Nearly every song on All About Love, Steven Curtis Chapman's latest album, is written either to or about his wife, Mary Beth. As the title suggests, it's an album comprised almost entirely of romantic love songs, and an accompaniment to an upcoming book about marriage that Steven and Mary Beth have written together (due in August of 2003). It contains a whopping fifteen tracks (a lot, even for Chapman), and over an hour of material.
All About Love
A classic SCC pop/rock anthem in the tradition of "Dive" and "Live Out Loud," with another of Chapman's patented "you'll hear it in your head for days" melodies. The message is as simple as its title: the meaning of life all boils down to one thing: love.
How Do I Love Her?
With a melody that is at once new and yet familiar, this one's a mid-tempo song of complete devotion to Mary Beth. He asks for God's help in learning how to love her. The full orchestration sounds great.
Your Side of the World
An acoustic pop track about learning to understand Mary Beth's point of view. The melody & tempo remind me vaguely of "Great Expectations."
A cute, folksy tribute to the day that Mary Beth was born, and how it changed his world forever.
You've Got Me
A driving pop anthem; another song expressing complete devotion. The clever chorus lists all the kinds of days that he'll be there for her -- and of course they add up to every day.
Holding A Mystery
This one kind of reminds me of "Magnificent Obsession" -- it has that kind of sound. He talks about the great mystery that his wife is and what a wondrous, perfect thing that is.
Echoes of Eden
A lazy, breezy track that explains how the love between a modern day man and woman is an echo of the expression of love that was first felt in Eden between Adam and Eve.
We Will Dance
This song, which was originally intended as the album's title track, is probably stands the best chance of any song on the album of becoming a new wedding standard. Absolutely beautiful, with tender, quiet orchestration.
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Just about the last song you'd have ever expected Chapman to record. Even if you don't recognize the title, you'll instantly recall the quirky chorus, as originally recorded by The Proclaimers. It's an odd choice, as it doesn't fit in with his usual style, but he pulls it off better than you'd expect.
We Belong Together
A hand-clapping retro chorus complements this pop song about how a husband and wife are meant to complement each other.
With Every Little Kiss
A pop/rock celebration of the bliss of being madly in love, with the focus being on the physical pleasure that kissing brings.
Miracle of You
Probably one of my favorite tracks. A mid-tempo pop song with several key changes that once again celebrates Chapman's complete devotion to his wife. A great, fun melody.
I'll Take Care of You
Chapman does his best Harry Connick, Jr. impression for this cover of the old Ronnie Milsap tune.
I Will Be Here
A nice update Chapman's quintessential wedding song, this time performed with piano accompaniment, which is slowly joined by a full orchestra. This song has lost none of its potency in the many years since it was first recorded.
Moment Made for Worshipping
Arguably the album's best track, and, interestingly enough, it doesn't speak directly to romantic relationships. It's a big, sweeping, classic Chapman anthem that reminds the listener that worshipping God doesn't require special circumstances. Any moment that you're alive is "a moment made for worshipping." An awesome high to go out on.
All About Love arrives in stores just in time for Valentine's Day on January 28, 2003.
Album cover courtesy of Sparrow Records.
By Robin Parrish