Friday, October 26, 2007
Music Review: Steven Curtis Chapman "This Moment"
I'm a huge SCC fan. His "Great Adventure" album is largely responsible for my love of music and of God. I'm always stoked when I see an upcoming album release, and since SCC seems to create/produce more music than just about anyone else out there, I get stoked a lot. That being said, I've been a little disappointed with his recent releases. "All Things New" had some good tracks, but was overall only mediocre for me. In fact, his 1999 release, "Speechless" was his last album that I really love all around.
"This Moment" is, in some ways, very vintage SCC, and in other ways it is very fresh and new. It's got much more of the rock sound of his 2001 release, "Declaration", as opposed to the sound of 2004's "All Things New". I was a little bummed with my first listen, but I think this album's got the potential to grow on me. Unlike "All Things New", I think this album has more than 1 really good song. Here's my break-down track by track:
1) "Miracle Of The Moment" - A good opening track, with some good melodical hooks. The message is simply about living in the here and now, not missing the little things that make life truly beautiful, taking advantage of every minute we're given. This track sets the vintage SCC standard for production quality for the rest of the album. This track also gives you a good listen to how SCC's voice is getting a little older and more gritty, which I think sounds good.
2) "Broken" - The first track that really uses some more modern musical elements. A drum beat that will make you want to listen again and try to play along with you air-drum set, and some cool electric stuff, a very inviting chorus, and the seemingly-mandatory break-to-the-rhythm-acoustic-chorus near the end. This is one of my favorite songs so far from this album.
3) "Cinderella" - The first and maybe only real dud for me. I'm sure the parents and ladies will like this one (which may be why I don't)...a song apparently written to SCC's oldest daughter. Very similar to the classic (and worn-out) "Butterfly Kisses". I'm sure his family likes this one...
4) "Yours" - This song introduces one of this album's reoccurring themes, relating to SCC's involvement in missions and adoption. The message is simply that we can see God everywhere in the world. The sound is very much vintage SCC...sounds more like it belongs on with "Heaven In The Real World", but I like it.
5) "Something Crazy" - Sounding very much like it belongs on "Declaration", this is the other song that just doesn't work for me. The message is not bad, I just think it gets distracted by the music. Some of the musical elements (listen to the "c-c-crazy" bridge) are just incredibly cheesy. The most "produced" song on the album as well.
6) "Children Of God" - The first of a few very Hillsong United sounding songs, which is cool to me. This would be very fun to play at a youth event, with driving guitars and a modern drum beat. Even throws in some David Crower-esque la-la's. Should have let his son, Caleb, sing most of the song instead of just the second verse.
7) "One Heartbeat At A Time" - Vintage SCC....story-telling/personal lyrics and piano/strings music. My guess is that this song was written for his wife. Basically an encouraging song about how her life as a mother is changing the world. Good stuff. This would work really well on Mother's Day.
8) "My Surrender" - A song from a desperate heart crying out to God in surrender. Could be used as a great song for corporate worship. A bit of a worn message, but still a good one.
9) "You Are Being Loved" - Another very modern sounding Hillsong United-esque song. Although it's a little cheesy, I love the melody for some reason. SCC at his best being an encouragement...think "Treasure of You" from "Heaven In The Real World". The only thing I don't like is the choir stuff at the end, but whatever...
10) "Definition of Me" - Another of my favorites...this one's got a very 70's Elton John piano driven feel to it. The message is that we find our purpose and meaning in God and what He has done for us. The music on the bridge is a little cheesy. This would be a fun song to do sometime.
11) "With One Voice" - This is the best track, IMO. A super message about the Church worshipping together around the world, and a very modern sound. We're learning this one next week to use next Sunday. I think it's going to become a favorite.
12) "Run Home" (Bonus Track) - Vintage acoustic SCC with a message of hope and encouragement for those feeling lost and empty. I like this one a lot...one to remember for some future use on Sunday mornings.