Chris Rice – What a Heart is Beating For

Chris Rice – What a Heart is Beating For / 2007 Sony / 11 Tracks / / /

When I still was seriously into Christian music, Chris Rice was an individual that I encountered. I was not too familiar with eir work, but I heard a few tracks here and there that I like. “What a Heart is Beating For” starts off with “So Much For My Sad Song”, a hopefully track that will play well on the contemporary Christian and adult contemporary Christian charts. Hints of Audio Adrenaline as well as John Maher are present during this vocal and guitar-focused track. The title track goes and changes what individuals would think about Chris Rice, as the emotional intensity of this track exceeds that of “So Much”, while the arrangements decrease in frequency.

This has the effect of further highlighting Rice’s vocals and making individuals pick up on every nuance and particle of Rice’s being. “Pardon My Dust” has a slinkier sound to it that the previous tracks on the disc, and has a little bit of a Counting Crows type of sound united with the Maher / Johnson / Matthews sound that has been cultivated up to that point. “Love Is Gonna Break Through” is reminiscent of early DC Talk, and Rice is able to make eir point with little more than eir soulful vocals and pianos. “You Don’t Have TO Yell” will be Rice’s next big hit, as even if the tempo of the track does not reflect a Switchfoot sound, the overall arrangement of the track does. This soft, soothing style (which Rice uses constantly throughout the entirety of this disc) will be pleasing to anyone that finds this album.

The Christian sayings and theology are not audibly present and individuals can thus appreciate the compositions on this album in two very different ways. “Lemonade”, a previous hit for Chris Rice, is also present on “What a Heart is Beating For”. While this song was created in a much different environment than the rest of “What a Heart is Beating For”, Rice is talented enough to bring the rest of the compositions directly in line with this track. Thus, there is no disjuncture between the two distinct styles. Rice’s ability manifests itself in other ways, and is of great benefit to eir throughout the creation of this album. While there are not many tracks that will be crossover successes for Chris Rice, the entirety of “What a Heart is Beating For” should be taken as a singular entity. This is where the glory of Rice presents itself.

Top Tracks: Lemonade, Let The Words Escape

Rating: 6.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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