MORE TO THIS LIFE (1989, Sparrow Records) is Steven Curtis Chapman’s third album. It was produced by Phil Naish, and Steven, Mark Heimermann, Chris Rodriguez, Herb Chapman, and Chris Harris provide background vocals.
Up first is the title track ‘More to this Life’. It is a mellow song that offers great hope for the entire human race: “If we turn our eyes to Jesus we’ll find/Life’s true beginning is there at the cross where He died/He died to bring us/More to this life than living and dying/More than just trying to make it through the day/More to this life/More than these eyes alone can see/And there’s more than this life alone can be”. ‘Love You With My Life’ is one of six songs on this album solely written by Steven. On this bouncy pop tune Steven makes a pledge to the Lord: “I’m gonna love You with my life/I wanna love You with my life/And as I listen and obey/I’m gonna live these words I say/I’m gonna love You with my life”.
‘Waiting For Lightning’ paints a powerful picture: “Standing on the edge of the truth/Looking out at the view/Of all you used to believe/From where you are you can see you’re far away from home/Echoes of the life you once knew/Call out to you from across the divide/And you know it’s time to step back over the line/But you’re waiting for lightning/A sign that it’s time for a change/And you’re listening for thunder/While He quietly whispers your name”. Carl Gorodetzsky and The Nashville String Machine play on the track. ‘Living for the Moment’ is a light 80’s pop song that reminds us that salvation is only a starting point: “He prayed the prayer one Sunday morning/He really meant the words he said/She prayed and gave her heart to Jesus/One night while kneeling by her bed/So many start on this journey/But they never make it out of the door/Their lives are caught in a moment in time/But there’s so much more/Than living for the moment when He’s given us a lifetime/Living for the moment letting hours pass right by/It’s gonna take forever to discover all that Jesus has in store/So live for every moment/And live every moment for the Lord”.
My Uncle Allan sang ‘I Will Be Here’ at our wedding reception. It is a wonderful ballad concerning romantic love and commitment: “I will be here when you feel like being quiet/When you need to speak your mind/I will listen/And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying/Through the winning, losing, and trying, we’ll be together/Cause I will be here”. ‘Who Makes The Rules’ was written by Steven, his father Herb, Phil Naish, and James Isaac Elliot. It has a country twang to it and urges us to truly follow Christ and not the ways of the world: “When I see people just like you and me/Trying to live out the pictures they see on TV/Gotta have a new car, new clothes, new love when they get tired of trying/Well, I’ve been reading ‘bout a different way/Talking ‘bout dying to live and losing to gain/Seems like somebody’s telling us the truth and somebody’s lying/I wanna know who”.
‘Treasure Island’ is a song a sea captain would appreciate: “I raise the sail as I kneel to pray/Check my course all along the way/A million thoughts like the rushing wind/Are blowing this ship so I’ll pray again/Soon I have landed on the solid ground/I take my life’s concerns and lay them all down/When I go sailing out to Treasure Island/The Treasure Island that God’s Word can be/I’ll pray and make my way to Treasure Island/And in those quiet times I know that I will find/All the treasure I will ever need”. ‘Way beyond the Blue´ is a song of great encouragement: “Look above and beyond what you see/To find a view of all that this life can be/Way beyond the blue where the Father is calling/Let Him take you to a life beyond compare/His love is wider than the sky above you/And He has plans for you that go way beyond the blue”.
‘In This Little Room’ is a co-write with Geoff Moore. This sentimental song begins with these words: “In this little room I put my pen to the paper/To write what’s in my heart down on a page/ And with every line a silent prayer is being lifted/That the song will somehow find its way/From this little room to your heart”. Mark O’Connor plays mandolin on ‘More than Words’ a song that reflects on the Bible: “As I open up this Book/And read of all the love it took/For a holy God to care for man/O Spirit, help me understand/It’s not that it’s unclear/It’s a letter to children/But Lord I know/It’s meant to be much more/More than words, not just letters on a page/More than words, for every line and every phrase/Was a breath of inspiration from a caring Father/Who gave the gift of His Son to prove He loved us more than words”. The album ends with another Chapman and Moore co-write. ‘Out in the Highways’ is highly evangelistic in nature: “There’s a banner on the church wall/They put up many years ago/Reminding them that Jesus said ‘Go into all the world’/They need the Spirit wind to blow again/And fan the flame of concern/Take the truth that they’ve learned and go/Out in the highways, out in the highways/Open windows, doors, and hearts, take the light into the dark/Out in the highways”.
MORE TO THIS LIFE is an album comprised of mainly soft inspirational and adult contemporary songs of faith. Unfortunately there are so many slow songs the album becomes boring to listen to at times, even though the songs are well-crafted. I’m recommending this one to fans of Steve Green and Scott Wesley Brown and rating it 83%. For more info visit: www.stevencurtischapman.com.