STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11601-10410 LABEL: Sparrow SPD76897R FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2004-09-17 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Readers of CR82 will already know that this album by the CCM veteran represents a significant change of direction and though not quite the stylistic quantum leap of a "Jesus Freak", certainly represents a new beginning for Steven on his 14th album. Recorded in Los Angeles at the legendary Sunset Sound Studios with some fine, young musicians, 'All Things New' bristles with fresh pop rock vitality. Particularly arresting is the funky "Only Getting Started" which, propelled by some fiery axe licks by mainstream white blues guitarist Jonny Lang, also features a few nicely placed hip-hop record scratches. If that song's a little TOO rad for Steven's ageing fans, there are beautifully crafted songs like "What Now" and "Angels Wish" which show the Nashville songsmith has lost none of his way with memorable melody and lyric. Elsewhere there's a moving ballad about living life to the fullest, "Last Day On Earth", which one reviewer suggested could fit onto the next Coldplay album; a defiantly retro nod to the Beatles with "Big Story" and "Coming Attraction" which has a stadium rock sound of anthemic power. Throughout producer Brown Bannister brings the best out of Steven and both he and the Dove Award-toting singer should be congratulated for making an album which soars away from the formulaic patterns of a lot of recent Nashville CCM. Most of the songs here touch on themes of renewal and the need to care for the orphans and widows. The skilled songsmith drives home his messages with adept skill. If you're a long time Chapman fan looking forward to a creative return to form or a young turk into John Mayer and Five For Fighting and wanting a Christian alternative, here Mr Chapman delivers.
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