be withdrawn from the shelves, others such as Lifeway will flat out state that they did so because they can actively support an artist living in ‘sin.’ Don’t get me started on how two-faced and hypocritical a lot of these stances are. At the end of the day, it’s mostly just excuses for the retailers not to support an extremely talented artist; who really does have some very good things to say, and I would even argue her faith and spirituality is even more authentic in both the music and her words.

      Although keep in mind, this record was released to the general market as an independent album; which also gives Christian retail an out not to sell it. What irritates me, is that instead of just saying something to the effect of we sell Christian marketed merchandise here; thus we couldn’t carry the album… they some how feel the need to vilify Jennifer in stories such as these.

      And unfortunately, yes, she’s experienced a back lash from a bit of her former fan base (and even some supposed Christians who weren’t even fans before but feel the self-righteous need to condemn her now)…but there have been others who have decided to follow along in the conversation; as well they should.

      It’s a shame that people are missing out on such a beautiful record.

      @scribbledfish Glad you got a chance to check out the site and album. Truly spread the word. It’s a beautiful piece of art. It can be bought straight from JK on her site or Amazon is promoting it as a $5.00 digital download the entire month of July.

  4. Diane says:

    @scribblefish: First, I need to apologize to you. I just read my response to your query, and I’m sorry for being a jerk to your sincere question.

    About a month ago, Derek Webb – a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) artist who has had his battles with the CCM industry, did an radio interview on the Drew Marshall Show (broadcast in Canada). Since Mr. Webb knows the industry, and knows Jennifer Knapp (he was on tour with her when the “news” broke), it’s a rare glimpse into how the Christian music industry works and may help answer your question.

    http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen2010.html

    The interview is from June 26, 2010 – look under “Special Guests.”

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