STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 29186-13117 LABEL: Eb+Flo 42152 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-08-31 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Trevor Raggatt
It's clear that the traditional singer/songwriter is making something of a comeback. A quick look at the charts, awards shows and critical lists only confirms this. The time is clearly right for the Nashville CCM veteran and his soulful, piano-led tunes. Happily, the experienced singer steers clear of the self-pitying "miserableism" which so often blights the genre. The 13 songs on the CD, rather, are thoughtful and uplifting. As the opening track asks, "Why sit down to write a sad song when there's so much good to be found in life?" "Lemonade" ploughs a similar furrow. Christian spirituality clearly infuses each of the tracks - there is no ambiguity about Rice's philosophical persuasion - but it's all done with beautiful subtlety. Rice is talented and experienced enough to know that he doesn't need to cram a theological textbook into each ABACAB verse/chorus structure. His songs are all the better for it too. These are tunes grounded in real life and quiet secure faith. Any listener with a penchant for the classic singers like James Taylor or Jackson Browne will find that 'What A Heart Is Beating For' will set their pulses racing!
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With 'What A Heart Is Beating For', Chris Rice continues to embody the art of songwriting by transforming lyrics and melodies into vivid snapshots of life, matted and framed by his faith.
From the upbeat jazz-influenced moments of 'So Much For My Sad Song' to the epic grandeur of the title track, this tasty production is sure to fill those who are searching for authentic moments of the soul.
Chris Rice fans will appreciate the familiar touchstones while enjoying his journey into unexplored territory.