In response this video I posted of David Bazan playing at one of his house shows, a commenter, Chris, wrote:
I love David Bazan. I think he is one of the greatest song writers of our time. I wonder though why it’s so magnetic to watch someone lose their faith in front of our eyes. I’ve listen to this album hundreds of times and I still can’t put my finger on it. Our society puts more value on struggle then commitment it seems, and the reality is there is truth in both.
From my perspective, it’s not Bazan’s loss of faith that makes him compelling, it’s the way he’s articulates his experience and his beautiful song writing that makes him compelling for so many (not to forget his incredible voice which is sneakily brilliant).
It would not surprise me if the majority of Bazan’s fans were folks who would consider themselves “of faith.” In a way that might seem strange given the fact that Bazan himself seems to have lost his faith. While it he maybe at peace with where he’s at, it seems as though he’s writing from a nearby vantage point. It’s as if he has departed through the church doors, writing from the outside, probably on the corner across the street. The reality is that so many in our generation are looking for new, fresh expressions of faith and coincidentally have, at one point or another, stood on that exact same corner across the street where Bazan gazes back, penning his anger, struggle, sadness to the tune of his acoustic. Bazan’s music, especially his latest “Curse Your Branches” becomes the soundtrack to the spiritual adolescence we walk into as we leave the church doors. We’re not really sure where we’re going, we just know we’re not going back and Bazan captures that experience better than anyone else.
Even though I’d like to think I’ve grown out of this kind of spiritual adolescence and as I continue to explore new ways of believing and new ways of worshiping a God I still know so little about, these songs will always be meaningful for me. As Pete Rollins might say, Bazan has been faithful in his betrayal of a bankrupt religiosity and his songs are playing on the boom box as we walk across the parted sea floor.