Wade B. (Paterfamilias) from SALEM, MO Reviewed on 5/31/2007...
My favorite album regardless of season
Julius Covington | South Carolina | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first got this CD in 1995, I was in love with it. It is a wonderful blend of contemporary and traditional sounds. But what seals the CD for me is the song "Going Home for Christmas". Instantly I knew I wanted to sing that song the first Christmas following my grandmother's death, and hoped it would be a long time before I got the opportunity. While it does not tell her story, it does sum up her spirit and faith in Jesus Christ. This year I will finally be singing that song. Funny, as I sit here writing the review, listening to the CD, it is playing "Emmanuel" a song of pure worship. Anyway my grandmother died this past August after battling a blood disease for 18 years. Tears would come to my eyes just listening to the song before her death, I can't imagine what it will be like when I try to sing it. This is the power of SCC's music, to evoke emotions and stir the passions toward the King, giving praise, worship and glory to God. This CD will not disapoint."
"Going Home for Christmas"
Stephen H. Guerin | Fayetteville, Tennessee | 12/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My mother, who was ill and had been living with us for four years, died suddenly at our home of a heart attack on Christmas Eve of 1995 while we were all preparing to attend Midnight Mass. So instead of going to a beautiful, joyous Christmas liturgy, my wife and I and our two children ages 5 and 8, found ourselves kneeling and weeping in the little chapel in the hospital where Mom was taken. A few days after the funeral, a friend told me about this album and this particular song, "Going Home for Christmas." I purchased the CD as soon as I could. This song penetrated our grief magically. Once we realized the profound truth in the lyrics - that God had really given Mom the best Christmas present He could - that He brought her home for Christmas - our grief was transformed into joy and gratitude. This song was a powerful catalyst in our healing. And I too, look forward to going home to heaven for Christmas one day. What a homecoming we will share."
I've driven Mom crazy w/ this one....
child_of_th_burning_heart | The Fields of Forgiveness and Grace | 09/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been playing Steven's Christmas album constantly since July. Sad, huh? It's truly the best Christmas music compilation out there. Steven's rewritten version of 'O Come O Come Emmanuel' may seem a sacrilige to some, but I love it. It's much lighter, prettier, and more inspiring than the original, which always struck me as a little too much like a monastery's sunday morning mass service. The words are all the same - never fear! Only the tune changed! Also, 'Our God is With Us', SCC's only song co-written with Michael W. Smith, showcases splendidly both Steven's wonderful voice and Smitty's capacity for acoustic scores. 'This Baby' is a rather 'fun' little peice. It's a highly enjoyable holiday song. 'Going Home for Christmas' I simply love. It's one of those sad hillbilly style Christmas songs should be played on the radio every holiday season. 'Precious Promise', too, is a must-hear. All in all, with old favorites and new classics, this one you've got to check out - even though the lengthy acoustic 'Interlude' is mildly annoying to those of us who like our SCC pure and unadulterated. Herbert Chapman (both Sr. and Jr.) sing on this album, in case you ever wanted to know what they sound like (I did). Answer: bad. I guess that's not where Steven got his talent. ("
The Music of Christmas all year long
Chris Smith | Gold Canyon, AZ United States | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fortunately, Mr. Chapman did not tread a path that many have taken in releasing a formulaic, company-driven Christmas project. Instead, he gives us an album that delightfully mixes classic hymns and original compositions and rolls along with a warm flow of yuletide joy.The album begins with the strains of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," with Chapman's clear tenor voice set against a six-string background, and goes full force into the anthem "The Music of Christmas." Next comes another signature Chapman ballad entitled "Christmas Is All In The Heart." Here he reflects upon his parents' first Christmas, and then progresses into his own experiences of Christmas as the father of three. CeCe Winans adds her delicious vocals to compliment Chapman's on the chorus as well. This song will sure to become a favorite when December rolls around. Two rearranged classics follow. "Angels We Have Heard On High" is given a more pop sound, and the neo-classical arrangement of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" creates a reverent atmosphere with the echoes of The American Boychoir filling the background that is sure to send chills up the spine. The album's centerpiece and for me, the best moment, is "Our God Is With Us," co-written with Michael W. Smith. Similar to "Free" on Signs of Life, it starts slowly and builds to a powerful crescendo with the London Session players providing a rich string accompaniment. This song is one of my favorite out of all of Chapman's work, and needs to be heard by all.We then are exposed to Chapman's first instrumental piece, a celebratory conglomeration of four carols, and featuring virtuoso guitar work by Chapman. Perhaps the album's best pop moment occurs with "This Baby," a narrative song explaining the mystery of Christ's humanity. Chapman's first medley follows next, another trademark of Christmas projects. Here he blends "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," and "O Holy Night" while getting vocal support from his brother Herbie Jr. and father Herb Chapman Sr.Another virtuoso instrumental performance ("Carol of the Bells") and reformatted carol ("O Come All Ye Faithful") brings us to perhaps the most tearfully real song Chapman has yet to create, "Going Home for Christmas." The song deals with Chapman's first Christmas without his grandmother, and successfully addresses the sorrows of the season that many can identify with. The album closes with a ballad, "Precious Promise," that tells the story of Mary and Joseph and their struggles to accept the Messiah was to be their son. Poignant, reflective and Chapmanesque to the fullest.The Music of Christmas is a top-notch effort by an artist who has established himself as the premier singer/songwriter in Christian music. With a balance of seasonal classics and Chapman originals, you'll feel totally satisfied after one listen through. Don't relegate this album to the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve - it's worthy of a listen all year long."
Steven's originality overflows on this album!
Chris Smith | 09/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leave it to the Greatest Christian artist to write some of the best Christmas songs! Steven is one of the most sincere, genuine Christian artists alive, and you can hear it in this album! Though it has a Christmas theme, this album is enjoyable any time of the year. With it's warm, family oriented, Christ-centered lyrics and sound Steven keeps the main reason, for Christmas alive! If you haven't heard his version of "Carol of the Bells"(In which he plays about 90% of all the instruments) then you are missing out!! I definately recommend this album to all Christmas music buffs! To borrow the phrase,"It doesn't get any better than this!!""