Gary Chapman

The Best of Gary Chapman: After God's Own Heart

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Amy Grant's ex-husband has had a solid career in contemporary Christian music, as this solid 15-track compilation attests. His rich voice overcomes even the corniest tune, like the opening track, "A Man After Your Own Heart," but he does have a tendency on "Outside" to be the faithful version of Gordon Lightfoot. He gives a country gospel twist to Rich Mullins' classic "Elijah," and modulates his voice between tender and edgy, depending on the genre-slant of the tune. His rasp on the blues-country hoedown "Gospel Ship" is about as good as CCM gets. Elsewhere, there are anthems, family-oriented story songs, and affirmations of God's power in his life. Diversity is Chapman's trademark, and usually the quirky tunes are more interesting than the slick mainstream pop -- yet his message is on target for his market. The collection closes with an emotional reading of the modern Christmas classic "Mary Did You Know?" Overall, a good retrospective of one of CCM's staple artists, and a strong introduction for those as yet unfamiliar.

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