Our friend Jennifer Knapp, who put on a special Living in the Tension concert for us back in 2012, has been working on a book, and it’s been out for not-quite 2 months. If you’ve ever been a Knapp fan, you ought to try to pick up a copy of the book when you get the chance. If you need more motivation, here’s this review:
In 1998 I had just discovered I liked to write. I spent hours alone in my room at night writing some of the worst poetry ever committed against the English language, but it was a necessary stage. Much of my creative excitement came from listening to music, just as it does now, except that back then that music was mostly Christian. I gravitated toward the more introspective end of the Christian rock scene, soaking in the moody-but-safe lyrics of Jars of Clay, Sixpence None the Richer, Sarah Masen and others. It was around this time that my CD club (remember CD clubs?) sent me the debut album from a singer-songwriter named Jennifer Knapp.
That first album was titled Kansas, and had a rootsy folk sound with surprisingly honest lyrics for a young female Christian artist at the time. CCM wanted its young women to smile, be very pretty, and be very happy all of the time. Knapp wore grungy clothes and growled out the lyrics on her more aggressive songs. She wrote about doubt and sin and failure, and while pretty, she made no real attempt to match the American church’s image of femininity. I liked her.
“The Bible does well to illuminate and honor the selflessness and forgiveness required to keep love in motion, yet, at times, seems to suggest that God’s love is reserved for only a chosen few. It’s difficult to manage the idea that God only rewards those who do a certain amount of ‘right.’ It’s mystifyingly complicated and alluring to me all the same. Before I became a Christian, and even now, I find myself readily angry that religion is rife with judgments born from facile assessments of good versus evil, but I cannot deny that if it were not for stumbling into this world, I might not be alive today.” – from Facing the Music, page 71
Knapp soared in popularity, headlining her own tours and even temporarily mentoring a brand new Christian artist being groomed for success by her record label – Katy Hudson (Hudson never really made it in CCM, but she changed her name to Katy Perry and did alright for herself elsewhere. Heard of her?). Knapp put out several more albums and then, as quickly as she’d arrived, completely disappeared from the scene in late 2002. Gone. Poof.
Read the rest of the review here, and if you want to go ahead and purchase your own copy (and Christmas gift copies, while you’re at it), click here to support the work of The Marin Foundation with your Amazon purchases.