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Amusing

Chris Rice

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Album Review

Twenty years ago it might have come as a surprise to hear Christian pop music that rocked in an unselfconscious way, or that combined genuinely powerful hooks with explicitly and unabashedly devout lyrics. (Sure, there was Amy Grant if you wanted hooks and Stryper if you wanted to rock out, but they were exceptions — and where's Stryper now?) The fact that such music is no longer surprising is due in part to guys like Chris Rice, guys who never let the music take a back seat to the message, and who don't think the devil ought to get all the good basslines and drum loops. Rice has spent years producing instrumental music for various projects (and wrote "Billy Joe McGuffrey" for the first full-length VeggieTales movie), but this is his second full album of real songs. They deal with fairly predictable themes: changing the world ("Love Like Crazy"), domestic bliss and heartache ("When Did You Fall", "The Breakfast Table"), the inevitable, accelerating and sometimes frightening passage of time as you get older ("Tick Tock"). His voice is clear and straightforward, his tunes catchy and nicely arranged, and he has Duane Eddy twanging things up on a couple of tracks. What's not to like? (On the reverse side of the disc is DVD programming that includes the entire album in enhanced stereo, a documentary, and a live performance of "Tick Tock".)

Biography

Genre: Religious

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Outstanding gospel songwriter Chris Rice became a recording artist as well in 1996 after signing a contract with Michael W. Smith's own record label and releasing his debut album, Deep Enough to Dream. The son of Christian-bookstore owners from Maryland, Rice was obviously involved in the gospel industry as a child, but was also influenced by friends and relatives close to him. His songwriting career began in the mid-'80s, a full decade before he became the 1995 Christian Songwriter of the Year (according...
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Amusing, Chris Rice
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