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Chris Rice
[ past the edges ]


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Past the Edges - Click to view! Questions are everywhere. Who, what, when, where, why, how… All these basic words hold the keys of wisdom. Often we refrain from asking questions because we fear that we shall show our ignorance. On his sophomore album Chris Rice asks his questions boldly. Why were we made in the image of God? Why doesn’t God rule the world like we would? With childlike persistence and a love of all things fun, Chris brings questions like these before the throne of God.

The quintessential morning song “Smelling Coffee” starts the album off on the right foot. Not made with the morning grump in mind, this poppy song’s happy recollection of a joyous rising ruled the morning radio shows. The masses fixed their breakfast while humming along: “I’m smellin’ coffee, birds are singin’ just outside.”

The happy-go-lucky spirit is cut short however, by the second track “Naïve.” Here Chris ponders why our God has allowed us to shake our fists in His face for such a long time. “How long until you defend your name and set the record right… How much can you tolerate our weakness, until you step into our sky blue and say ‘that’s quite enough?’” He reaches the conclusion that there are so many things that we don’t understand; God must know what He is doing, even if we do not. Even though we are far too small to comprehend, we can always know that He is “Big Enough.” This fourth track is one of the highlights of the album. Mulling over daily puzzlements of being made in the image of God, and the idea of an endless sky, Chris pulls out his guitar and plucks a gentle melody while he lets the questions flow- “ God if you are there then I need you to know me, I hope you don’t mind me asking the questions, but I figure you’re big enough.”

“Thirsty” applies the over used analogy of a river, Rice tells of a desperate need for the living water of God. While the lyrics might be a bit status quo, a moving melody makes this track worth its salt. A grand piano and background vocals provided by label mates Wilshire are not to be missed.

The album starts with a fun song, and ends with a fun song. That hidden track to end all hidden tracks- “The Cartoon Song.” In it Chris becomes Fred Flinstone, Scooby Doo, Smurfs… The list goes on. Call it juvenile, but this song is great. Too bad it was forced to back of the album. It deserves a track number of its own.

While this album does not supply a magically arresting sound, or the way to unlock the secrets of the universe, it does offer something wonderful: A vivid, yet simple picture of a childlike faith bestowed on the Creator. There lies the talent of Chris Rice: bright, fun sincerity. It’s a beautiful thing!
- Melissa Miles
May 3, 2002
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