The Art of Compromise or The Compromise of Art

Gravity and Relativity

Out of the Grey lite. That’s what my husband Scott and I call Gravity, our fourth record. Actually, a fan came up to our CD table after a concert one night in 1995 and bestowed that description.

“I love all of your albums up to this point but this new one is more like Out of the Grey lite.”

Yikes! He was right.

Before recording Gravity, we’d written our ten songs and were ready to head into the studio. Monday morning, 10 AM downbeat. However, the Thursday before our scheduled session, the record label decided we didn’t have enough ‘radio-friendly’ songs.

What?

Scott and I dug in our heels for a short minute then went with the pressure to play the game. Over that weekend, we scrambled to write a few new songs with more pop appeal. Our producer, Charlie Peacock, helped us win approval by co-writing the songs, “When Love Comes to Life” and “Hope In Sight.”

Half of the songs and a lot of the production came out lacking what we thought of as Out of the Grey artistry. We did get some radio play, though.

At the end of the day, did we practice the art of compromise or did we compromise our art?

A Play on a Play

art of compromiseHave you seen the film, Bullets Over Broadway?

You could call it a play on a play. The story examines artistic integrity and how far an artist will go to protect and defend it—or lose it. It poses a question about the sometimes-dirty word compromise, asking if it has its place or if it is always reprehensible.

At the beginning of this 1994 release, David, a young playwright, tries to gather funds and cast members to perform his beloved work of art. Time constraints, human foibles, and money woes assail his stance on artistic integrity. At first, David stands his ground, refusing to give up control over his writing and his role as director. Nevertheless, when an underworld thug with the funds for production materializes and seems a godsend, David compromises. The catch of the money deal is that the gangster’s talentless girlfriend must play a small part.

After David softens his stance regarding talent and economics, taking the production money plus the girl, his agent leads him into other small compromises. As the play unfolds and rehearsals progress, David’s artistic integrity slips so far that he rewrites dialog at the behest of the manipulative lead actress. However, the playwright’s climactic sin is letting the goon who babysits the talentless young actress make changes in lines, scenes, and the plot. David recognizes that this mobster hitman is more talented than he. In the end, David is not an artist who is willing to stand by his original work.

This play about a play never reveals what the playwright’s play was actually about. We get the gist, though, that more drama, sex scandals, and realism are what the people want. Are the characters speaking our language? Does the plot mirror our own struggles? Have we left off the lofty and abstract so that the crowd can get the message point blank? Bullets fly at movie’s end when the story descends into an action-filled thriller.

Popular Art

The population at large loves what it can enjoy and comprehend without extra effort. As a pop music snob, I pooh-pooh much of the stuff that seems all fluff. I prefer a more complicated theme than, say, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” Having said that, I’m aware that other types of music-lovers wouldn’t call pop music ‘art’ at all.

To be sure, inside a fine art gallery, I might lift my eyebrows at the abstract and inaccessible. Impatient and ignorant, I don’t take the time to find the deeper meaning, moving further along the wall in search of served-up messages. When it comes to Art, I dig in my heels in relative places, drawing my own particular lines in the sand.

For example, I have written some artistically obscure songs like, “Becoming,” not caring whether anyone heard them or at least not worried that some might miss its message. However, I have certainly written songs with radio play in mind. Economic forces drove my compromise in the form of pressure from the record company and the mortgage company. One argument for concession goes something like this: if some of my art compromises its beauty for popularity sake, it will expose my more artistic pieces to a wider audience.

Mass Appeal

Many an Out of the Grey fan found us first on the radio. Before Gravity, our popularity had been growing. A lot of people told us they liked our fresh, left-of-center sound. Record sales were adding up and we wanted to capitalize on the momentum. It’s an old story.

art of compromise

The pressure to compromise can sideline even the best of intentions. When something good gets more popular, getting more becomes the modus operandi. For example, in the 1990s, Starbucks was just a cool cafe on the west coast. Scott and I had to mail-order their exotic blends and dark roasts. Nowadays, there’s a Starbucks on every corner, the McDonald’s of coffee some say. Compromising quality for quantity some complain.

However, mass-appeal has its appeal. It allows me to find a cheap knock-off of the expensive version of something or other I could otherwise not afford to purchase. As Meryl Streep schools Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada about the origin of the color of her cheap cerulean blue sweater, so I should take a lesson and remember that design is a gift with a steep price.

Mob Mentality

I am an artistic snob when I care to be and part of the mob when I don’t. If I don’t sink my toes into certain artistic fields of expression, I am tempted to pass by quickly with a quick judgment. I may think you are crazy if you only buy a carefully curated olive oil while you may drop your jaw at me for spending so much time choosing between “a” or “the” in a song lyric. You may secretly judge my mall clothes as fashion mongrels while I am arguing internally that you can’t possibly enjoy the ‘music’ of Florida Georgia Line.

art of compromise

From Nicholas Sparks and J.K. Rowling to Feodor Dostoevsky and Charles Dickens, with so many in between, who decides what is good art or bad, high quality or low? Certainly, mass appeal isn’t a consistent measuring stick because watered-down art proliferates even as the cream rises to the top.

Relative Obscurity

Positively speaking, compromise is a humbled move toward peace. It need not always be an act of artistic cowardice.

What’s my point? Humility, I guess. If pride in my fine taste stiffens my stance in one corner of the rug, someone will surely pull it out from under my feet with revelations of what I am missing. More than likely, what appeals to you has merits I haven’t investigated. Maybe you love every song and sound on Gravity. I’m glad if you do!

In keeping my knees unlocked and soft, I can walk your way and experience the view from your side of the room. You can show me what I’ve missed in Picasso and I can point out the genius of Sting. We can meet at Starbucks, maybe stop to shop at the mall, and go from there.

Out of the Grey’s fan base fell off sharply after the release of Gravity. Our follow-up, See Inside, never found the listeners we thought it deserved. Scott and I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we’d held our ground on how we wanted to shape our sound. The question will remain: does gravity suck or is it just a natural force that no artist can escape? The answer lies in the ears of the beholder. The rest is left to relative obscurity.

99 thoughts on “The Art of Compromise or The Compromise of Art”

  1. What a great article addressing the need to stay true to your art and the need to pay the bills! 🙂 I do like your “Gravity” cd. My favorite songs on there are “Hope In Sight” and “Gravity”. “Hope In Sight” is a great song to listen to especially when I am going thru hard times. It reminds me to have hope and keep my eyes on Jesus. “Gravity” is a great reminder that someday we will all die! My favorite album by Out of the Grey is “See Inside”. I want to encourage you to stay true to your art and produce songs that reflects you and Scott as real true authentic people. I look forward to hearing more music from you two in the future! I also stay true to my poetry writing as well! You can check out my e-book at the website listed below my e-mail! PS. I also love Florida Georgia Line! 🙂

  2. It is evident by your candor on this subject that much of your life revolves around songwriting in its multiple aspects: mentally, emotionally, and especially artistically.

    Last year, I envisioned a dream album of songs, which portray songwriting directly or tangentially: “I Can’t Understand” “Diamonds and Tears” “Never Again, Again” ” Cool Water” “I Don’t Know Why” “Unfolding” “The Hunger Stays” Falling Star” “Don’t Miss Me” “All Kinds of People” “Nothing but the Wheel” “I Keep Coming Back to You”. These songs attest that songwriting is like a hardship that carries one away to seek and find a world of creativity and lyrical expressiveness.

    Follow your heart’s intent!

    • Jim, I really like your description of songwriting as the “hardship” it is as well as a chance to get carried away!

  3. i have the see in side album and i love it i was a b day gift i got your music and scott because did a 30 hour famine in high school and the prize was your album on tape for rasing so much money and when you guys did not come out with a record until 200 1 i had woundered what happened con grats on being a grandmum i just be came a great aunt this year and on chole’s graduaiton think she was born in 1997 and i liked your gravliy gone are the days of just getting a cd or record and not knowing what is will sound like now all the down load able muisc ect. and at least you and scott have stayed married unlike other cocples who have not been able to make it 1997 and 1996 like such and easy time no one stealing your identy and i thought by the 2000’s we have peace i hoped for no more war but that did not happen.

  4. I can understand what you are saying about “Gravity”. I was not a great fan of some of the songs on the album for the very reasons you stated, and they were the songs that got airplay. But it has “The Weight of the Words” on it, which I think is the best song of the album, and this amazingly probing song for the complexities of the Christian life.

    “See Inside” was ahead of its time and maybe, sadly, still is. For a generation that wants milk and not meat, the album still isn’t understood. The lyrics and the music are complex and a rich feast for the soul. I can still say that after having danced two of 3 kids to sleep to it every night over a period of 6 years. (Lullabys didn’t work.) You’d think I would never want to hear the album again. But it’s beauty shines through.

    “6.1” was another misunderstood rare gem.

    Most airplay music today repeats the same words and phrases over and over with little nuisance.

    All of your albums that us on a journey. You need the whole to understand the parts. Each album is a pure work of art and needs to be appreciated as such.

    • Wendy, I appreciate you taking the time to really listen all of these years and offer such encouragement. I wish more people had heard See Inside and 6.1!!

      • Oh, so many thoughts! When I read the email subject line “Does Gravity Suck?”, I gasped out loud because Gravity and Diamond Days have remained in my (varied and eclectic) playlist and are regularly enjoyed. As I read, I found myself asking “Am I a ‘lemming’, and what do I specifically like about Gravity?”. There’s no specific answer to that… I gravitate (no pun intended) to different songs for different reasons. The Weight of the Words and Gravity are absolute favorites for various reasons, and Hope In Sight always makes my head bop and toes tap… I guess that was the intent. I listen as I respond, filled with great memories! The “What If” became less relevant because, either way, I cherish what I’m hearing.

        In another musical direction, I read an article recently about Prince and how he constantly battled with his label regarding writing radio-friendly songs versus those that reflected his own artistic direction. He dug in his heels when it really mattered, and he “played the game” and occasionally regurgitated radio-friendly fodder that became some of his most beloved classic hits. In his case, this back and forth was a battle that got nasty at times.

        It’s easy to second guess, and human nature to do so. As an artist, we defend our artistry because of what it means to us. As a Christian, I also believe that artistry is God-inspired. Music, most specifically, appeals to our spirit can take us on very personal journeys. With Out Of The Grey, your deeper songs might make me explore and reflect, which I love, but your “lite” offerings still serve a purpose… to draw out a smile or a quick escape. Radio friendliness also catches the attention of a wider audience so that they can then look more closely and go deeper into your specific brand of creativity with the rest of your work.

        This week, the Kpop phenomenon’s appeal within American culture made me look closer with wonder, and I then looked at the “Bubblegum Pop” appeal of the late 60s and early 70s. (Your question seems to fit a preexisting theme.) The catchy, simply-chorded, packaged sound for mass appeal that sells records seems more viable within the industry than ever. There’s the business of it, which is another aspect entirely, but there’s also the opportunity to catch public attention and then lead them to something with more substance. That’s what I think you’ve always managed to do with your music. Don’t spend too much time second-guessing your path. Gravity did what it was supposed to do and brought even more attention to you and Scott as artists. Radio-friendly appeal kept your label happy and allowed you to keep writing and recording, and both your artistry and its associated message weren’t lost. It was all part of the challenge of your path at the time … and very much appreciated by many!

        • Wow, Sky, you said it all! I hear your heart and see the beauty of the compromises we made. I will think some more about your grace-full words.

    • I agree with Bryan. I remember days of spending hours in my local Christian bookstore looking for my latest must have music for my car. So many options, genres, styles, lyrics! I was introduced to the amazing music and lyrics of Out of the Grey when they opened for Steven Curtis Chapman. I had to return to see him and them again! The first album will always be my favorite. But now I will find and listen to See Inside. It’s been a while.

      • Yes! I had forgotten how much I LOVE See Inside! It’s all I have been listening to. The music and the words have such depth and speak to my soul. I lost my husband 6 months ago and songs like Constant, Disappear, my God You are, and Prove it speak to me on a whole new level as I travel this new journey I am on. Thank you again for your music and your ministry. It continues to live and touch hearts and lives.

  5. I love See Inside. And I think Becoming is my favorite of your songs. I’ve played it on repeat many times. I am currently in a third rewrite of a book based on feedback about its marketability. It’s for parents of kids with mental illness, and it’s the book I wanted when our journey down that road started. I wanted a raw-but-hope-filled story from someone who survived the shattering. I didn’t need more practical advice. But platform, take-away, category… l’m deep in the throes of these struggles. Thanks for the thought-provoking article.

    • Kirsten, thanks for your thoughts on See Inside and Becoming! I hope you can sort through the publishing business and bring us a gem of a book!

  6. Compromise is the burden of being a vessel that carries new songs. The idea may be perfect as it rolls around in your head, but the minute you share that idea with a co-writer, a producer, or a label, everyone has an idea about how they can improve it, or if the idea represents you. I can only imagine that the deeper you get into the business of songs, the more challenging it becomes.

    “See Inside” is a top 5 desert island cd for me!

  7. I love the whole album Gravity. Hope in sight is a great song in my opinion. See inside is my favorite album of yours and some of Scott’s best work. Again my opinion. I think as Christian artists one element of the songwriter and song is Providential. It may be overlooked in the writing and production of a particular song or album but in hindsight maybe the Lord’s message to His Church trumped the writer and producer’s intent. Just a thought.

  8. This, along with several interviews I’ve read of the late-great Mark Heard, makes me wonder how much damage the record companies have done to music and musicians over the years, Christian or not. Perhaps it’s good that traditional record companies are dying and independent publishing is now the way to go.

    BTW, See Inside is an AWESOME record, Gravity is my least favorite OOTG release.

  9. I love all of your work and still listen to it in rotation. For what it’s worth, you guys and any CCM artist in the 90’s were swimming against the tide. The industry was changing and the CCM industry was especially vulnerable simply because of the numbers and money compared to mainstream music. It’s really a shame because some of the best Christian music came from that era, but the record companies opted away from honest, creative artists and placed their bets on the safer, more widely marketable worship genre that we have today. I was working at one on West End Ave and saw it happening in real time.

    To use your phrasing, just when it was getting good, they pulled the rug from under the artists and the listeners.

    In short, don’t beat yourselves up, your work is important. What you’ve done and what is to come.

    PS, would still love to hear a whole project of stripped down songs with just 2 microphones and Scott wailing on that acoustic guitar..

    • Thanks, Gary, for the perspective and encouragement! Maybe we will do that acoustic record someday soon ( :

  10. I used to work in the CCM industry, both at retail and with a label. I saw this struggle and being one who leaned more in your “art first” direction, felt your frustration with the compromises Christian radio forced on unique voices in the genre. Thanks for a honest look back on this. I too feel that See Inside was the more natural progression of what you guys were I wish things were different because ultimately I think the forces at play killed CCM in general, other than worship oriented stuff.

    Now it’s up to you whether you think that’s a good or bad thing I just wish there was more music that just spoke to life from a Christian paradigm for my kids to listen to. I had a ton of it to choose from. Them, not so much.

  11. I was a ‘fan’ back then. As a failed songwriter and musician, I appreciated your skill and nuance, taking us places we would not have otherwise gone or seen. Sure, it wasn’t the most pop, toe-tapping music, but not all music needs to be that. Part of the beauty and draw of art is how it moves boundaries and challenges our assumptions.
    Last year I got out your albums to play again and I was reminded of these things that I saw in your work. There weren’t any anthems that I sang along to with vigor, but there were emotional moments that reminded me that while our tastes can be different, the experiences that we can share together makes us richer. I hope younger writers are listening and learning what art is all about. Thank you for continuing to press on and lay it out there for us!

    • Wow, Carl, I appreciate everything you’ve said, with such honesty and care. Thanks for reading and responding!

  12. Thank you for sharing! I appreciate your transparency and your “See Inside” album both. I am currently listening to See Inside in my car and as I listen, I can appreciate your anchor of faith and truth and the sound is fantastic. Thanks for continuing to write.

  13. See Inside is actually my favorite album of yours and the beauty of it still touches me even when the songs are only playing in my head. But Winter Sun moved me in ways I can barely explain to myself…

    I’ve always loved all of your music. Even if your artistic soul wasn’t sated on a particular track or album, your music still reaches my heart and gives my mind much to consider. (I was thrilled when you released A Little Light Left, by the way!).

    But See Inside has had the most personal impact for me. Thank you for sharing no matter the method!

    • Pam, what a wonderful reminder that the music is much more than the sum of its parts–thanks!
      (Winter Sun is a moving mystery to me too)

  14. Thank you for sharing this insight into how you navigated this time in your careers. I for one am glad for all that you have created and appreciate the struggle behind it all. When I hear the stories of my favorite artists and their process ( and compromise) it helps bring them down to earth and adds to my respect for them.

  15. Gravity most certainly does NOT suck!
    I’ll never forget finding “When Love Comes to Life” on a sampler CD at a local bookstore and really digging the sound, I had to get the Gravity CD. The rest of the album blew me away. It was so thought provoking lyrically and musically it was memorable, unique, mature and engaging. The title track, So We Never got to Paris and Dreaming of April are particular favorites of mine.

    It must be incredibly stressful to try to maintain artistic integrity while attempting to put out a product that will sell to support your career. The artists whose music has meant most to me and had staying power (OOTG, Michael Card for example) have gone somewhat against the grain compared to what I hear on the radio (granted, I live in NJ, so there’s not a good selection for Christian music). It seems like a mill that churns out self-similar tunes that re-arrange 4 chords and 4 words ad nauseam. Thank you for not being just another flavor of the day.

    Regards,
    Lou

    PS – say hi to Scott!

    • Lou, Scott says hello to you and NJ! Yes, I agree, the 4 chords/4 words do get dull. Thanks for investing the extra attention it takes to “get” our music.

  16. Great article! I think that there is some great artfulness involved in simply being able to choose whether you are writing for radio and then actually get your song on the radio versus writing something more complex that might not get airplay. Certainly not all writers have that skill and so few ever get airplay. But as someone else commented, just adding your voice to any of the songs made them artistically beautiful. I wish you guys were still performing…

  17. I never thought of Gravity as a particularly bad album at all. One of the things I have always loved about your music was the ability to blend “pop” music with sounds that were more outside of the mainstream, more alternative and edgy. Gravity always seemed a little more in the pop direction, but I still really like the album. I knew a lot of OOTG fans back then, none of them thought Gravity was too far from what they expected to hear and we all ran out and got See Inside as soon as it came out. But it is interesting to hear from the artist’s perspective. See Inside is probably one of my favorite OOTG albums, next to the first album.

    That being said, I like what you are saying here. All of us are snobs about one thing or another. Yet at the same time there are things we like that someone else would cringe at. I would imagine it is difficult as an artist to know when and if and how one might need to compromise, if you should compromise at all. Good food for thought.

    I have enjoyed the music of Out of the Grey for so many years. I am thankful for the artistic vision you guys had to write all the music and to encourage others on their road in faith, life, and love. And your writing on your blog has also been encouraging. Keep it up. Thank you sharing your art with us.

    • Gregg, thanks for really digging in to the article. And I thank you for the encouragement and longtime listening : )

  18. I like Gravity myself. And I prefer the early sound of Out of the Grey. I have always been a classic rocker, preferring the hard rock sounds of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but Gravity appealed to me. I like your voice and the musicianship is outstanding. But I think people just know what they like when they hear it. If you like one particular song in a genre, it doesn’t mean you’re going to like everything. I don’t like all contemporary Christian music either. I certainly appreciate the message, but a lot of it is cookie-cutter music and nothing new creatively or artistically. For instance, Mac Powell’s voice from Third Day is annoying to me and like fingernails scratching a chalkboard. I don’t find anything particularly appealing about their music either. But don’t overwhelm yourself with worry about the appeal of your music. Even more than staying true to the art, stay true to your heart. Do what God has put on your heart…what can make the most impact for the Kingdom. All the best to you, Scott, and family.

  19. There was an educational game “which of these is not like the others?” (Sesame Street?) I take Gravity that way. When I drop tracks 1-3, I have a great album (and I have come to value the first three, too). One of the greatest ever, of course, is So We Never Got to Paris. Pretending totally moves me. Dreaming of April, I mean, really, what a lovely piece! Bird on a Wire *feels* like the lyrics; how cool is that?! The song Gravity is fantastic, carrying over qualities from Diamond Days. And I could go on.

    As to the Art debate, you used two words that really settle it all, beauty and quality. When those are compromised–as in traded off for lesser things–it’s a loss. But then there never is pure beauty nor pure quality, not in this world. So, there is always compromise. The real loss in the Arts is the trade-off of beauty and quality for self-expression. That is a grave mistake, which, thankfully, Gravity avoids.

    • Good words and good reminders, Sean! You nailed it: there is always some sort of compromise in this life. I appreciate that you came to value the first three songs ( :

  20. As a mom of six who has never been on a plane, never mind to Paris, I was deeply impacted by the message of So We Never Got to Paris. I felt less alone in that table-full, heart-full stage of life. That song may be more Nicholas Sparks than Dostoevsky, but it held the magic of connection for me at the time. I wish all the CCM artists of the 90’s and 2000’s could know how many dishes they helped me wash, meals they helped me make, children they helped me rock. It was a beautiful time and your music was the soundtrack.

  21. What a fantastic post. I checked my phone on the way into the bank doing errands today, and ended up sitting in the parking lot for 10 minutes reading it and re-reading it. I love every Out of the Grey album… But without question, “Gravity“ gets the fewest spins when I look at them all together. (Although “Bird on a Wire” and “Dreaming of April” are faves) I had never considered why I liked this one less than the ones around it. And I’m with you on (see inside), too. When “No Leaving” came thundering out of my speakers on the day that album was released, I remember my heart rate picking up and thinking, “they’re back!!!” Thank you for the wonderfully insightful post, Christine— and as always, for the wonderful music!!!!

  22. I would never have thought Gravity was a compromise of your “art”. Just because your motivation was not solely to create “high art”, that doesn’t make it junk or mean that it doesn’t still glorify God. As a Christian, everything I do is “for God” and all uses of my gifts (other than overtly sinful uses) glorify God as the source of the gift. If you want to write about your love life or kids or write a radio song to pay the bills, how is that a compromise? God gave you this gift and it is yours to use. I am sad that people are so shallow that if an album doesn’t fit in a certain box, they stop listening. I love Gravity. The title track is on my most quoted list. Is See Inside stronger? Yes. I think it’s your best work. I am still wearing holes in that CD after all these years, but Gravity is right there on my playlist, too.

    • Tammy, so glad See Inside is a favorite and Gravity gets some airplay in your house : ) I like your perspective on “compromise”

  23. Thanks so much for sharing that experience with the creation of Gravity! I’m fascinated by behind-the-scenes details of artistic decisions made with my favorite music that I would otherwise never be aware of.

    Throughout my life of enjoying music, books, movies, etc., I’ve found that the success level of a particular work often has very little correlation to the actual quality of the work. Sales numbers and the attention of the general public are amazingly fickle things. Honestly I’m quite disappointed and flabbergasted that Gravity is associated with the fanbase fall-off and is generally viewed in such a negative light. I feel there’s as many amazing songs on Gravity as there are on any of your other albums (and that’s a high bar). Songs from Gravity that are in playlists that I still listen to regularly include So We Never Got To Paris, The Weight Of The Words, Gravity, Bird On A Wire, and Dreaming Of April. Oh well, maybe you can be encouraged that songs and production you viewed as lacking maybe were actually meant to be and were destined to touch certain people who wouldn’t have been touched otherwise.

    That said, stories like this always get me hugely curious about the songs that were removed from the project as a result of the record label intervention. Would it be too much to hope that a demo version of one or more these songs might surface? =)

    • Brett, I will have to ask Scott if he remembers any “lost” songs from that era. i do agree with you on your album favorites! I like your encouragement of the “meant to be” aspect.

  24. As a longtime fan, it’s fascinating to hear more about the process of creating the album. I admit not finding the same resonance in Gravity as I did with the three OOTG releases that preceded it, or the two that followed.

    For me, it was less about the songwriting (which always felt true to OOTG, even when the lyrics were of varying depth) and more about experiencing the production as MOR and less energetic/vital than your other albums. (On a perhaps unrelated note, I also found the artwork for that album unusually uninviting. The photo felt cold, corporate and forbidding, perhaps owing to the angle and the color palette. Obviously one should never judge the music by the cover, but from a marketing standpoint, I wonder if that might have been of a piece with the muddledness of the creative input you were getting from the label.)

    That said, three of my favorite songs of yours are on that album: So We Never Got to Paris, Dreaming of April, and The Weight of the Words. Can’t imagine my 20s/early 30s being what they were without them. Thank you!

    BTW: Did any of the songs cut from Gravity ever get recorded for other projects? If not, do they hold up such that you might consider putting them out there at some point?

    • Sean, yes, I agree with your three favorites. And yes, the high fashion photos definitely reflect the muddled-ness! Can’t remember if there were any songs that got left behind….

  25. I found Out of the Grey on the shelf of the bookstore I worked in. It was a cassette of The Shape of Grace. I loved the Gravity album, especially Pretending and So We Never Got To Paris. I always liked Hope In Sight, but I think it grew on me more at a later time.
    Gravity was the first new album to come out after I had become a fan, but I always love more of a good thing, so when See Inside was released I could hardly wait. That’s Where I Live was playing often when I bought my first house.
    One of the things I always loved about Out of the Grey was that your lyrics were so much more thoughtful than most of what was being produced in CCM. I feel like the trend just kept going with CCM, and when I heard that you were starting work on A Little Light Left I about jumped out of my seat. My only regret was never getting to go to a concert.
    Thanks for always making great music!

    • Thanks for listening for so long, Brad, and for paying attention to the lyrics (which we always paid so much attention to )!

  26. I like what I like and tend not to care about it’s popularity. Like many of your fans, I was drawn to your early albums because they presented an explicitly Christ centered message while avoiding tired churchy cliches. Perhaps we were a little disappointed by ‘Gravity’s’ lack of artistic gravitas, and increased airplay failed to translate into subsequent album sales because the audiences exposed through christian radio were not prepared to relish your naturally offbeat artistic vision. The depth of artistry in any work, be it a painting, an album, a film, or a book can only truly be realized (by most of us, which is why patronage succeeds where populism fails) through the distant lens of time: great art is great because multiple generations discover beauty and truth through experiencing the work. We are wise to allow artists the freedom to faithfully follow their passion, as most great artists never live to realize their own legacy. My favorite album so far is your most recent effort. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Mark, wow, so many solid and poignant statements! Thanks for taking the time to listen, read, think through, and comment on all of this in such an intentional way.

  27. Hey! I guess you could call me an OOTG super fan from day 1! I was (and still am) in Christian radio when your self-titled debut project came out. I was FLOORED! LOVED it from the first listen. You guys were way ahead of your time and ahead of Christian radio’s readiness to jump to the front of the line…musically. I think you know how much I fought to get you on one now defunct Christian station in southeast TN. 😉
    Gravity wasn’t my favorite album but I understand why you did what you did. It was a time that most artists needed to have radio songs to make sales happen. Record labels need to recoup to keep making music and that puts pressure on the artists.
    In the event I haven’t said it lately, you and Scott are an amazing combo. Your artistry was so far ahead of the curve you left most in the CCM world in the dust. Love that I get to play some of those oldies but goodies, again, on ZRewind.com!

  28. Hi Christine, thanks for the great insight behind the scenes in the making of “Gravity.” Ironically, “When Love Comes to Life” and “Hope in Sight” are two of the four “Gravity” songs in my OOTG Spotify playlist. Even if composed with radio airplay in mind, the melodies of those two songs are attractive enough that they are eminently “relistenable” (my song equivalent of “rewatchable”) when they come on. A candy bar isn’t nutritious, but sometimes it hits the spot! By the way, I get the distinct impression that “The One I’ve Been Waiting For” was also composed with radio airplay in mind in your previously well-received “Diamond Days,” so you were probably already under that pressure before “Gravity.” Am I right? In any case, I think positively about “Gravity” because of the presence of “So We Never Got to Paris,” which is in my top five OOTG songs. Like many others, I also really enjoyed “See Inside” (8 songs on my spotify playlist, led by the superb “Disappear”). 6.1 really wasn’t my cup of tea :-). In taking this trip down musical memory lane, I’m so glad, 20+ years later, that you and Scott are still writing and recording songs in the unmistakable OOTG style, and that we fans can interact with you this way. God bless!

    • Haha, Nigel, you are right: When Love Comes to Life was our pop hit single endeavor.Love the candy bar analogy 🙂

  29. Hello. I have been a fan of yours since 1991 when I friend of mine had a promo cassette of “Wishes” and “Write My Life.” I bought Out Of The Grey. Loved it. I bought all of your albums and enjoy them all. Honestly, Gravity is my least favorite. The strongest tracks are “Hope In Sight,” “Dreaming Of April” and my favorite Out Of The Grey song “Bird On A Wire.” I love those guitars! There was a Paris contest to be in your video at the time this album came out. I sent twenty entries. I won two Gravity CDs! I gave them to friends. You are very inspiring, please continue to make great music. I wish more people got to hear A Little Light Left. That is a great album. No pressure and no worries from record people. An album from your heart. You have A LOT of light left. God Bless…

  30. I like the honesty of what you have said. The beauty of time is that it puts all these things in perspective. As a fan of many of the bands like yours back in the day, I appreciate much of quality Out of the Gray and others achieved. Something I find generally lacking in the “popular” groups of today.
    The real life your music presents is often part of the steadying factor that I am sure the Lord has used to help many people over the years, including myself. To know that HE is all we need.

    • I like that “steadying factor” Robert. A very unique and cool perspective. Time is a beauty when it comes to that ( :

  31. Oh my goodness! I am so glad you wrote this. I do like “Hope in Sight” and other songs on Gravity, but the one album I still listen to most often is See Inside. I know it may not have had the commercial appeal that some of your earlier albums did, but the scripture and theologically based lyrics, in my opinion make it one of your best. Whenever I need a kick in the pants in my spiritual walk I turn it on. As “Disappear” says more of Him and less of me. Good art makes us think and points us back to the the Ultimate Creator. As long as you guys keep doing that, your art will always be good.

  32. I was alone in a rural community working as a summer missionary at a Bible camp in the summer of ’96, and so homesick. My girlfriend (now wife of 21 years) was backpacking in Europe; and by far my most exciting activity was the private weekend excursion to the Wal-Mart that was 45 minutes away. That’s where, in the Christian section of the music department, I found the Gravity CD. Didn’t know a thing about Out of the Grey, so who knows why, but I bought the CD.
    That CD got me through ten mighty tough weeks so far away from everything familiar at age 18. To me, every song seemed like a bar of pure gold. “Never Got to Paris” meant a lot to me, because my sweetheart was actually there, yet I knew that we would be getting married some day and would probably find ourselves in the circumstances that the song describes.
    Sure enough, we never got to Paris; but we have had fantastic opportunities to sing together as close-by as the local women’s prison and as far away as Bali, Indonesia. Just today, we and three of our six kids played a concert for a local ministry. Priceless! And seeing the two of you work as a musical team very much inspired our journey together early on. It really did. After I got home, I remember that in my very first use of the “world wide web” in late ’96, one of the first websites I “yahooed” (because there was no googling yet) was the Out of the Grey website. Seems like at the time, you were announcing the pregnancy or birth of a daughter.
    But during that summer of ’96, “Dreaming of April” was my metaphor for seeing my girlfriend again, in all her finery… It often played on repeat. When “April” finally arrived (in mid-August), I shared the album with her, and within a few months we sang “Stay Close” together in church.
    The whole album will always refresh a bouquet of bittersweet memories. Don’t second-guess. When we get retrospective about something we created and released (along with all the shoulda, coulda, woulda baggage), God’s redeeming work is the art we should strive to appreciate. After all these years, thank you for Gravity. It didn’t suck.

    • Randy, tears came to my eyes to hear your stories and to recognize the gentleness of your touch with our songs and your words, Thank you.

  33. The song “Gravity” itself is one of my favorites. It’s interesting to see your personal perspective on the album, but mine is one of having been blessed. In fact, I believe my own poem “Gravity” (https://allpoetry.com/poem/14515930-Gravity-by-Pastordavidrn) owes at least its metaphor to having listened repeatedly with delight to the one you sang. Our messages are different in each, but both parabolic, following our Lord’s use of nature to teach unforgettable truths. Words stick when woven into the created world we daily watch as home. But, as far as our own or others’ reflections on past prospects and outcomes, remember Who sees and holds the Bigger Picture. Blessings!

  34. Hello! I basically love all of your cd’s…Gravity (the song) is one of my favs…Actually I never heard you on Christian radio…I saw your first CD in a christian book store and thought you looked like a nice couple…so I bought it…I love your news letter too…if you ever can come to south NJ for a concert…would love to take my mom to see you…she likes your cd’s too. God bless Elise S. peace

  35. Much has been said about the impact of radio in this thread. I want to speak to that a little and offer a bit of perspective as one who was actually making airplay decisions at a CHR station at that time. In many ways, CCM in the early and mid-nineties was struggling to find its voice and all too often simply mirrored what was happening in the secular industry.

    I remember the first time I heard “He is not Silent.” I was sitting in a production studio and it made me cry because it expressed the feelings in my own heart. As I listened to the remaining cuts on the first album, I fell in love with the vocals and guitar work. It was fresh, honest, memorable, and very creative. Out of the Grey went on to become a core artist for us and we played a lot of your music, not just the singles. Those were beautiful days for CCM. So many artists doing good work, even if some were producing “fluff.”

    This is where the perspective enters in. During those years when the creative work was being done, many labels began to be bought up by secular or semi-secular interests. Secular ideals and business tactics began to be more widely adopted within the industry. We were a reporting CHR station, so our musical choices had influence beyond our immediate market. It became commonplace for me to get phone calls from record reps attempting to pressure me into playing this single or that single. The funny thing is that they always presented what they THOUGHT we wanted. In the end, it was often a veiled version of what the secular market desired, not what WE actually valued; strong musicality, creativity, meaningful lyrics.

    Christine, what you shared is that same pressure being forced back not just on you and Scott, but quite a few artists at that time. It is sad to me to hear the impact of that season on you guys. I still listen to and love your music even if Gravity was the weakest album (one has to be the weakest, right?). I would like to remind you of something that you said to me in 1994. The occasion was a station sponsored concert at a zoo amphitheater, Out of the Grey, Charlie Peacock, and Vince Ebo all performed. Scott was very sick that night and yet took the stage and played his heart out. This led to backstage discussion about ministry, I don’t remember the whole conversation, but you said to me with a big smile, “We are so privileged because in following His calling, we GET to play music.” That comment has remained with me until this day. The power of a “simple line” I guess.

    All of us have projects we look back on and would do differently, but you and Scott have had the privilege to use music and you do it really, really, well. When I listen to a song, I, as a listener, impose my own idea of what it means upon it, thus it is alive to me. The important thing to remember is that the songs you record, either thirty years ago or next week, are alive and touch people affecting their lives. Even if there are some birthed in less than ideal circumstances, those “simple lines” still have the power to lift, encourage, and transform those who listen and that is truly a gift.

    • Jon, you have a great memory–and I actually do remember that night, too. Thanks to you and CHR for providing a place for Out of the Grey! It was a privilege and gratitude rules at the end of the day! You are so right about the songs staying alive and retaining power. Thanks for the kind reminders : )

  36. Wow, you’ve hit a real nostalgia goldmine with this one… so brace yourself, this is gonna be long.

    I was a pretty sheltered kid, in terms of my awareness of popular music. So I didn’t really have much of a sense of what made music “poppy”, or why it was a good or bad thing, until around 1994 when my youth pastor made a push to get more of us high schoolers into Christian music. Maybe for some of them it was due to the belief (which I now find cringeworthy) that all that “secular” music was bad, and thus we needed an alternative to it that had preachy lyrics while ripping off styles of music that were successful in the mainstream. But it was an interesting place to start for me, having no concept at all of what music was popular. One of the first tapes I borrowed from that youth pastor was your 1991 self-titled album. It was 1994 and you were already on “Diamond Days” at that point, which I got around to hearing (along with “The Shape of Grace”) in due time. But that first album ended up pretty much writing the book on what I would come to consider “the perfect pop album”. It wasn’t preachy, and it just felt like the work of two young writers with lots of hopes and dreams yet to be fulfilled, dialoguing with God as they honestly tried to work out their place in the world, and in each others’ lives as well. Hit me right where I lived, as a teenager still wondering what it would be like to have a girlfriend, or go off to college and have my worldview challenged, or learn to play an instrument and write a song. A part of me hoped I’d one day marry a musician and we’d make music together like you two did. I still look back at it nowadays and love pretty much every track on it, in all of its reverbed-out, early 90s, alternative-pop glory, and now I have a better frame of reference for why it was considered “weird” for Christian music at the time. I love it more now, with that in mind.

    “Gravity” was your first album that came out after I became a fan. It was the summer between high school and college for me. I remember noticing at first that more of it was mid-tempo, and there weren’t as many “weird” or edgy songs as there were on your earlier albums. “Stay Close”, “When Love Comes to Life”, and “The Weight of the Words” all sort of sounded like extensions of the same song to me, which meant those didn’t stand out as much – though I still noted that the lyrics had some clever turns of phrase. But “So We Never Got to Paris”, “Gravity”, “Pretending”, “Bird on a Wire”, and “Dreaming of April” all sounded VERY unique, and I still can’t think of other songs of yours that quite remind me of any of those. So I’m guessing now that I’ve read your reflection on the making of that album, that most of those were among the 10 songs you had written before the label sent you back for a do-over. I get SUCH strong memories of my early days in the dorms when I listen to those songs now, a little fish in a huge pond, trying to navigate a world beyond the Christian bubble I grew up in. (If only I could’ve gone forward in time about 20 years and heard “Bubble Girl” back then. I’d have related.) I was trying to figure out how to express my faith to others who didn’t share it, in a way that was respectful and not forceful, and to partake in conversations with people whose upbringings were very different from my own, and I guess a number of those songs spoke to how I felt about that process. “Paris” and “April” still spoke to my inner hopeless romantic, my longing to find a relationship – which was still a few years off. I saw you guys in concert for the first (and thus far only) time that fall, after begging and pleading with friends who actually had cars to make the hour-plus trek from our college campus in L.A. down to Santa Ana because I didn’t yet know how to drive. (I geeked out SO hard when you came out to sing your verse on “Westworld” with Chris Eaton, BTW.) I can remember playing “Gravity” in the car during that trip, for friends who hadn’t heard it yet but were familiar with your older stuff, and getting the comment that it sounded “poppy”, which I thought was weird, because wasn’t ALL of Out of the Grey’s music “poppy” from the very beginning? Why was that a bad thing? I’ve never minded music being “poppy”, so long as it makes some effort to stand out from the crowd instead of just blindly copying what others are doing. “Gravity” ultimately isn’t my favorite of your albums, but it’s not at the bottom of the heap, either. I have vivid memories of a formative period of my life associated with its highlights. You did good with that one.

    “See Inside” is an album that I’m more than happy to defend, because it too had an important part to play during a critical time in my life. Long story short, I was going through a depression in early to mid-1997, questioning a lot of the beliefs I’d taken for granted growing up, ultimately going through a process of maturing in my faith by letting go of assumptions that weren’t true at all about God, but the leap from where I was to the more secure place I ultimately ended up was a long and scary one. “See Inside” had a moodier, crunchier vibe to it, and I was ALL about that. I can hear the tension and the open-ended questions in songs like “Winter Sun” and “Disappear”, and for me it worked well coupled with the bold assurance of a song like “No Leaving”, that reassured me all of the twists and turns and dark journeys were never going to take me anywhere beyond the reach of grace. “Joy” was such a heavenly glimpse at a feeling I had once felt and longed to return to – I probably teared up a few times while listening to that one because I wanted to feel it again SO BAD. I can remember the album getting some confused or straight-up negative reviews at the time for its sudden change in sound – that was when a lot of the CCM pop stalwarts were trying to court a younger audience by coming out with more of an alternative rock-driven sound – but it felt more authentic in your case than I think you guys were being given credit for. I think sometimes we forget, when we’re tempted to label an artist’s change in sound as the simple chasing of a trend, that the artists we listen to also have personal tastes that change over time, and they hear some of the music that kicks off those popular trends and it gets their creative juices going as well. You’re right that “See Inside” (and “6.1” after it) deserved a bigger audience.

    Honestly, I could tell similar stories for each of the more sporadic recordings you’ve made since then, either as Out of the Grey or Christine Dente (or… whatever you wanted to be billed as for “Voyage”). I have a series of personal “soundtracks” I’ve made every few months for a full quarter of a century now, which started out as mix tapes and eventually graduated to CDs and finally Spotify playlists, chronicling the songs that meant the most to me during the time period they cover. The very first volume of that “Soundtrack” features “Wishes” on Side A and “He Is Not Silent” on Side B. (If that had been the first episode of a long-running TV series, those would be the establishing moments for an important recurring character in the story.) I usually try to close out those playlists on something appropriately reflective that ends on a peaceful note, or a hopeful one looking forward to the future. Especially for “Soundtracks” made at the end of the year, the last song is sort of the one I pick to represent how I feel about looking forward to the next year. You’ve managed to show up as the final entry in two recent years. “A Little Light Left” was my choice in 2016, as I reflected on a lot of weddings my wife and I had been to late in the year, and how we ourselves had been married over 10 years by that point, and how despite that, we hadn’t yet started on the journey of parenthood, and there was still time to do that. “Butterflies Inside” showed up right at the tail end of 2017 – weird song to end on, but I wanted to end with something surprisingly upbeat and happy to contradict my usual tendency of ending on a slow ballad, because that was how I felt at the end of a year where we had finally brought a Foster daughter into our family, whose presence had changed and matured us dramatically, and who we had high hopes of adopting soon. Long story short (ugh, too late), you’re still making music that is really impactful to someone who is more than twice the age, and in many ways a completely different person, than he was when he first discovered your music in the Diamond Days/Gravity era.

    I like that you guys are independent and can make the music you want to make without record labels intervening now. My horizons have expanded VASTLY over the years, to the point where I now like a lot of “difficult” indie rock music right alongside some of the mainstream and poppy stuff I still have a soft spot for. (No joke, the first time I heard Grizzly Bear’s “Southern Point”, I was like, “Hey, those acoustic guitar licks remind me of something Scott Dente would play.”) I haven’t limited myself to only Christian music since the turn of the century. A lot of my old CCM favorites either broke up over the years, or got so repetitive and preachy and afraid to risk their radio-friendliness that I lost interest. But I’m still very intrigued on the rare occasion that you put some new music out. I love it when I catch something like the Death Cab for Cutie reference in “The Distance”, or when something more dark and puzzling like “Dropped Off” shows up on an album, that I’m guessing your old label wouldn’t have touched with a 39 1/2 foot pole. I know the realities of having to self-fund everything make it hard to do it with the kind of frequency you used to, but I’ll take quality over quantity in this case.

    • David, yes well said and so much I agree with here. You split the Gravity record along the same line that Scott and I do! Thanks for your story and how it provides a great framework for what you are conveying to me: impact beyond what I could ever imagine or plan or control. Thanks for keeping our music in your soundtracks for all of these years.

  37. Compromise is a line that none of us should draw in the sand. You see I’m try to sound artsy. I’m not but my life is full of art.

    One lesson I have learned is continually reinforced in the scripture. Particularly in Chapter 5 of the Book of James, Verse 12.

    But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. James‬ ‭5:12‬ ‭

    To me this passage is clear. I used to swear this or that and make commitments to people concerning what I was going to do with or for them. Simply stated don’t make promises either you can’t keep or have no intention of keeping just to serve as an answer for the moment.

    Let your “YES” be YES, and your “NO” be NO!. In other words do what you say you’re going to do (write what you are going to write), so that you don’t come under judgment (condemnation). I have had to repent many times over the years to learn this truth. Now, I think and weigh very carefully my words. This goes a long way in upholding your integrity as not only a man, but a Christian, and also if I was a songwriter and artist.

    I have been a fan of yours for many years and have been blessed by you and your husbands artistry.

    Bless the LORD! 😎👍🏼

  38. Christine, your post has inspired me on this Sunday morning before church to fire up my copy of “Gravity”. I will say that it’s not my favorite of your records, but by no means does it “suck”. There are definitely moments of brilliance — “Pretending” is a standout for me, a very challenging song that asks us the question, are we living authentic Christian lives? And just now the last song “Dreaming of April” played … I love that song and have shared it on occasion when my area is in the throes of winter and we’re longing for the first signs of spring. So as someone else said, don’t beat yourself up about it … the album is still blessing people.

    • I kind of agree with maybe “the artist thinks too much” 😉 I loved all your albums and didn’t feel that Gravity was a compromise. I listened to it over and over! Yet thank you for sharing your thoughts. It did make me think 🙂 We moved to Singapore 8 years ago and I had to leave my large CD collection behind in storage in the U.S. I only brought Amy Grant, Michael W, Sandi Patti, Kim Boyce, and OUT OF THE GREY! Even Gravity! 😉

  39. I count Weight of Words & Pretending as 2 of the Best ‘struggle with your faith’ songs in CCM history! When CCM went away from the ‘struggle songs’ and went pretty much all Worship? Something important was lost! Look at the Psalms… Struggle and Lament are a part of the deal! I count Out of The Grey as one of my Fave bands of The 90’s! Thanks for fusing your Artistry with Biblical Truth!!

    • Jeff, you nailed it– Struggle and lament– that’s what’s missing from a lot of the music! Thanks for listening all of these years.

  40. Christine,
    Almost all of us in this business have grudgingly done the same thing. I left the band I was in in 1989 because I felt they (we) were too willing to compromise the integral sound of the band for need to have a hit single or two. I made a solo album the next year and committed that idea to eternity on the album with the song “Compromise.” The album I made was a heartfelt, introverted, self-absorbed ode to recovery. At the same time, I was writing songs for my publishing deal. Those songs were unabashed attempts at radio singles that we were trying to sell to other artists. The two worlds were to be kept separate and not cross paths at any cost. Well, the record company somehow, despite my attempts at covering it up, heard “DareTo Fall In Love,” a song completely at odds with the spirit and tenor of my work of “art.” They insisted it go on the album–I knew what would happen–it became the first single–not only my first single, but the very first single for this new spinoff of Virgin Records. Henceforth, people who bought the album based on the single were confused, and people who bought the album and saw the expensive video based on the single were even more confused. I had a living refutation of my own weakness on this record! I’m NOT one to quote the Bible, but Romans 7:15 comes to mind…or maybe a more current quote, from George Harrison: It boggles the mind…

    • Brent, great (sad?) story! Unbelievable how things can go. Thanks for sharing in the “Compromise”

  41. Love this post. Lots of great things to ponder here! For whatever its worth… “Gravity” released when I was in high school, and I listened to it many, many times on my Discman…”I Can Wait” spoke to my romantic teenage heart, “So We Never Got to Paris” was a sweet little ditty, and “Dreaming of April” still pops into my head just about every Minnesota January 🙂 . So none of the “Gravity lite” stuff occurred to me at that time, though in hindsight (hind-hearing?) I can hear it in the production and some of the made-to-be-radio-friendly songs. Still, it hit me right where I was at at the time, and has some definite gems! One thing I DID always think was that the cover looked like a perfume ad in a magazine. 🙂

    • Thanks, Nikki, for your perspective. And yes, definitely looks like we’re selling expensive perfume ; )

  42. Christine, let me give you a different perspective on how the Lord uses what may not be our preferences to accomplish His purposes. As a pastor, I was given the opportunity to repeatedly speak to people outside the church that I would not otherwise be able to reach. The only condition is that I would have to limit my message to 25 minutes instead of the 40 minutes I am used to. I saw the Lord work in a powerful way, bringing a man to faith that I guarantee you would not tolerate an extended sermon! That’s the way that I see God using Gravity. It is one of my favorite albums, and “Dreaming of April” is a song of hope that has brought far more tears streaming down my face than any other song. (And as I am writing this, my wife is whistling “So We Never Got To Paris,” one of our favorite songs. The Lord works in wonderful ways through what we think are our weaknesses and shortcomings (2 Cor 12:9). Thank you, Christine and Scott, for this precious collection of songs.

  43. I am a new fan who in these last 4 months felt compelled to get my hands on all OOTG discs. I am not sure how I missed you, but I was aware of your voice via Billy Sprague’s beautiful “If There is a God Watching Us”. Now, I remember hearing so many of your songs on the radio. IMO you and Scott have some of the best hooks in popular music Christian or otherwise. Also, your songs have a unique harmonic texture and dare I say sophistication utilitizing extended chords and modal melodies. But what I think is even more special are the great bridges and your ability to slightly alter your melodies to avoid tedious repetition. Wonderfully done.

    Having heard the first 6 discs, I even contemplated writing you to inquire if there was a project (Gravity was in my mind) which left both of you a little disappointed. Now, I see there were outside forces at work. MOR, slick and corporate come to mind, but I think it is mostly in the production. I agree with the others that “Paris” and “April” alone are worth the price of admission and also the funky guitar riff in “When Love Comes”. Speaking of funky, I can’t get over how funky 6.1 is. What is making those horn sounds???

    Finally, tell Scott that as a 12 year old, I met Phil Keaggy just prior to a Glass Harp performance. The other guys were yelling at Phil to get on stage and Phil says he needs a pick. I was thrilled to give him one of mine.

    Thank you so much for sharing your gifts,

    Don

    • Don, thank you for noticing the subtleties and care we put into the melodies and songwriting–that means a lot!
      6.1 was so much fun to make with Monroe Jones producing. I’m sure Jeff Roach or Blair Masters added much to the funky sound generation : )

  44. My 25 yr old son forwarded this post to me. Thank you, Christine, for writing it. I’ve been truly enjoying Out of the Grey’s music since “Wishes”, and each production has been like a feast in the midst of the buffet of CM pablum. When music is inspired, it “moves”, and the mind, heart, emotions, (and of course muscles to dance!) of the listener are beckoned. Your meaningful lyrics, instruments, and style are true artistry. They’ve moved me and my family of 7, many times! (background tunes during home school days, in the car, inspiration while sewing….).”Write My Life” was one of my first favorites, “Bigger Than Life” -Wow! (gave me a music video idea), love “Gravity”, “Winter Sun” -the progression is beautiful. Recently I’ve been playing 6.1. “Truth Breaks Through” is so funky! And “Brave” really speaks to the soul, plus has awesome guitar work. And I love the sound effects of shoes running through gravel!! My husband blessed me with an autographed copy of your “Voyage” CD, (still hope to learn “Trinity” on my ukulele). Music grows with us as we live the seasons of life God so graciously gives us. Your music has been like a soundtrack for most of my 31 years of marriage. “All We Need ” is dear to my husband & I as it takes us back to the spring of our first born son. I was lovingly surprised when that same son chose “Remember This” for our mother-son dance at his wedding last August! What a joy for me to sing it to him: “When you know beyond any doubt, this is true love you’ve found, Don’t forget it when the passion fades.” What a testimony to his bride and their guests! Thank you Out of The Grey!! May you and your family know God’s blessings as you’ve blessed others!

    • Debbie, thanks for the gift of this message from you–I needed the boost and your stories made my day! Thanks for digging into the music for all of these years : )

  45. Virtually everything has already been said well, but…

    “Gravity” was the first project I came across. I loved it within 60 seconds, and determined to relentlessly track down every other project by OOTG.

    “see inside” became, ultimately, a very special personal favorite – after a surprisingly lengthy process of chewing and digesting and “growing on me”. I guess there is a kind of logic in there.

    Bookends of a sort.

    [Donning philosopher’s hat] I prefer to view “radio-friendly” more as a format description than as a measure of artistic merit. A short film can be a tiny masterpiece, if created with great skill and love. An epic film trilogy can be a massive masterpiece, for exactly the same reasons. I appreciate OOTG for the skill and love, regardless of the format.

  46. Most christian music doesn’t bother me but I’m moved by all your songs. Especially Gravity and The Weight of the Words hit me like a hammer. The gravity will pull you to your knees! There hass to be a final reckoning! You know you won’t escape! By grace or grave you’ll feel the gravity! – Still scares the holyness of God into me like a rasor blade. Be blessed.

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