Steven Curtis Chapman - Two For One: Heaven In The Real World/Signs Of Life

Published Thursday 4th September 2008
Steven Curtis Chapman - Two For One: Heaven In The Real World/Signs Of Life
Steven Curtis Chapman - Two For One: Heaven In The Real World/Signs Of Life

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 47112-14492
LABEL: EMI 5099921378225
RELEASE DATE: 2008-07-04
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Phil Thomson

This particular item in EMI CMG's Two For One series covers the Chapman of the '90s, reminding us of just how prolific and consistently engaging this artist is. We are treated to 13 mostly fast-paced songs written for 'Heaven In The Real World' in 1994 and 12 from 1996's 'Signs Of Life' with that distinctive high-energy commitment to getting us out of our seats and into the aisles - and when he does slow things down, Curtis loses none of his edge. The results uncompromisingly address so many of the preoccupations we encounter in our daily lives. Chapman seems to have a knack of nailing his songs down by the title: "Treasure Of You", "Love And Learn", "Miracle Of Mercy", "Celebrate You", "Hold On To Jesus", etc and there is clearly a lot of preaching going on. Yet our ears and our hearts seem more attuned these days to absorbing truths through the cans than from the pulpit. As the lyrics unfold, that unmistakable urgency in his voice leaves us with no option but to listen hard and try to enjoy ourselves as the message sinks in. The edgy, multi-layered "Lord Of The Dance" steals the show for me, with its jazz allusions and confessional, autobiographical race through the Chapman years - yet there are so many memorable moments including the rhetorical "Heaven In The Real World", the slowly countrified "The Mountain" and the frantic "Children Of The Burning Heart". This is excellent value for anyone catching up with mid-'90s Christian music at its best.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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