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Snapshots: Live and Fan Favorites

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Feb
Snapshots: Live and Fan Favorites
Sounds like … the light and thoughtful acoustic pop/rock of David Wilcox, James Taylor, Rich Mullins, and Steven Curtis ChapmanAt a glance … Snapshots is not an essential album, but it makes a fine companion to Rice's first hits compilation, further demonstrating the deep and consistent quality of his songwritingTrack ListingDeep Enough to Dream (live)Sometimes Love (live)Big Enough (live)Hallelujahs (live)Prone to Wander (live)Cartoons (live)Billy Joe McGuffreyCalling out Your NameNothin'Questions for HeavenNaïveMe & BeckyEverything's OKGreat Is Thy FaithfulnessWelcome to Our World

After seven years, four studio recordings, and two instrumental projects, a greatest hits album isn't far-fetched. But two compilations released within a year of each other only confirms insider reports that Chris Rice is moving on from the Rocketown family. Snapshots: Live and Fan Favorites is also an attempt to fill in the gaps left by Rice's first hits disc, demonstrating how deeply and consistently quality runs through this songwriter's work.

This album features notable omissions from Short Term Memories (albeit non-hits), such as the child-like honesty of "Naïve," the delightfully whimsical "Questions for Heaven," and "Me & Becky," now a radio single. There are also worthwhile rarities like the hymn-inspired "Nothin'" from the Exodus worship project and "Calling out Your Name" from the tribute to Rich Mullins, Awesome God. "Billy Joe McGuffrey" is a VeggieTales silly song from the Jonah soundtrack that combines qualities of "Twelve Days of Christmas" with "Bingo."

The live tracks are more of a mixed bag. An early career performance of "Prone to Wander" is a true lost treasure, while the fine performance of "Hallelujahs" was recorded during GMA Week 2003 and featured on Rocketown's Hallelujahs worship CD later that year. The rest come from 1999's A Night at Rocketown, an album that can be found in the clearance section of most stores. It provides a splendid version of "Deep Enough to Dream" that takes on added vibrancy, but do we need another live delivery of "Cartoons" after the last hits album? The concert tracks interestingly represent the best of what was left off of the first compilation, but perhaps fans would be more satisfied with the familiar studio versions.

Still, this is a fine companion piece for fans, with songs that are nothing short of excellent. It's not an essential addition, but it also goes to show you can never have too much Chris Rice in your collection.