My wife suggested to me that I put some Scriptures to music, as a memorization tool for our four children. She told me she’d had trouble finding such a tool that was musically current. Having written “virtues” songs and Bible-story songs for Rethink’s 252 Basics curriculum, I had experience in crafting songs for students that sounded like radio pop/rock. But would this really work with Scripture? I was about to find out.
We spent the next year working on an album of 12 Scripture memory songs, which we titled Better Than Life: Pop Scripture Songs (from Psalm 63:3-4: “Because Your loving-kindness is better than life…).
I had a blast writing and producing the project, with help from producer Ricky Rodriguez. All four of our children participated by singing, playing instruments, and helping arrange vocal parts; one of them even helped write a couple of the songs. Featured vocalists include friends like Chrystina Fincher (Northpoint, Catalyst, Bigstuf), Chris Coleman (Northpoint, Bigstuf, Chris Coleman Band), Mike and Jimmy Atkins (of Second Hand City), and new friends Jill Howard and BJ Tallant (whose rap is one of my favorite moments on the album).
The result was a full-length pop/rock album with sounds reminiscent of Kelly Clarkson, Toby Mac, The Shins, and even Weezer.
We are partnering with ReThink/Amber Sky Records and Friendly City Records to release this album to the public. We’re also booking tour dates for the Better Than Life: Pop Scripture Songs Live experience.
Before we even headed into the studio, my kids had memorized these Scriptures by listening to my first, rough demo recordings of the songs. I found out early on that it works; these songs truly embed memory verses into kids’ hearts and minds. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have – and still are!
- Danny Stephens, January 2013