Gary Chapman “The Truth” Album Review
If God were to wear shoes, would he wear Nike or Adidas? If God had a front porch, who would he invite to sip sweet tea with on a hot Saturday evening? If God had an iPhone, whose numbers would be on his contact list? When Gary Chapman wrestles with these queries, it is not a paltry exercise of triviality. Rather, with these 16 new songs Chapman wants us to see that Jesus not as a mere theological construct trapped in the pages of a historical book. Instead, through the telling of every day stories of hope, love and faith, Jesus is not just a venerated figure of the past. Rather, these songs depict a flesh and blood Jesus who still walks amongst us, listens to our ranting, and who still helps those who cry out to him. In short, Chapman's new record "The Truth" is theology dressed in sneakers. Yet, fans who have been waiting for a new Gary Chapman album have been craning their necks for over a decade as Chapman's last record was 2002's "Circles and Seasons."
Like Us on Facebook
Gary Chapman is one of few artists who has been able to cross pollinated across genres with fecundity. Way back in 1983 Chapman wrote a song called "Finally" that rose to the pole position of Billboard's country chart with T. G. Sheppard on the microphone. Later, Chapman went on to win the most coveted "Song writer of the Year" at the Dove Awards. Then in 1987 he was one of the first few Contemporary Christian artists to release a country record "Everyday Man" placing two successful singles on Billboard's country charts. Chapman's connection with country music continued in 1996 when he hosted the much televised series "Prime Time Country." A couple of years later, Chapman engineered a collective project "Hymns from the Ryman," an effort that featured songs by his then wife Amy Grant, the late Chet Atkins and Michael W. Smith. "Hymns from the Ryman" went on to receive a "Country Album of the Year" nod at the Dove Awards. Thus, with such a history of involvement in country music, it's no surprise that Chapman returns with the country slanted Christian-themed "The Truth."
In a time when the appellation "Christian" is often used a badge for self-righteousness bigotry, Chapman on "What I Say" unearths the true meaning of what being a Christian is all about: we are simply redeemed sinners saved by God's grace. Country crooner Rebecca Lynn Howard gorgeously adds her mellifluous harmony. While neo-bluegrass song bird Alison Krauss adds her haunting touch to "If God Had a Front Porch." This song is a well-crafted country ballad that speaks of the incarnational nature of Jesus Christ where he does not just sit up in heaven but he still walks with us in our everyday struggles. Country superstar Tanya Tucker who hasn't released any new material in eons is most welcomed when she sings as part of a trio with Chapman and John Rich (of Big and Rich fame) on "Rough Crowd." Though Tucker's voice is much deeper and more haggard, she still has the weather-worn sass that really brings out the song's message that Jesus is not afraid to call incalcitrants like us friends. More middle of the road is the lead single "How Great a God" which finds Chapman in Michael W. Smith's territory with this piano based contemporary pop worship number.
Chapman really nails his colors to the mast with the album's share of story songs. Whether he tells of the single mother raising her own child ("Widow of the South") or his own nostalgic tale of his first date ("Twenty Bucks Away") or the prodigal alcoholic who finds Christ ("I Didn't Find Jesus") or the re-telling of Christ's birth ("All About a Baby"), Chapman tells them with such realism that you can feel the palatable emotions of each of these characters as each of them come alive through the unfolding of these songs. "The Truth" lives up to its title in that these are honest stories of everyday people fleshing out God's promises in ordinary happenstances. And in listening to this record, one can't help but thank God that Jesus does don his brandless sneakers in order to walk beside us.
- 'Crowded' Singer Jeannie Ortega Looks to God's 'Perfect Love' to Spread New Message of Hope and Peace (INTERVIEW)
- Laura Story's 'Blessings' Come Through Hardship; Singer Talks of Balancing a Toddler, Disabled Husband, Music Career, and Pregnancy with Twins (INTERVIEW)
- 'The Voice' Contestant Worshipper Anthony Evans Releases New Album 'Real Life/Real Worship' For a Broader Audience
Get the latest news from BC in your inbox
- THIS WEEK
More in BC
'Crowded' Singer Jeannie Ortega Looks to God's 'Perfect Love' to Spread New Message of Hope and Peace (INTERVIEW)
Singer-songwriter Jeannie Ortega is currently working on a new Christian album in Nashville. The 27 year-old Brooklyn native started her career at the young age of 16, signing on with Hollywood Records. Her single "Crowded" was in the top 25 Billboard Top 100 and her album No Place like Brooklyn debuted at No. 1. Her pop career would expand into acting on the drama "One Life to Live," teen dance film "Step Up," and her first major role in an independent film, "Indelible."
Michael W. Smith's 'Sovereign' Bridges the Gap with Next-Gen Worship Leaders While Sticking to Contemporary Roots (ALBUM REVIEW)
In May, CCM icon, Michael W. Smith will be finally releasing a new studio worship album, his first since 2008. Sovereign is a new creative endeavor for the three time Grammy winner whose previous worship projects have sold over 3.5 million.
Christian evangelist Ray Comfort released the 30-minute "Noah-And the Last Days," on March 28-the same day that Hollywood's controversial "Noah" movie. The film used the counter the Hollywood film reached 1 million YouTube views in 23 days, and won a Telly Award this week and is being aired on 14 major TV networks.
The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, believes everything he has done for New York and this country has earned him a place in Heaven. Associate Pastor of a 14,000-member church in Brooklyn N.Y. retaliated and told Bloomberg to keep his theology to himself.
- Celebrities Who Waited Until Marriage; These Stars Were Not Afraid to Stick to Their Beliefs
- Top 10 Inspirational People on Twitter Includes: Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado, Tyler Perry, and More
- This is What Happens When a Little Girl Uses Marijuana (VIDEO)
- Breathecast's Top 7 Christian Rock Albums of 2013 - Skillet, Stryper, and More
- DC Talk Reunion 'Jesus Freak 20 Years Later Tour' Confirmed by Michael Tait? TobyMac, Audio Adrenaline, and Newsboys on the Dream Tour Bill Too
- BreatheCast Throwback Thursday: DC Talk's 'Jesus Freak' Changes Christian Music Forever with Most 'Overtly Christian Act' of All Time (VIDEO)
- Lizzie Velasquez Once Called 'The World's Ugliest Woman' Knows God Sees Her True Beauty