SG vs. CCM Smackdown: “Who Am I” vs. “Because of Whose I Am”

We haven’t had a southern gospel versus CCM song smackdown in a while, so now seems as good a time as any. The two songs featured today are very similar lyrically, but they come from completely different generations stylistically. Representing the contemporary worship genre is Casting Crowns with their ballad “Who Am I?” When I first heard it I remember thinking it was one of the better worship ballads I’d heard in a while. I still think it’s a cut above average for this genre. Here is a newer, acoustic version featuring their female vocalist instead of Mark Hall:

And representing inspirational gospel, here is the Gaither Vocal Band song “Because of Whose I Am.”

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4 Comments

Filed under CCM vs. SG, Music Commentary, Songs

4 responses to “SG vs. CCM Smackdown: “Who Am I” vs. “Because of Whose I Am”

  1. Lydia

    Wow, that is some 70′s incarnation of the GVB. And listen to the southern accent! You can cut it with a knife.

    Anyway, despite the dated sound, I admit, I like “Because of Whose I Am” better. But in this case I’m definitely willing to admit it is pure preference with no major aesthetic justification. I just happen to like that musical style better than the CCM style of Casting Crowns. Plus I like male voices better than female voices.

    • Actually the original version of “Who Am I” is male-featured, but I find the lead singer’s voice a tad bit rough—certainly not smooth like Frankenst…er, I mean Gary McSpadden. :)

  2. Tad Kirkland

    I like both equally (the original Casting Crowns version-didn’t listen to what you posted) and the GVB song. I had never listened to the GVB recordings prior to Michael English with Wings. I think both are about the same distance from SG considering the 2 different time periods. The GVB was not considered SG in these days, though from what I hear from this and other tracks from that album, they were close by today’s standards. I’m surprised you didn’t compare the Rusty Goodman Who Am I to the Casting Crowns song.
    Lyrically, they go different directions with the GVB focusing on the positive aspects of who we are because of Christ. The CC (and Goodman one for that matter) songs focus on who we are without Him. Both are great!

    • Good comparison. I would agree that the GVB was more inspirational at this point, but it’s still very gospel.

      I decided not to contrast the CC song with Goodman’s “Who Am I?” because I thought the lyrics for the GVB one were more similar, with the parallel structure (“It’s not because of… but because of…”)

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