If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something

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If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something
Album Art-If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something.jpg
Studio album by Rebecca St. James
Released 22 November 2005
Recorded 2005
Genre Christian rock
Length 50:40
Label ForeFront
Producer Tedd T., Shaun Shankel and Matt Bronleewe
Rebecca St. James chronology
Wait for Me: The Best from Rebecca St. James
(2003)
If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something
(2005)
aLIVE in Florida
(2007)
Singles from If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something
  1. "Alive"
    Released: 4 October 2005
  2. "You Are Loved"
    Released: March 2006
  3. "God Help Me"
    Released: July 2006
  4. "Take All of Me"
    Released: October 2006

If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something is the eighth studio album from Rebecca St. James. This album features a rather significant style variation. Retreating from the Nichole Nordeman or Joy Williams style, St. James has taken on a more rock-driven anthem (similar to secular acts Evanescence and Alanis Morissette). However, even in the particularly edgy "Alive", Rebecca St. James never deviates from the Christian message that has driven all her songs from the beginning. The album includes the hit singles "Alive" and "You Are Loved".

Writing and development[edit]

St. James co-wrote 11 out of the 12 tracks on the album, with the songs "God Help Me" and "You Are Loved" being written solely by the singer.[1] St. James wrote "God Help Me" on her 27th birthday and says of the song, "I love singing this song because to me it’s an essential thought of the Christian life... 'God help me... I’m not enough!'"[2] The album's first single, "Alive", is about how God can refresh you. She commented, "I love that this song is the first single from the album because it really represents where I am in my life right now. I feel over the last few years that God has really refreshed my soul. He’s done a lot of work in me personally in just re-vitalizing me as well as re-energizing me in a musical/ministry sense."[3]

The title song "You Are Loved" was inspired by an old family friend. St. James says,

"This is a song that’s very close to me. It’s written about a childhood friend of mine that I grew up with in Sydney. I fell out of contact with him after leaving our Christian school to move to a different state. I ran into a mutual friend years later and asked how our friend, Daniel, was doing. This friend told me that Daniel had really fallen away from God and that he’d been abusing drugs as well. As I was thinking about what I wanted to write about on this album, he very randomly came to mind—and I felt that this ‘random’ thought was actually placed there by God. I had the concept... 'If I had one chance to tell Daniel something, what would I say to him?’ The message I felt God really laid on my heart was to tell him... 'You are loved.' This is a song for the prodigals—which is all of us. God is the father that has His arms open wide waiting for us. He wants us to run towards Him and He will run toward us. It’s a song of hope and a message my generation needs to hear. ‘No matter where you've been and what you've done... you are loved.' From this song came the album title—and really the key theme of the project.

I think I’ve come to realize, yes, we need to stand in awe of God and be blown away by His power. But it’s really His kindness and His love that draws us to Him and into a relationship with Him—His love makes us desire to know Him and love Him in return. That is for me the most important message I need to share—through this album and in my life. From how I relate in my relationships with others to what I say onstage –the message is 'we are extravagantly loved by God'".[4]

"Shadowlands" was inspired by the writings of C.S. Lewis, while "Love Being Loved By You" is described by St. James as a worship song.[5][6] "I Need You" was written for St. James's best friend Karleen.[7]

"Beautiful Stranger" is described by the singer as her "Compassion International song". She says, "For years I have wanted to write a song that sums up my heart for the work of Compassion International—and this is it—it arrived! Ever since I was a little girl and wanted to work in an orphanage and help kids in need, I’ve had a passion to show God’s love in practical ways. I think this song challenges me—and hopefully it challenges the listener—to not ignore those that we experience in our day-to-day lives who are hurting. I want this song to encourage people to reach out in the sense of reaching those who are hurting all around us. To offer God’s help and hope to those who are struggling with all kinds of needs - from poverty to loneliness, and to give to those that too often are lost and unnoticed in the crowd. What the song challenges us to do is to see that person as if we’re truly seeing Jesus –when we someone, we are loving Him. I am personally challenged by this song when I sing it and that’s a good thing."[8]

Co-written and co-sung by TobyMac, "Thank You" is a simple message of thanks to God.[9] The song "Take All of Me" was originally written by Hillsong United artist Marty Sampson and was chosen by St. James because of its worshipful tone.[10] St. James says of "Forgive Me", "This song reminds me of the everlasting beauty of God’s grace."[11] The song "I Can Trust You" was written as a reminder to trust God. St. James says, "A major dream for me has been to get married and have a family—so this song really challenges me. God called me to trust Him with my desire to be married. To say, “Lord, if you have another purpose for me other than this desire that I have, I choose to trust you that you know what’s best for my life.’ He gave me the ability to do this. This song really talks about the challenges of giving God the things closest to us."[12] St. James says of the final track, "Lest I Forget", "It’s somewhat of a sobering song but a song of gratefulness that simply treasures what Jesus has done for us."[13]

Music structure[edit]

If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something is described as "commercial alternative rock".[1] It is much edgier and rock-based than St. James' prior album Worship God. The songs are based in guitars, bass lines, and string arrangements. St. James also dabbles in hip-hop on the track "Thank You".[14] The album was produced by frequent Rebecca St. James collaborators Tedd T. and Matt Bronleewe, and producer Shaun Shankel.[1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Theme verse [15] Length
1. "God Help Me"   Rebecca St. James Psalm 55:16 3:12
2. "Alive"   Matt Bronleewe, St. James Matthew 16:25 3:22
3. "You Are Loved"   St. James Luke 15:20 4:39
4. "Shadowlands"   Jason Ingram, Bronleewe, St. James 2 Peter 1:4 3:55
5. "Love Being Loved by You"   Ben Glover, Ingram, St. James Psalm 89:1 3:56
6. "I Need You"   St. James, Shaun Shankel Proverbs 17:17 3:55
7. "Beautiful Stranger"   Carey Barlowe, Jamie Moore, St. James Matthew 25:40 3:43
8. "Thank You" (featuring TobyMac) St. James, Tedd Tjornhom, Toby McKeehan Psalm 138:1 3:56
9. "Take All of Me"   Marty Sampson Psalm 146:5 5:54
10. "Forgive Me" (featuring BarlowGirl) St. James, Scott Dyer Psalm 79:9 3:43
11. "I Can Trust You"   St. James, T. Psalm 91:2 4:14
12. "Lest I Forget"   St. James, Robert Hawkins Luke 22:19 6:07
Total length:
50:40

Release and reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars [14]
Christianity Today 4/5 stars [16]

The album received positive reviews. Rob Theakston of Allmusic gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and said "the music is so contemporary and the lyrics sometimes so ambiguous, it's easy to forget where her message is coming from and what it's all about."[1] JesusFreakHideout gave it 4 stars and commented, "If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something is a wonderful addition to Rebecca St. James's impressive career. Pop/rock and RSJ fans alike should find a lot to enjoy about this record, and it's a real treat to hear her return to the type of music-making that caused us to fall in love with her a decade ago."[14] ChristianityToday favored the album saying, "This album's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and you can bet that as much as half of If I Had One Chance will do well on Christian radio. The challenge will be for St. James will be to avoid reverting to old material, continuing to press forward and try new things in her words and music. Nevertheless, this is a great recovery from her songwriting hiatus. Rebecca St. James is back, as inviting and rocking as she ever was."[17]

Chart performance[edit]

The album was not as successful as her previous endeavors and was her first studio album to not reach the Billboard 200 in 11 years. It did manage to chart at no. 14 on Billboard's Hot Christian Albums chart, nine slots lower than 2002's Worship God.[1]

Singles[edit]

  • "Alive" was released as the lead single to the album on October 4, 2005.[18] It proved to be successful, peaking at #3 on R&R's Christian CHR Chart and #13 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs Chart.[19][20] It also proved successful in the UK where it peaked at #1 and in Australia where it landed at #36 on their 2006 Year-End Charts.[21][22]
  • "You Are Loved" was released as the second single. It peaked at #11 on Australia's 2006 Year-End Charts.[21]
  • "God Help Me" was released as the third single. It peaked at #2 in the UK,[22] and landed at #81 on Australia's 2006 Year-End Charts.[21]
  • "Take All of Me" was released as the fourth single and peaked at #96 on Australia's 2006 Year-End Charts.[21]
  • "I Need You", "I Can Trust You", and "Love Being Loved By You" were all released as singles in the UK where they peaked at #1, #2, and #1 respectively. "I Need You" also became the #1 song on their Year-End Charts for staying on the charts for 12 weeks.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Theakston, Rob (2005-11-22). "If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something - Rebecca St. James : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  2. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something God Help Me lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  3. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Alive lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something You Are Loved lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Shadowlands lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  6. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Love Being Loved By You lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something I Need You lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  8. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Beautiful Stranger lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Thank You lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  10. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Take All Of Me lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  11. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Forgive Me lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  12. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something I Can Trust You lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  13. ^ "Rebecca St. James If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Lest I Forget lyrics". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  14. ^ a b c "Rebecca St. James, "If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something" Review". Jesusfreakhideout.com. 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  15. ^ If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something Special Edition album leaflet.
  16. ^ "If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something, Christian Music Reviews". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  17. ^ "If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something, Christian Music Reviews". Thefish.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  18. ^ "iTunes - Music - Alive - Single by Rebecca St. James". Itunes.apple.com. 2005-10-04. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  19. ^ "EMI CMG Distribution". EMI CMG Distribution. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  20. ^ "Rebecca St. James Music News & Info". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  21. ^ a b c d "2006 TRAA Top 100 Songs" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  22. ^ a b c "Cross Rhythms Annual Chart". Crossrhythms.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-14.