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Steven Curtis Chapman
[ signs of life ]


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Signs of Life - Click to view! One of the absolutely best singer/songwriters in contemporary Christian music is back with not only a new haircut, but a new style of music that redefines what he's all about. Steven Curtis Chapman's new style is self described as "early rock and blues", but I'd say there's at least a little country and pop music on this album. Signs of Life is, as Steven says, "The record I've always wanted to make." The first track, "Lord of the Dance", is a heavy guitar rock tune that says I am nothing in this dance of life without Jesus Christ, the Lord of the dance (listen to the percussion - it's Steven's own invention - he's banging on the top of his guitar!). "Children of the Burning Heart" speaks of our need for a passion to carry the message of Jesus Christ to this world and, like the country/ blues/rock tune "The Walk" says, we can spread the Word by the way we live our lives every day. The title cut, "Signs of Life", says the things in life that really matter are compassion and love, which we can only give away when we receive them from God. Steven Curtis returns to his old (but still cool) 70's pop style in "Let Us Pray", a song which reminds us to not only pray, but to live what we're praying. The somewhat haunting song "Free" speaks of the freedom we've been given through Jesus Christ, while the heavy guitar cut "Only Natural" gives us encouragement that the Holy Spirit has empowered us to rise above what is only natural. The rock tune "Rubber Meets the Road" says "It's time to put in motion everything you know / This is where the rubber meets the road." The relatively quiet song "What Would I Say" tells the touching story of SCC's grandfather who died in war. Steven's good friend Geoff Moore teams up with him for "Land of Opportunity", which says "I can live like a prisoner to all that could be / But a heart that is simple is a heart that's set free." And for a grand finale, Steven Curtis brings us the inspirational ballad "Hold On to Jesus", which tells us not only to hold on to Jesus, but let go of the things of this earth which won't last. Signs of Life is not just an album. It is Steven Curtis Chapman's statement of beliefs, as he himself says of the album, "I wanted to take a look at where my faith had begun and where my faith is taking me. Was Christ making a difference in my attitudes and actions? When people look at me, do they see someone going through the motions of living or do they really see signs of life?" It is with that attitude SCC wrote the songs on Signs of Life, and listeners everywhere will reap the rewards of this spectacular effort.
- Josh M. Shepherd
March 1999
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