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Autobiography: The Best of Scott Krippayne

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Nov
Autobiography: The Best of Scott Krippayne
Sounds like … adult contemporary pop reminiscent of Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, and Michael O'BrienAt a glance … while Autobiography does highlight several great songs from Scott Krippayne's last four albums, it fails to capture his earliest (and best known) material, or offer anything new to make it a worthwhile collection for fansTrack Listing Alive Again I'm Not Cool The Least I Can Do Gentle Revolution What Breaks Your Heart Cross of Christ Long Before the Sun Every Single Tear Lyin' You Are Still God I Am Jesus Deeper Still Renée The Best Is Yet to Come Take Me to the Place You Have Been Good May I Have This Dance

Though not exactly a household name, Scott Krippayne has been reliably churning out solid AC pop songs—for himself as well as other CCM artists—since the early '90s. Such career longevity is more than most can claim, and it's well deserved in light of his instincts for melody and lyrics, not to mention a blue-eyed soul vocal uncannily similar to Paul Carrack's ("Tempted," "The Living Years"). Thus, a retrospective such as Autobiography: The Best of Scott Krippayne seems all too justified.

Offering a generous 71 minutes of music, the compilation does well in chronicling the recent highlights of the singer/songwriter's catalog. Though it draws heavily from 2005's Gentle Revolution (six of its ten tracks), it's undeniably one of his strongest albums, evidenced by the massive piano pop of its title track, the Maroon 5 funk of "Take Me to the Place," and a sweetly sympathetic letter to actress "Renée" (Zellweger). Autobiography has plenty of tuneful, poignant songs to draw from that generally remain grounded in familiar pop territory, but it's hard not to admire the self-deprecating encouragement found in "I'm Not Cool," the sweet daddy/daughter waltz "May I Have This Dance," or the beautiful ballad of gratitude "You Have Been Good."

The problem lies with what's not included here, namely material from Krippayne's first two albums Wild Imagination (1995) and More (1997). Whereas most artists would probably prefer to bury their earliest material, this one was strong out of the gate. Since permission to use these Word Records releases was an issue, why not re-record essential hits like "Sometimes He Calms the Storm," "All My Days," "More," and "No More Pretending?" Or for that matter, covers of songs he wrote for other artists, or anything new to make this hits collection more than a threadbare repackaging?

The uninitiated will find many great pop songs here, but Autobiography remains an incomplete account, failing to honor Krippayne's impressive body of work, or the fans that have appreciated it all these years.

© Russ Breimeier, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.