After nearly a decade of brilliance in the Christian music industry, Chris Rice has made an impact not only as a masterful musician, but also as a beautifully talented songwriter. It's hard to say when Rice hit the "peak" of his career, because each of his albums has been unique, and each has been just as good as the previous. In 2004, Rice released Short Term Memories, a brilliant collection of his most popular songs as well as some new work. Now, in 2005, Rice delivers Snapshots, an album with live songs as well as quite a few different "fan favorites" from various compilations over the past several years. I've always been wary of albums that throw a bunch of songs from different sources together onto one disc, because they can feel too much like a homemade compilation and often come out unpolished. The first six songs on the album are live, and four of them are from A Night In Rocketown, released back in 1999. "Hallelujahs" is available on the Rocketown album with the same title, and "Prone To Wander" is a previously unreleased version of the song from his debut album. Though it's great to have these songs together, they're not enough to carry the album by themselves.
The second half of the disc is what really stands out, with some excellent songs like "Nothin'," a soft and passionate ballad from the Exodus album, and "Me and Becky," a more upbeat and energetic tune. The one thing that holds this album back is the fact that, really, it's all been done before. There isn't anything new here, and while that isn't the goal of the album, it certainly leaves the listener wanting more than what is presented.
Not a disappointment by any means, Snapshots is an assortment of some great songs, both live and studio recorded. But with several of them having been released only two years ago, it's somewhat difficult to consider them "fan favorites" already. Still, this release is a great one for fans and is worth checking out.- Review date: 1/30/05, written by Spencer Priest
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