Amy Grant

Building the House of Love

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

In her three previous home videos, Amy Grant delivered a live concert and two collections of five music videos each. For her fourth, she turned to the "making of" documentary style, inviting cameras to her home and studios to witness the process of recording her album House of Love. The 72-minute "behind the scenes" feature (followed by three music videos) takes the viewer into Grant's world, including encounters with her three children and her husband, Gary Chapman, at their spacious ranch house on a large farm. One also sees her doing media spots for Good Morning, America and Entertainment Tonight, rehearsing for a Christmas benefit show at the Grand Ole Opry, and shooting a music video with country music royalty for the film Maverick. But a large part of the film is set in recording studios where, it is apparent, her songs are pieced together by producers Keith Thomas and Michael Omartian (who work separately). Forty minutes of the film go by before anyone is seen playing a musical instrument (after which we attend a few overdubbing sessions for strings and choruses); rather, with the instrumental tracks mostly on tape, Grant stands before a microphone endlessly trying different phrasings for her songs, particularly the album's title track, which is being cut in alternate versions by the two producers. Midway, country singer Vince Gill is brought in to make the song a duet, and he too is subjected to the virtual syllable-by-syllable scrutiny of the producers; at one point, Grant confesses to him that Thomas made her sing the song for five days before he was satisfied. These various glimpses into the home and work life of a celebrity often have the quality of a home movie, and the viewer's interest may well depend on the level of interest in Grant, although students of contemporary recording procedures should have a look, too. (In the years after the video's release, when Grant divorced Chapman and married Gill, parts of the film took on different tone, with the positive comments on her first marriage gaining a poignancy, and the chemistry between her and Gill an anticipatory quality.)

blue highlight denotes track pick