Overview Over two years have passed since Mark Schultz released his last album. But Chritian music's premier storyteller is back with a new album that is sure to secure Mark's place as one of CCM's most valuable commodities. Stories & Songs picks up where the best-selling Song Cinema left off, delivering cozy melodies often punctuated with emotional twists that leave the listener both inspired and teary-eyed.
Helmed by award-winning producer Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman), the album highlights the prolific songwriting and artistry of Mark Schultz. As always, Schultz's soulful voice is front and center on these mostly piano-based tracks.
SONG TITLE 1. Closer To You 2. Do You Even Know Me Anymore 3. It's Been A Long Time 4. Just To Know You 5. Running Just To Catch Myself 6. Everywhere 7. He Will Carry Me 8. Letters From War 9. Time That Is Left 10. You Are A Child Of Mine 11. reprise- time that is left
Record Label Word Records
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.14" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Oct 14, 2003
Publisher WORD ACCT# W41160193
ISBN 0901009563 EAN 9780901009562 UPC 080688627027
I was wondering how Mark Schultz was going to top his previous two CDs, but he's done it. This CD is so incredibly moving. "Letters From War" is a profound, non-traditional (but NOT trite) tribute to our military men and women. I've listened to that song about 100 times, and I STILL cry at it. Every song will either amuse you, challenge you, or move you in some way. "Running Just to Catch Myself" ALWAYS makes me laugh--he has the modern "professional" lifestyle described to a "T". Again, there isn't a song in the whole CD that I ever want to skip over whenever I listen to it. The songs are so thoughtful as well as thought-provoking. He really has mastered the art of storytelling; you'll hang on every word. This is an absolute MUST in any music collection. I always find myself trying to hook others on Mark Schultz, and so far all of my friends and family I've played his CDs for have become fans. He is absolutely addicting!
Best C.D Ever!!!! Mar 10, 2006
I would like to start off saying that this is a wonderful C.D,but I'm going to write this review on one paticular song,"Letters From War".
This is the best song ever writen!!!My Language Arts teacher loves poetry.She prints out the words to songs she likes.She says they'll teach us a lesson and that they are a lot like poems.Anyways,she prints out the words to paticular songs and passes them out to the class and tells us to follow along while she plays the song.Oneday she brought in "letters From War" and she almost cried.
I love this song!!!Way to go Mark Schultz!!! Also,thanks to my Language Arts teacher or I probally would have never found it. Best song ever!!! Buy it!!!!!
A Masterpiece Oct 12, 2005
Mark Shultz has cut an amazing CD, in Stories and Songs. This album is a masterpiece, and I'm surprised there are so few reviews here.
The music is pretty high-energy. The performances are great. The arrangements and mixing, by Brown Bannister, is terrific. It reminds me of the old masterpiece, A Tramp Shining, by Richard Harris/Jimmy Webb, with its fullness of sound.
But the star of the show is the words. Mark is a rarely gifted songwriter, who can bring out the meaning in ordinary life stories. He devotes himself to three main themes and their interdependency: relationship, identity, and the use of time.
The album starts out with the themes of relationship and identity, in You Are a child of mine. Mark writes that when he's “overcome with loneliness”, God's voice reassures him that he is dearly loved. Identity is found in one's relationship to God.
The second song, Everywhere, describes that relationship as being both in the very depths of our being and everywhere we go.
Letters from war is an amazingly powerful song, again about relationship, and about the power of prayer. A widow's son is captured in war. His letters to her end, but hers to him continue each night, for she is writing letters from her own war, as she fights for her son's life in prayer: “Bring him home!”, she entreats. If you have something you need to go to war for in prayer, this song will inspire you. SPOILER: This song gripped me at first, because for a brief moment it seems the son is lost.
Do you even know me anymore? - again about relationship, but this time that theme is mixed with the theme of our use of time. A man has set his own worldly goals, but has neglected his family to the point that he doesn't know them anymore. And then in an poignant turn, he discovers he no longer knows himself, and then finally despairs that God even knows him. This is powerful stuff.
Time that is left – Now the theme of use of time is front and center. How will we deal with things past, present, and future? “Will they say that we loved till our final breath?” We are given the key to how to respond in the oft-repeated refrain, which consists simply of the universal praise word, Hallelujah. If we devote ourselves to the Lord, our lives will work out.
Running just to catch myself – an amazingly creative, hectic song about life in the rat race. One of the funniest songs I've heard in a long time. Mark is spoofing the pressures this life brings us, and challenging us to live above them.
It's been a long time – about staying close to the Lord and not wasting our time on things that don't matter. This song had to grow on me a bit, but it is excellent. The arrangement, the instruments and background vocals, reminds me of some of Phil Specter's work with the Beatles.
He will carry me – along with Child and Letters, a contender for best song of the album. Though strong in most of the songs here, this one above the others brings out the use of dynamical contrast. Low, painful brooding is set against a triumphant declaration that whatever we go through the Lord will be there with us. Relationship again.
Just to know you – a challenge to live life to know Christ, just as He lived and gave His all to know us. Time and relationship again. “I want to finish strong”.
Closer To You – a song of dedication to the Lord. We find not only all our answers in Him, we find who we are.
Reprise – Time That Is Left – a rockin' jam on the earlier cut. At first I wondered why this was chosen to repeat, but then I saw that the album ends on a challenge to us. What will we do with the time that's left? We have a choice to make.
Few albums achieve the level of creativity and power of this one. The writing, the arrangements, the performances, the mixing, are all simply world-class. In the sea of mediocrity that contemporary music, even CCM, is, this album stands out. I don't think you will regret getting a copy. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to mine. Congrats to Mark and all for a work very well done.
Real and Uplifting Aug 2, 2005
Once again Mr. Schultz proves that he is a fantastic songwriter! Not only can the guy write a song, he then sings with emotion that many singers have difficulty conveying----probably because so many singers don't believe what they are singing. Also, when you read the CD liner, you get the sense that this is a real and genuine guy, who is moving through life, searching for meaning, just like the rest of us.
New Listener Dec 6, 2004
I have just recently started listening to Mark and I really enjoy him. My oldest brother is in the Army and I find the song, "Letters from War" very powerful. It really describes the emotions that go through people's heads everyday when they are worrying about someone who is in the military overseas. It also was reassuring because it vividly described the power of prayer that really does work. I just found out recently that my brother will be stationed in Oklahoma for the next 2 and a half years and it is a non-deployable position which means he won't have to go to Iraq. That was a complete answer to prayed and uplifted all of my family to praise the Lord. He truly is amazing. I really feel that Mark knows first hand the power of the Lord and speaks about it strongly through his music. This CD is definitely worth buying!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!