2013 is my favorite year of music ever -- the sheer amount of great albums released that year was insane. In both Christian and secular music, I could probably be satisfied for the rest of my life listening solely to the music we received that year. Yet when that year drew to a close, on my list of 30 favorite albums, Steven Curtis Chapman's The Glorious Unfolding
was nowhere to be found. If you're wondering how this album was selected as our "Best of 2013," you might have been exactly like me when I first heard it. I was disappointed and thought Chapman had backtracked into some of his radio pop habits. Halfway through 2014, I realized how wrong I had been. The Glorious Unfolding
clicked for me as both a musically brilliant sequel to This Moment
and as a lyrically heartbreaking sequel to Beauty Will Rise
, displaying how Chapman had taken the life lessons and spiritual growth caused by the death of his daughter and seamlessly united them to the pop songcraft that brought us past hits like "Dive," "Do Everything," and "Cinderella." Just listen to "Finish What He Started" and pay attention to the highly detailed background vocal work (all recorded by Chapman himself) to see how thought-out, detailed, and gorgeous this record is, all atop the deeply personal and hard-earned wisdom flowing out of each beautiful, rewarding, encouraging song.
- Chase Tremaine
Visit JFH's Steven Curtis Chapman page for more information about them.