A few weeks ago, Scott Johnson mentioned on this podcast a Nickelback mashup that combined some songs and showed how they were the same (it starts at 10:55 in the show). [NB: the "d" word pops up now and again]
This put me on a quest for this audio file (because it wasn't linked in the incredibly short "show notes"). This page indicated that there may have been some editing involved, so I dug deeper. Google finally landed me here which includes links to both the song and an NPR article on the subject. It turns out that editing was involved, but that doesn't make the combination of these two songs any less impressive or incriminating.
Nickelback isn't the only group to have similar sounds show up on their albums. Angels and Airwaves has several songs on their debut album that repeat each other (though I am not skilled enough to match them up without many hours of work, not to mention the copyright issues; sorry).
So, what's the difference between these incredibly popular artists and today's worship music that contains about the same number of chord progressions?
Mixing and complexity.
Good bands tend to have slightly more to offer than a couple of guitars, a bass and a piano all playing the same three chords over and over again. Plus, they are often much more subtly mixed and therefore more blended. Which isn't surprising since they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their sound and people like me mix the morning worship set.
And for as much as I'm amused by repeated sounds, it doesn't get much better than City on a Hill where two songs start with the exact same words on the album... twice (tracks 4&5, and 11&12).
Your Media Production Mentor