Christian music has its share of reluctant stars, artists more interested in their music and message than all the other stuff that comes with having a top-flight recording career. Rich Mullins and Michael Card are two such figures, and now Chris Rice seems to be his generation's entry into that club. His last studio album, 2000's critically lauded Smell the Color 9, was released without any promotion from Rice, who eschewed obligations like radio tours and media interviews in favor of his ministry work. On Run the Earth, Watch the Sky, his first proper studio album in over two years, we find a Rice who has wrestled with his role as a public figure. On the single and opener "Other Side of the Radio," Rice shares his discomfort with listeners, telling us "I'm not a better man 'cause I'm singing songs on the radio." Later acknowledging the impact his music has had, Rice comes to terms with being a recording star, giving Run the Earth, Watch the Sky its strong footing. Yes, the James Taylor sound-alike writes radio-ready hits -- this album is thick with them, virtually every song a potential chart-topper. But Rice never plays games with his listeners; each song has a spiritual foundation directing listeners heavenward. Even a heartfelt ballad such as "Smile," which could easily be a fence-straddling secular love song, is so obviously directed toward Jesus that its crossover aspirations are effectively nil. From the beautiful "Untitled Hymn" and "Spare an Angel" to the lighthearted "Everything's OK" and "Me and Becky," this collection beautifully stays on message: Keep your focus on God, even as you go out into the world. It's a lesson Rice seems to have learned well.
Performance CreditsChris Rice Primary Artist
Bennie Wallace Voices
David Angell Violin
John Catchings Cello,Viola
George Cocchini Guitar
Scott Dente Guitar
Monroe Jones Voices
Duncan Mullins Bass
Kristin Wilkinson Violin
Dan Needham Drums
Jason King Voices
Jeff Roach Keyboards
Lissette Gregory Voices
Kathleen Jones Voices
Steven Delopoulos Acoustic Guitar
Ricky Jackson Background Vocals
Clayton Jones Voices
Mark Hill Bass
Ken Lewis Percussion
Ran Jackson Background Vocals,Voices
Daisy Jones Voices
Technical CreditsJimmy Abegg Producer,Art Direction,Package Concept
David Davidson Prop Design
Jim Dineen Engineer
Monroe Jones Producer
Don Donahue Executive Producer
Josh Reeder Producer
Tiffany Long Art Direction,Package Concept
Monroe Jone Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I absolutely love this CD. It's one of the few CDs I listen to straight through, listening to every single track, instead of skipping around to hear "the tracks I like" (I like them all on this CD!). I love how Chris's lyrics actually mean something and how the CD has both "bobbing your head to the radio" songs ("The Other Side of the Radio" and "Me and Becky") and calm tear-jerkers ("Spare an Angel" and "Untitled Hymn"). "Eighth Grade" is also a positive gem and displays Chris's funny side. I lost my copy of this CD for a while and had to have it on pretty much permanent check-out from my church library until I found my copy again. This CD is awesome!!!
Listening to this cd for the first time and I know full well that I'll be hooked once again to another of Chris Rice's masterpieces. How can there be only one other review dedicated to this word wizard's ability to bring the simple events of life, whether happy or sad, to a place that is so familiar to all of us? True, if you don't buy into Christianity, you may be full of rejection for any mention of it. I still think that Chris has such a gentle touch and grasp for our confusion and doubts about God that even an adamant rebel to these issues would find some ways to relate to these life beholding gems.
Chris Rice is an amazing singer/song writer. Smell the color 9 was awesome, but this tops it. This CD is full of uplifting songs. A must have!!!
Chris Rice turns in another awesome record. I thought nothing could top "Smell The Color 9" but I was wrong!! Every song here is awesome, but I especially like "Everything's OK" and "Smile," which have a beautiful message and singable melodies. And "Spare An Angel" had me bawling my eyes out. Thanks Chris for continuing to put out such wonderful music.
this cd is awsome! i really like every thing that he put on it.