Steven Curtis Chapman [re:Creation]
Posted September 06, 2011
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
On Steven Curtis Chapman’s 17th album, re:Creation, he serves up six new songs, including the debut hit single, “Do Everything” and breathes new life into some of his most memorable and popular songs with re-imagined approaches and all new recordings. More than 3 years have passed since the Chapmans’ horrific loss when on May 21, 2008, Steven’s youngest daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident. Since then Steven has sensed people waiting to see how he and his family were faring in the wake of the tragedy and what the next step in his musical evolution would be. I’ve been listening to Steven’s songs for the past twenty years and Steven’s 46th number one song “Do Everything” really reminds me of some of his previous hit songs “The Great Adventure,” “Dive” and “Live Out Loud,” which all appear as new “re:Creations” on this album.
“Do Everything” is a fun, upbeat song based on 1 Corinthians 10:31—“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The song includes some of most enjoyable and fun rhymes I’ve heard including “You may be hooking up mergers, Cooking up burgers” and “Maybe you’re a down and out rock star, Or feeding orphans in the Myanmar.” I really enjoy the joyfulness of “Do Everything.” I can relate to the lyrics, and this song relates to every listener in some way. We all need encouragement and we all need to be built up and remember that whatever we do, do everything for the Glory of God. Amen to that! The song is a great return to Steven’s past fun style song, which is mostly what’s included on this album. A couple of exceptions include the next song “Long Way Home,” which for me is the highlight of the album, and Steven’s vocals and ukulele are so engaging. The song lays out Steven’s story with the gut-wrenching lyrics—“I had no way of knowing just how hard this journey could be, 'Cause the valleys are deeper and the mountains are steeper than I ever would've dreamed, But I know we're gonna make it." The song reminds us that “we’re pilgrims and He’s gonna lead us home every single step of this long way home.” Great song and message.
Personally, I wasn’t saved until I was 28 years old in 1999, and my wife and I got baptized together in 2001 at a local lake with our church congregation. When we did, we wrote out the entire lyrics of Steven’s song “Dive” in our scrapbook. That was our story and Steven had put our story into a song that we could give as our testimony to our friends and relatives. At the time, we had one baby girl, and now we have three girls. We preserved our handwritten lyrics as a witness to our story being told in his great song. I’ve always connected with Steven as a father and as a fellow believer over the years. Possibly the most moving moments of the album are the last tracks, where Steven covers “Morning Has Broken” with his son Caleb and closes with a worship chorus, “Sing Hallelujah.”
If you’ve always enjoyed Steven’s past work and want to hear a return to his fun and uplifting songs re-recorded in a contemporary and laid-back style, then you’ll want to experience re:Creation, which is both enjoyable and moving. For sure, “Do Everything” is a song of the year candidate and is a great new song. “Long Way Home” is a sobering reminder that we’re not made for this world and includes my favorite vocal performance of Steven’s career which should also generate a well-deserved male vocalist nomination. This album truly allows listeners to treasure Christian music’s most honored male artist. Re:Creation is my inspirational album of the year.
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