Steven Curtis Chapman – Beauty Will Rise: Beauty Has Risen Indeed.

2009_StevenCurtisChapman_BeautyWillRise

Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman
Album: Beauty Will Rise
Year: 2009
Grade: B

In Brief: There’s a quiet depth in these simple songs. I only hope that SCC can still write this powerfully when things are going great and he’s happy again.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #85: March-April 2010

My soundtrack from the spring of 2010 is… a bit of a hodgepodge, honestly. Most of my soundtracks are, but this one in particular has a bit of an identity crisis. Lots of great music here from across a smattering of divergent genres, but not a whole lot of connecting tissue tying most of it together – and honestly, not as many specific memories tying the music to definitive events in my life. I think this tends to happen during a season of life when I’m reasonably settled and happy – the music I’m drawn to, which might reflect a certain amount of angst or difficult questions, is probably resonating more with stuff I’ve been through in the past, or stuff I’m glad to have never been through. All of this is to say, I’ve realized in retrospect that this is a less autobiographical set of songs than most of my soundtracks turned out to be. Nothing wrong with that – remembering a time in my life when there was a distinct lack of struggle or upheaval is kind of comforting nowadays, considering how isolated, unpredictable and stressful life is for me (and for most of the world!) ten years down the road.

In with the New:
OK Go
Owl City
The River Empires
Jónsi (as a solo artist – appears earlier with Sigur Rós)

Out with the Old:
Newsboys

It Was Worth a Try:
The Clumsy Lovers

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #84: January-February 2010

Starting the year 2010 off in Hawaii, as Christine and I finished up the last few days of our vacation and our visit with her friends and family, offered a lot of chances for rest and reflection on the almost five years of our marriage so far, and what challenges were potentially ahead of us in this new decade. Going back to the first set of mix CDs I made to cover the first two months of that year, I’m reminded of how my outlook on music was changing (a lot more indie rock, not so much Christian music although I retained a few of my long-time favorites) along with my outlook on life (less rigid and black-and-white, more open to being shown new perspectives and subjecting long-standing beliefs to greater scrutiny to see if they still held water). A lot of it was more about capturing a certain aesthetic or mood rather than a specific meaning – yet after spending some time with this collection of songs again after all these years, I’ve realized as I zoom out and look at the set as a whole that there are still some distinct markers of experiences in my life or ideas I was wrestling with, that give the diverse and sometimes even contradictory elements of these playlists a reason for being together that maybe I couldn’t have fully articulated at the time.

In with the New:
The Paper Raincoat
As Tall as Lions

Out with the Old:
Creed
Anathallo

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Divad’s Soundtrack #52: September-October 2004

Here is where the dream that got deferred finally started to come true. This was the season when I made the transition from introducing Christine as “my girlfriend” to introducing her as “my fiancé”. It’s hard to enumerate all of the thoughts that went through my head as I prepared to take this great leap forward… but hesitance was no longer one of them.

In with the New:
Mute Math
Bethany Dillon
Iron & Wine
Starfield

Out with the Old:
dc Talk
Abra Moore
Eastmountainsouth

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Divad’s Soundtrack #42: January-February 2003

2003 got off to a great start. I spent New Year’s Day and a week or so beyond that in Hawaii, and then returned to California to settle into the new apartment Tim and I had just moved into. I was excited to actually live in San Gabriel, closer to the community of random friends I had cultivated at church. Saying goodbye to Christine at the end of that trip was difficult as always, but this time, it was mitigated by the fact that she would be moving to California to be with me on a daily basis within the next few months.

In with the New:
Evanescence
Grits
The Flaming Lips
Jeremy Camp
38th Parallel
Norah Jones

Out with the Old:
Bleach
Nina Gordon

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Divad’s Soundtrack #39: July-August 2002

The summer of 2002 was a hard one due to how badly I missed my new girlfriend, but it was also one of the best ones of my life – I could play hard and make up my schedule as I went along like a single guy, but know that there was someone in a time zone 3 hours behind me waiting to chat online when I got home late at night.

In with the New:
Pillar
Mandy Moore

Out with the Old:
The Normals
Steve

It Was Worth a Try:
Wes King

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Divad’s Soundtrack #37: March-April 2002

I’d have to say that this mix is one of my all-time favorites, just because of the time and the experiences that it represents – in many ways, it’s the soundtrack to falling in love again.

In with the New:
Jimmy Eat World
Plus One
Shaun Groves

Out with the Old:
Audio Adrenaline

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Divad’s Soundtrack #35: November-December 2001

As 2001 drew to a close, I found myself experiencing a rebirth of sorts, finally feeling plugged into a church, and really making friends who I could talk to about important, personal matters. I joined a Neighborhood Sedaqah Group (Evergreen’s term for a weekly Bible Study) in Pasadena and finally felt like part of a community.

In with the New:
Corrinne May
Stabbing Westward
Steve
Kepano Green

Out with the Old:
Nicole C. Mullen

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Divad’s Soundtrack #34: September-October 2001

Lots of turmoil and fear were packed into these few months – not just for me, but for a lot of Americans. There would be no clever plans, no “getting away from it all” – no options other than faith to get me through uncertain times. Yet, the common fears that many of us shared were probably what made it seem more natural for folks to find reassurance in baring their souls to one another, so it was easier during this segment of my life to be more of an “extrovert” and hit the ground running in a lot of new friendships. These were the first few months in which I truly got involved in the new church I’d been attending for the better part of the year. Some of the people I met and shared my hurts and fears with in those days are still good friends now, almost a decade later.

In with the New:
Tool
Nickel Creek

Out with the Old:
Polarboy
Circadian Rhythm
LaRue

It Was Worth a Try:
LFO

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Divad’s Soundtrack #23: October-December 1999

Things finally started to stabilize as 1999 drew to a close, but even as I startled to settle into the “normal adult world”, I still felt a lot of pressure and this sense of time running out, as if I would be old and have missed out on most of my life before I had a chance to realize what was going on. I felt like my prayers about how I’d be provided for were being answered, and yet I couldn’t calm down and be at peace despite no longer having the job search looming over my head. I think I had just been used to the stress for so long that my system had adopted worry as my default mood. Now I needed to figure out how to get out of that mode and learn to enjoy life again, which wouldn’t happen until midway through the following year.

In with the New:
Pete Stewart (as a solo artist – appears earlier with Grammatrain)
The Insyderz

Out with the Old:
Plaid
The Waiting

It Was Worth a Try:
FFH

Listen on Spotify:

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