Easy Listening

What A Heart Is Beating For

Artist: Chris Rice

Produced by: Eb+Flo Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            When I viewed the promo DVD for What A Heart Is Beating For by Chris Rice, I was intrigued.  Here’s this goofy looking guy who reminds me of those lanky characters you might find in a honkey tonk bar crooning the latest country song.  But as he talked about his music and I got a chance to preview his voice, I thought – wow!  This was not the voice I expected.  I also hadn’t expected to have heard Chris Rice’s music in the past, but lo and behold, there he was standing next to Delilah, a light music DJ and I realized that I had actually heard one of his songs on Delilah’s evening radio show.  Reading the promotional literature that came along with the CD, I discovered that Chris Rice has been a staple in the Christian music market and that he had even penned songs for Amy Grant.  After viewing the DVD and reading the promo literature, I simply had to hear this album, so I popped What A Heart Is Beating For into the player.

            The CD begins with a wonderfully uplifting song in which the songwriter starts off wanting to write a sad song, but ends up singing a happy one thanks to the love in his life.  So Much For My Sad Song was so enjoyable, I had tremendous hopes for the rest of the album.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The songs of Chris Rice are well-written and easy to understand.  Each one tells a story or relates a message to the listeners.  The music is mostly fun and upbeat except for the last track, Baby Take Your Bow, in which the singer talks to someone who has recently passed away.  The lyrics on that particular song contain so much feeling, they brought tears to my eyes.

            My favorite tracks on What A Heart Is Beating For are So Much For My Sad Song, You Don’t Have to Yell and the title song.  In What A Heart Is Beating For, Chris Rice tells his listeners that life may be hard and things may not always go our way, but we have to be willing to take risks: “Why be afraid / No reason to hide / Take the chance / Put it all on the line / Draw in a deep breath and throw open the door / 'Cause that's what a heart is beating for.”  You Don’t Have To Yell is a statement chastising the news media and reality television and emphasizing the fact that yelling is no way to get your point across: “Everybody take a breath / Why are all your faces red / We're missin' all the words you said / You don't have to yell / Draw your lines and choose your side / ‘Cause many things are worth the fight / But louder doesn't make you right / You don't have to yell.”

            Christian music does make its way onto this CD, but while some Christian music can be incredibly somber, the music on this album is upbeat and uplifting.  Sneakin’ Into Heaven is a funny tale of a man who visits heaven using a borrowed halo and learns a message about life from Paul the Apostle.  Tell Me the Story Again is a medley of major bible events from Genesis to the Gospel that would be perfect for use at a Sunday school session.

            Chris Rice’s voice is reminiscent of that musical storyteller James Taylor.  Its soothing nature compels you to listen and you find yourself hanging on to every word.  There are no hidden meanings in this lyrics and every message is clearly understood.  Chris Rice’s music is so catchy that by the time I played the album a second time, I found myself singing along.  Whether you’re a fan of Christian music, light music or music in general, Chris Rice’s What A Heart Is Beating For is right for you.  I can’t wait to hear Chris’ next album!


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