Steven Curtis Chapman - Speechless
by Paul M. Carhart
Originally published in The Lighthouse Electronic
Curtis Chapman rocks!
You might ask. "That acoustic guy who did that song for "The Apostle?"
That's the guy. One listen to Mr. Chapman's latest release,
Speechless, and I am confident that you will agree.
first time I popped this disc in, I thought perhaps that someone
had made a mistake and burned the wrong content onto the disc. That
is, until I heard Chapman's signature vocals. There is certainly
a slight techno vibe between the guitar riffs on "Dive," the opening
track, and it is just a little disconcerting at first. However,
the songs on this project are so fresh and diverse, one can easily
warm up to them despite being taken off guard initially.
with full, warm electric guitars with jamming acoustics thrown in
to fill in the gaps, most of the songs on this album just plain
rock. However, Chapman's lyrics are still up front and as poignant
as ever. In fact, a second listen to the album will confirm that
Chapman is still the same guy who wrote "King of the Jungle" and
"I Will Be There" and if you heard his previous release Signs
of Life, which many saw as a departure from his established
style, you may well be able to perceive the road that this artist
is taking in his stylistic evolution. It makes me look forward to
his next album all the more.
is not just a rockin' guitar album though. Chapman easily mixes
his new polished modern rock sound with orchestral pieces and tasteful
ballads and the overlying theme seems to be the overwhelmingly awesomeness
title track, and the first single from the album, bears the most
resemblance to his previous work but it still manages to fit in
nicely with it's sweeping orchestral arrangements, acoustically
driven melody and child-like background vocals. Songs like "Dive,"
"The Change," "Next 5 Minutes," "Whatever," and "I Do Believe" definitely
will get your toes tapping and your blood pumping. However, Chapman
hasn't forgot about the gentler side of his work either. "Great
Expectations," "Fingerprints of God," "The Invitation," "What I
Really Want to Say" as well as the trilogy of songs that end the
album, "With Hope," "The Journey," and "Be Still and Know," are
excellent examples of Chapman's ability to tug at the heartstrings
and achieve an emotional response with the listener. It's a pleasure
to listen to this disc straight through from the beginning to the
end and to experience the fruits of a true craftsman.
listen to the album, and you may find that this disc isn't leaving
your CD player anytime soon...at least until Mr. Chapman's next release.