Re:creation

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Re:creation
Studio album by Steven Curtis Chapman
Released August 9, 2011
Genre CCM, acoustic rock, pop rock
Length 54:32
Label Sparrow
Producer Steven Curtis Chapman, Phil Naish, Brent Milligan, Geoff Moore
Steven Curtis Chapman chronology
Beauty Will Rise
(2009)
Re:creation
(2011)
Singles from Re:creation
  1. "Do Everything"
    Released: August 3, 2011
  2. "Long Way Home"
    Released: 2012

Re:creation (sometimes stylized as re:creation or re·creation) is the seventeenth album by Contemporary Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. Released on August 9, 2011, the album features eight new mixes of some of Chapman's songs, as well as five new songs and a Christmas hymn. Re:creation received general critical acclaim upon release, and debuted at number 2 on the Christian Albums chart.

Background[edit]

"...when I sing these songs they have a much deeper meaning to me now... so that was the heart behind doing this [album]. It was how can I take some of those songs that have a new meaning to me and kind of reinterpret those, thus the title 're:creation.'"

-Steven Curtis Chapman[1]

After the accidental death of Chapman's daughter Maria Sue, Chapman found many of his older songs taking on deeper, different meanings to him.[1] Chapman commented that "Three years ago when Maria Sue went to heaven, all of my songs took on a much, much deeper meaning... I found myself singing these songs with a different passion and different purpose. I wanted to re-invent them in a way that really represents what they mean to me now ... '.[1] Chapman further was inspired by Rick Rubin took on producing material with Johnny Cash. Chapman said that "He [Rubin] took those great songs you couldn't imagine ever redoing, everything from the Beatles 'In My Life' to Roberta Flack's 'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face' [sic] and he even did a cover of Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt.' They became almost like new songs... The emotion and what you could really feel in them was inspiring the way I wanted to record these songs".[1]

Chapman had some difficulty choosing the songs on the record, commenting that "This was an album that seemed much easier to do in theory".[2] Chapman chose about 40 of his favorite songs, while his label had a list of their own, and they narrowed the list down to the final track listing.[2]

Composition[edit]

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrical content of the 're:creations' remain mostly consistent with the original versions,[2] although some of them replace backing vocals, such as on "The Great Adventure (Re:created)".[3] Chapman also addresses lyrical themes such as living life to the fullest on "Meant To Be",[4] his recent trials and journey on "Long Way Home",[2][4][5] and the foundation of faith on "All That's Left".[6]

Music[edit]

Re:creation uses a wider array of musical instruments than Chapman's previous works, making use of ukeleles, banjos, hammered dulcimers and string instruments, among other instruments, and has some world music[2] and folk-pop[4] influences. Most of the 're:creations' strip down the prominent production elements of the original versions, having a more organic, acoustic-driven sound.[1][3][4][5][7]

"Long Way Home" is led by the ukelele,[1][2][3][4][5] while "Heaven in the Real World (Re:created)" features use of a banjo.[1][3][4] and hammered dulcimer.[5] "The Great Adventure (Re:created)" omits the opening guitar riff of the original and replaces the backing vocals of the original with strings and percussion,[5] while "Dive (Deeper)" tones down the upbeat vibe of the originals and adds in a flute[4][5] and percussive handclaps.[5] "Do Everything" features a more upbeat feel.[4][5][6]

Release and promotion[edit]

Re:creation was released in the United States on August 16, 2011. Steven's first single from the album, "Do Everything", was released during the summer and has since peaked at number 3 on the Christian Songs chart,[8] as well as number 1 on the Christian AC Indicator and Christian AC charts.

The album peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Christian Albums chart.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 5/5 stars[6]
allmusic 4.5/5 stars[7]
Christianity Today 3/5 stars[3]
Crosswalk.com Positive[5]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[4]
USA Today 3/4 stars[9]
NewReleaseTuesday 4/5 stars[10]

Re:creation received general critical acclaim upon release. About.com reviewer Kim Jones gave the album five out of five stars, opining that "The darkness that rushed in from all sides in their [the Chapman family] private night that never seemed to end has given way to a sunrise of glorious proportions. re:creation is filled with the rays of hope, faith, love and joy and it shows us all that while the night may be dark, that one twinkling star of faith will guide us through to morning", giving particular praise to the tracks "Do Everything", "All That's Left", and "Heaven In the Real World (Re:created)".[6] Jones also commented that "Bottom line - Steven Curtis Chapman has presented us with an album that is compelling, personal, and touching... This is an album that is destined to be ministering to generations long after ours is gone".[6] Jared Johnson of Allmusic gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars, commenting that "Songs like "Dive," "Live Out Loud," and "For the Sake of the Call," known for their big production, are stripped down to their barest essentials and brought back with new instrumentation and new life. "Magnificent Obsession" shines in totally new ways. As Chapman belts out, "This is everything I want, this is everything I need," you get the feeling these words mean more to him than they did ten years prior", also noting that "The original songs are just as strong, from the catchy first single "Do Everything" to the laid-back island vibe of "Long Way Home".[7]

Jesus Freak Hideout reviewer John DiBiase gave the album four out of five stars, opining that "The positives of this release outweigh any negatives as the new songs are wonderful additions to the talented artist's catalog and the updates of the older, now dated songs are a nice touch", although noting that "longtime listeners who have an attachment to the originals might not embrace each one with open arms".[4] Dibiase had harsh words for "Dive (Deeper)", however, calling the prominent flute in the song "horrifically intrusive" and "hyperactive".[4] Kevin Davis of New Release Tuesday gave the album four out of five stars, calling the album "my inspirational album of the year".[10] Brian Mansfield of USA Today gave the album three out of fours stars, listing "The Great Adventure (Re:created)", "For The Sake of the Call (Re:created)", and "Do Everything" as his download picks.[9]

Ed Cardinal of Crosswalk.com gave the album a positive review, commenting that "If you’ve ever liked Steven Curtis Chapman, re:creation—nostalgic yet forward thinking—will make you like him even more", also praising the 're:creations' of "The Great Adventure", "Heaven in the Real World", and "Speechless" for replacing the prevalent audio effects and background vocals of the originals.[5] Jeremy V. Jones of Christianity Today gave the album three out of five stars, commenting that "The absence of shiny, happy, radio-pop production improves several of these hits, including "Dive (Deeper)" and "More to This Life." The restraint strips away original excesses to turn "For the Sake of the Call" and "Magnificent Obsession" into prayerful, renewed confessions of faith no matter what may—or has—come. But references to Regis Philbin and his "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" TV show leave "Live Out Loud" feeling somewhat dated". Cardinal also praised the fleeting Americana influences of the album, while expressing disappointment in their limited usage.[3]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Do Everything"   3:52
2. "Long Way Home"   4:14
3. "The Great Adventure" (Re:created) 3:42
4. "Dive (Deeper)"   4:29
5. "All That's Left"   3:48
6. "Heaven in the Real World" (Re:created) 3:11
7. "Speechless" (Re:created) 4:27
8. "Live Out Loud" (Re:created) 3:44
9. "For the Sake of the Call" (Re:created) 5:12
10. "Magnificent Obsession" (Re:created) 4:17
11. "Meant to Be"   4:18
12. "More to this Life" (Re:created) 4:55
13. "Morning Has Broken" (featuring Caleb Chapman) 2:39
14. "Sing Hallelujah"   1:49

Personnel[edit]

(Credits lifted from Allmusic)[11]

Charts[edit]

Album charts (main entry)
Chart (2011) Peak position
US Billboard 200[12] 45
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[13] 2
Year Song Peak Chart Position
Christ
[8]
Christ
AC
2011 "Do Everything" 3 1
2012 "Long Way Home" - -

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Price, Deborah Evans (17 August 2011). "Steven Curtis Chapman Recreates Hits on New Album". The Boot. AOL Music. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lusk, Caroline (18 August 2011). "Recreated: All Things Are Made New Again". CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Jeremy V. (2011). "Re:creation". Christianity Today. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Re:creation - Steven Curtis Chapman - Jesus Freak Hideout". Jesus Freak Hideout. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cardinal, Ed (7 August 2011). "Forward-Thinking re:creation Looks Back". Crosswalk.com. Salem Web Network. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Jones, Kim. "Steven Curtis Chapman - 're:creation'". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Re:creation at AllMusic
  8. ^ a b "Do Everything - Steven Curtis Chapman". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (August 8, 2011). "Listen Up: Steve Cropper, Luke Bryan, more". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Davis, Kevin (6 September 2011). "re:creation by Steven Curtis Chapman". New Release Tuesday. NRT Media. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Re:Creation (Credits)". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Steven Curtis Chapman Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Steven Curtis Chapman. Prometheus Global Media.
  13. ^ "Steven Curtis Chapman Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Christian Albums for Steven Curtis Chapman. Prometheus Global Media.