After seeing the film "The Passion of the Christ," Scott Stapp had an epiphany. While Mel Gibson's controversial movie didn't exactly inspire a religious rediscovery in the former Creed frontman, the lesson he learned was a lot more fundamental.
"The [film] basically inspired me to readdress my feelings about love and what true love is," Stapp explained. "Seeing what Christ did and why he did that, it inspired me to rethink how I love. Basically, I wanted to relearn love."
"Relearn Love," the first single from The Passion of the Christ: Songs, a 12-track album of music inspired by the film (slated for release on August 31), is proof of Stapp's re-education. The tune actually was written before he saw the film, during a period marked by personal problems, including a divorce and the breakup of his band (see "Creed Break Up"). Seeing the tortuous depiction of the final days of Christ furthered the personal transition Stapp was already undergoing.
"It put my life in perspective," he said. "When I think I have it bad, or when I'm feeling down or complaining or trying to place blame on certain things, I think about what Christ did for me and what he endured, [and] it puts things in the right order. What have I got to complain about? What I need to do is buck up and deal with this.
"When I saw that sacrifice and commitment, I wondered if I could learn how to love just a tenth of what that sacrifice symbolized, it would help me grow as a person. The movie basically made me re-evaluate myself, and how I can be a better person. How can I give and show people compassion and caring and love better than I do now?"
Along with "Relearn Love" which finds Stapp backed by Canadian rockers the Tea Party, The Passion of the Christ: Songs, features contributions from other spiritually minded artists such as P.O.D., Third Day, MxPx with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, and Lauryn Hill, whose "The Passion" is her first musical offering since posting "Social Drugs" on her Web site in January (see "Misvaluation of Lauryn Hill: $15 Music Video Posted Online"); the former Fugee hasn't issued a proper album or single since 2002's live LP MTV Unplugged No. 2.0.
The album will coincide with the DVD release of "The Passion of the Christ." A video for "Relearn Love," is scheduled to be filmed Tuesday with directors the Brothers Strause (Linkin Park, Nickelback).
"We had asked from the beginning if there was going to be a soundtrack, if there would be anything we could do music-wise," said P.O.D.'s Sonny Sandoval. "And now there's a lot of music inspired by the film. Anybody who saw the film and wants to artistically, through music, express their feelings... that's why they're here."
The album's eclectic lineup, which also includes Big Dismal, Charlotte Church, contemporary gospel singers Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams, country artists Brad Paisley and Sara Evans, and a Christian-music collaboration from Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and MercyMe, is a testament to the broad swatch of artists the movie has affected.
"The thing that sets this record apart from other soundtracks and compilation albums," MxPx singer/bassist Mike Herrera said, "is that with most records, [the compilers] just grab a song or grab a band [and think], 'Who's the top seller? Who's doing well in the market? Who's going to make us money?' This record isn't like that. This record is about being inspired by this movie and this piece of art. And that's what sets it apart from everything else."
Passion of the Christ: Songs is the first release slated for Lost Keyword Records, a subsidiary of Wind-Up (home to Creed and Evanescence) that is dedicated to releasing pop music. Rock records will continue to be issued by the parent company.
Track list for The Passion of the Christ: Songs, according to Lost Keyword Records:
- Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe - "I See Love"
- Scott Stapp (featuring the Tea Party) - "Relearn Love"
- P.O.D. - "Truly Amazing"
- Brad Paisley and Sara Evans - "New Again"
- Big Dismal - "Rainy Day"
- Lauryn Hill - "The Passion"
- Kirk Franklin (featuring Yolanda Adams) - "How Many Lashes"
- MxPx (featuring Mark Hoppus) - "The Empire"
- Charlotte Church - "Finding My Own Way"
- BeBe Winans and Angie Stone - "Miracle of Love"
- Dan Lavery - "To Give Love"
- Big Dismal - "Reason I Live"