The Glorious Unfolding

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The Glorious Unfolding
Studio album by Steven Curtis Chapman
Released September 30, 2013 (2013-09-30)
Genre CCM
Length 47:46
Label Reunion
Producer Steven Curtis Chapman, Brent Milligan
Steven Curtis Chapman chronology
Re:creation
(2011)
'The Glorious Unfolding'
(2013)

The Glorious Unfolding was the sixteenth studio album by the contemporary Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman, released on September 30, 2013, by Reunion Records, and produced by himself along with Brent Milligan. This was his first album released by Reunion Records, and it was his nineteenth album in his career. The album has seen commercial success as well as critical acclaim.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
CCM Magazine 5/5 stars[2]
Christian Music Review 4.5/5 stars[3]
The Christian Music Review Blog 4/5 stars[4]
Christian Music Zine 4.75/5[5]
Cross Rhythms 9/10 squares[6]
Indie Vision Music 5/5 stars[7]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[8]
4/5 stars[9]
Jesus Wired 4/5 stars[10]
Louder Than the Music 4.5/5 stars[11]
New Release Tuesday 4.5/5 stars[12]
The Phantom Tollbooth 4/5 stars[13]
Worship Leader 5/5 stars[14]

The Glorious Unfolding earned critical acclaim from music critics. Andy Argyrakis of CCM magazine felt that "the veteran is still at the top of his game, once again redefining the contemporary pop sound he practically invented, alongside contemplative ballads the provide a strikingly vulnerable view of the singer/songwriter's soul."[2] At New Release Tuesday, Dawn Teresa noted that this was "a landmark achievement and a career-defining record, an album for the ages that will take its place beside much acclaimed albums like The Great Adventure, Signs of Life, and Speechless", and called the release "nothing short of remarkable."[12] At Worship Leader magazine, Mike Pueschell wrote that "There is a particular warmth and depth to this work—a master still creating masterful work."[14] Lins Honeyman at Cross Rhythms stated that "the album as a whole, showcase a mature side to Chapman's work that comes only with personal experience and years in the business."[6]

Mark Rice of Jesus Freak Hideout felt that "It would be difficult to put it on par with his very best like Speechless, The Great Adventure, or Beauty will Rise, but it will find a good home in many year-end top 10 lists (this reviewer's included)."[8] However, Rice affirmed that "Steven Curtis Chapman has put out another winner. It's spiritually deep, extremely personal, and musically sublime. Chapman fans will love it, as should any CCM fan."[8] Also Jesus Freak Hideout's, John DiBiase wrote that "Ultimately, The Glorious Unfolding soars above most other projects from today's CCM artists (especially from the newer talent), but it doesn't quite continue with the steam that the first few songs lead off with. Regardless, Chapman has given us another rewarding listen with The Glorious Unfolding, one that indeed beautifully unfolds its thought-provoking layers with each listen"[9] At Allmusic, Andree Farias called this "an album of encouragement".[1]

At Indie Vision Music, Jonathan Andre affirmed that "The Glorious Unfolding is a grand masterpiece, and in time, will hopefully become one of the SCC greats alongside other standout albums in his career, from The Great Adventure to Speechless, This Moment, Signs of Life and Declaration."[7] Louder Than the Music's Jono Davies affirmed "this album shows that Steven knows how to produce great songs that are heartfelt, meaningful and honest."[11] Joshua Andre of Christian Music Zine highlighted that "after listening to this very musical diverse, compelling, heart-wrenching and personal album, I can truly say that Steven’s work is beyond awesome, and his prowess as a songwriter once in a generation."[5] In addition, Andre noted that "Moving labels after this long signifies a new beginning, a rebirth of sorts, and boy has Steven Curtis Chapman recorded a fine, vulnerable and touching new album, one that will capture the hearts and minds of all who will listen, and changes us all from the inside out."[5]

At Christian Music Review, Daniel Edgeman called it "a beautiful album with a strong message of hope and faith in God", and noted that "This album would break the hardest of hearts."[3] The Christian Music Review Blog's Jim Wilkerson felt the title track was disappointing, and even though "One of the traps he can sometimes fall into is letting some of his songs sound the same" that "he threw in enough surprises that he was able to avoid that in this album."[4] Furthermore, Wilkerson affirmed that "His voice is one of the best in the industry and his songs can really move the soul", which he used this in order to create "yet another great album".[4] At The Phantom Tollbooth, Michael Dalton called "This sometimes wistful look at the present and future is elegant."[13] Lauren Kleist of Jesus Wired noted that "although some of the spark of past albums is definitely missing, Chapman has something to say and, as usual, he says it with creativity and panache."[10]

Chart performance[edit]

For the Billboard charting week of October 19, 2013, The Glorious Unfolding was the No. 27 most sold album in the United States by the Billboard 200, and it was the No. 1 Top Christian Album sold the same week. In addition, it was the No. 20 Top Digital Album sold that week.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Steven Curtis Chapman

Tracklist
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Glorious Unfolding"     4:46
2. "Love Take Me Over"     3:01
3. "Take Another Step"     3:36
4. "Something Beautiful"     3:03
5. "Finish What He Started"     3:34
6. "Only One and Only You"     3:35
7. "See You in a Little While"     4:23
8. "A Little More Time to Love"     4:51
9. "Sound of Your Voice"     5:24
10. "Together"     4:02
11. "Michael and Maria"     3:46
12. "Feet of Jesus"     3:45
Total length:
47:46


Personnel
  • Steven Curtis Chapman: vocals, background vocals (1-5,7,8,9,11), acoustic guitar (1-4,7,8,11,12), piano (1,3,5,6,7), mandola (1), electric guitar (5), baritone acoustic guitar (9), stomps (4), claps (4,9), percussion (9)
  • Brent Milligan: bass guitar (1-4,7,8,9,11), programming (1,5,7), electric guitar (1-5,7,8,12), claps (2,3,4,9), stomps (2,3,4), synth bass (2,5), piano (2,11,12), percussion (3,5,6,9,11), horns (6), bells (8), acoustic guitar (9), cello (11,12), synth pad (12), string arrangement (7,11), background vocals (8,9)
  • Joe Causey: synth (1), programming (1-5), electric guitar (2,3,4), baritone (5,9), Yamaha CP70 electric grand piano (7), music box (9)
  • Will Franklin Chapman: drums (1-5), cymbals (6)
  • Dan Needham: drums (7)
  • Blair Masters: piano (7,9,10), dulcimer (8), accordion (9)
  • Ben Shive: additional piano (7)
  • Ken Lewis: drums & percussion (8,9)
  • Stu Garrard: electric guitar (8,9), guitar textures (9)
  • Andy Leftwich: violin (11,12), mandolin (11), string arrangement (11)
  • Sam Levine: penny whistle (11,12)
  • Carl Marsh: string arrangement (1,6,10)
  • Stephen Lamb: copyist (1)
  • The Love Sponge Strings - David Davidson, David Angell, Monisa Angell & John Catchings: strings & string arrangement (7)
  • Background vocals: Scott Sheriff (1,2,3,7,8,9,11), Herb Chapman (3), Luke Brown (4), Jillian Edwards Chapman (9), Julia Chapman (9), Mary Beth Chapman (9) & Stevey Joy Chapman (9)
  • String section (1,6,10) - violins: Karen Winklemann, David Davidson, Pam Sixfin, Mary Katherine VanOsdale, Erin Hall, Connie Heard, Carrie Bailey, Conni Ellisor, Janet Darnall, Stefan Petrescu, Zeneba Bowers & Betsy Lamb; violas: Chris Farrell, Kris Wilkinson, Seanad Chang, Hari Bernstein; cellos: Sara Sant'Ambrogio, Sari Reist, Kristen Greer & Julia Emahiser; bass: Craig Nelson & Joel Reist


Production
  • Producers: Steven Curtis Chapman & Brent Milligan
  • Executive Producer: Terry Hemmings
  • A&R: Blaine Barcus
  • Tracking Engineer: Andy Hunt
  • Strings recorded by Russ Long, assisted by Leslie Richter
  • Strings (7) recorded by Bobby Shin
  • Mix engineers: Chris Lord-Alge (1,2,4) & Sean Moffitt, assisted by Warren David (3,5-12)
  • Mastering: Dave McNair

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[15] 27
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[16] 2
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[17] 20

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Farias, Andree (September 30, 2013). "The Glorious Unfolding - Steven Curtis Chapman". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Argyrakis, Andy (November 1, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman: The Glorious Unfolding (Reunion Records)" (PDF). CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing. p. 69. ISSN 1524-7848. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Edgeman, Daniel (October 1, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman "The Glorious Unfolding"". Christian Music Review. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Wilkerson, Jim (October 1, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman: The Glorious Unfolding". The Christian Music Review Blog. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Andre, Joshua (September 30, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman – The Glorious Unfolding (Review)". Christian Music Zine. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Honeyman, Lins (November 3, 2013). "Review: The Glorious Unfolding - Steven Curtis Chapman". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Andre, Jonathan (October 2, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman – The Glorious Unfolding | Reviews". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Rice, Mark (September 29, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman, "The Glorious Unfolding" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b DiBiase, John (September 29, 2013). "Steven Curtis Chapman, "The Glorious Unfolding" Review: Second Staff Opinion". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kleist, Lauren (November 7, 2013). "Album Review: Steven Curtis Chapman – “The Glorious Unfolding”". Jesus Wired. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Davies, Jono (October 7, 2013). "Reviews - Steven Curtis Chapman - The Glorious Unfolding". Louder Than the Music. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Teresa, Dawn (September 24, 2013). "A Career-Defining Album". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Dalton, Michael (October 13, 2013). "Chapman, Steven Curtis - The Glorious Unfolding". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Pueschell, Mike (October 1, 2013). "The Glorious Unfolding". Worship Leader. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Steven Curtis Chapman Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Steven Curtis Chapman. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  16. ^ "Steven Curtis Chapman Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Christian Albums for Steven Curtis Chapman. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Digital Albums for Steven Curtis Chapman. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 10, 2013.