Church folk might know Fraser from her role in the Hillsong United music ministry. “Desert Song” became a standard in our local church for a couple of years, and Brooke Fraser’s voice is on that track. Most, however, will have encountered Fraser in her pop music. One of her songs caught my ear by its first two lines:
If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
I had to look up the song title, and readers may not be surprised that it is simply called “C.S. Lewis.” The rest of the song is not Lewisian in imagery, using sexual, creational, resurrection, and second coming images that would not have come from Lewis’ pen in exactly this way–though he talked about each of these things. But the influence of C.S. Lewis on Brooke Fraser is clear.
I first heard of Fraser’s music not in this C.S. Lewis tribute, but in her hit single, “Something in the Water.” Staff at my son’s camp were playing the song to gather kids around for mealtime and it caught me. The video is particularly well done, integrating beautiful art and fashion elements and drawing us into Homer’s Odyssey. I wouldn’t dig too deeply into the meaning of the song: it is just a fun LA-style love song. But I like the video.
While Brooke Fraser’s style of music is not one that I am immediately drawn to, I appreciate her ability to tell stories in her songs, as in her character piece “Betty” and in mission inspired, “Albertine.”
Fraser also has the ability to capture atmosphere, a key storytelling device according to C.S. Lewis–though it is often forgotten (see here). Perhaps the best example of this among her singles is “Coachella.” Plus, that’s one of the coolest drummers I have ever seen.
Brooke Fraser’s work is an interesting study to challenge the contrasts we make in our mind. This is a local church worship leader with an international pop career, a Christian with inlfuence in the red carpet scene of her home land, and a pop artist who is smart. It is also another testimony of Lewis’ influence in the pages of other people’s work.
I hope you enjoy this Friday Feature!