Album Review: Stephen Curtis Chapman, “All Things New” (2004)

Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the most popular Christian singers around. He’s had a plethora of hit albums and has been on the CCM charts since the late 80’s. His latest release, All Things New, continues to provide songs focusing on God and living life as a Christian.

The album begins with the title track, a nice piano based song about how God renews and transforms us once we let him into our hearts. Much Of You was one of the singles released from the album, and it’s easy to see why it was such a hit. From the mellow tune, to the lyrics of giving glory and praise to Jesus (“I’m just a whisper/and You are the thunder/…I want to live today to give You the praise/You alone are so worthy of”), it’s perfect for Christian radio.

Only Getting Started sounds similar to some of Chapman’s older releases. The melody is composed of loud guitar and a heavy beat, which ends up being a bit over the top. Though the meaning of the song (learning more about God as your relationship grows with Him) is nice, it seems to get lost in the overproduction of the track.

Things get better with Last Day On Earth. A long piano interlude starts the song, and then Chapman enters with appropriately hushed vocals. The track is quite beautiful; Chapman sounds great as he sings about how he would live his life if he knew it was his last living day.

Another great track is Please Only You. Though it sounds similar to Only Getting Started, it boasts a more catchy chorus and more interesting subject matter (letting God be the center of your life). I bought the CD based on the single, Angels Wish, and it’s still one of my favorites. Again, it starts off with a beautiful piano based-melody which is played throughout the song. Some of the best lyrics on the album are found in this song, and especially in the chorus- “I can’t fly, at least not yet/I’ve got no halo on my head/And I can’t even start to picture Heaven’s beauty/But I’ve been shown the Savior’s love/…And I know things angels only wish they knew”. Chapman comes off as sounding very humble as he compares himself with angels, yet awed by God’s power and majesty at the same time.

Steven Curtis Chapman, playing live. Photo courtesy of [http://www.flickr.com/photos/genvessel/117439524/in/set-72057594089867570/ genvessel]. {{cc-by-2.0}}

Of course, the album has its flaws. What Now is so dull and innocuous that I can’t even recall a part of the chorus without listening to it. Coming Attractions isn’t much better musically, and the lyrics are pretty generic (“Let Your kingdom come in me/Let Your will be done in me/Here on earth as it is and as it will be in Heaven”). Big Story isn’t actually bad, but again, lacks anything that makes it worth listening to. Believe Me Now is another track that I wasn’t really aware of until now; it’s very bland and boring, and I’ve obviously been skipping it for the past few weeks that I’ve owned this CD.

The album closes with I Believe In You and Treasure of Jesus. I Believe In You is the only song on the album that isn’t directly related to God or a spiritual matter; instead, Chapman wrote the song for his daughter, and it’s a sweet inspirational track.

Treasure of Jesus is a simple ballad, about showing the world the treasure of Jesus. This is another of my favorite tracks; Chapman returns to the piano and the melody is beautiful. His voice is very clear and strong, and this is a great worship song.

All Things New is an album of hits and misses. While most of the songs aren’t as good as Chapman’s old work, there are about seven worthy tracks that make the album.

Rating: 3_stars.svg

Track Listing
1. All Things New
2. Much Of You
3. Only Getting Started
4. Last Day On Earth
5. What Now
6. Please Only You
7. Coming Attraction
8. Big Story
9. Believe Me Now
10. Angels Wish
11. I Believe In You
12. Treasure Of Jesus

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