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This Moment
Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman
Label: Sparrow/EMI
Length: 11/47:06

Every year it seems that Steven Curtis Chapman edges a little further into the territory of CCM elder statesman, somewhat along the lines of Amy Grant.  He's still making records regularly, still doing what he loves, but you sort of get that feeling that the fanbase has started ever so slightly to shift as they pass the age of 40.  What would have been his audience ten years ago has drifted to newer artists like Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, or Casting Crowns.  So, is SCC still relevant to the CCM world?

This Moment would answer that question with an emphatic "yes."  There is a pervading sense that Chapman realizes he is getting older, as many of the songs here are about taking stock, noticing the highlights of life before they're gone, and in doing the best in not letting life pass us by.

"Miracle of a Moment" encourages us to live in the now, and to notice the importance of things while they are taking place.  "One Heartbeat at a Time" is similar, noting the changes in life that occur seemingly in seconds.  "Yours" acknowledges the Creator and calls for total commitment, as does "My Surrender."

Given the recent death of his daughter Maria, "Cinderella" and "My Surrender" both have a bittersweet quality that was not the original intent.  The former is Chapman"s "Butterfly Kisses," though not nearly as cloying.  It speaks of giving children the attention and love they need, rather than living to regret the unspoken words and deeds later in life.

"You Are Being Loved" contains some odd timing shifts, a la David Crowder, and "Something Crazy" is the trademark "trying to be hip" song that seems to pop up on every SCC disc.  Being defined by the love of God sums up two other songs: "Definition of Me," and "With One Voice."

Introspective, wistful at times, and still the same middle of the road, family friendly southern rock style, This Moment is Chapman's best album in several years.

Brian A. Smith
15 July 2008


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