Living In The Moment – Beyond The Ashes

Posted: March 7, 2013 by Steve Eaton in Album Reviews
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bta2013livinginthemoment250GRADE:  A

  • Album – Living In The Moment
  • Artist – Beyond The Ashes
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Progressive, Light Pop
  • Release Date – 03/05/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody)

SYNOPSIS:

2013 is starting to shape up with the release of several anticipated albums over the course of the next several weeks.  The first, is the new album by Beyond The Ashes; Living In The Moment.

Landing at retail on Tuesday March 5th, 2013, Living In The Moment is the first Beyond The Ashes recording on the Ernie Haase owned label Stow Town Records.  The current vocal line-up is composed of Anthony Facello (tenor), Dustin Doyle (lead) and Kellan Monroe (baritone).

Living In The Moment slides to the progressive scale in terms of style.  It doesn’t stray too far from what Beyond The Ashes has given Southern Gospel listeners in the past.  In fact, it builds on that and creates an early contender for one of the top albums of 2013.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Dustin Doyle:  Where did this kid come from?  I had not heard of him until he joined Beyond The Ashes.  Dustin absolutely ‘tears it up’ on Living In The Moment.  Dustin has five features on this eleven song recording.
  • The stand out track on Living In The Moment is the title track.  The group takes a Jason Mraz pop song and they make it fit for the Southern Gospel listener.  Dustin’s feature is what separates this song and makes it a better listen than the Mraz pop original.
  • Dustin also turns in a masterpiece of a performance on “Peace In The Midst Of The Storm”.  This is the strongest contender for radio single possibilities on the album.
  • The group does some ensemble work on the first single, “Oh The Thought The Jesus Loves Me”.  This Wayne Haun/Lyn Rowell penned tune was first recorded by the Collingsworth Family.  It could have been a bit intimidating  for Beyond The Ashes to come in and record a song already done by the Collingsworth Family.  Beyond The Ashes should be proud of what they were able to accomplish with their version of the song.
  • Baritone Kellan Monroe It seems as though Dustin Doyle is also featured on another stand out track, “Over For Good”.  This closing song on the album is another song that Southern Gospel listeners will love.  But, listeners shouldn’t overlook Kellan’s other feature, “Where The Gold Begins”.  This sounds like another song that could be recorded by Jason Mraz or Train.  It is so different it is good!
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Living In The Moment”, “Over For Good”, “Oh The Thought That Jesus Loves Me”, “Peace In The Midst Of The Storm”, “Where The Gold Begins”, “No Sin Greater Than God’s Grace” and “Walking With My Eyes On Jesus”.
DISLIKES:
  • Front man, Anthony Facello, seems to take a back seat on Living In The Moment.  He only has two features on the entire recording.
  • The use of a pop song may turn some folks off to this recording.  That would be a shame because this album is too good not to hear.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Can’t Do This By Myself” and “Your Love Comes Shining Through”.

WRAP UP:

I was anticipating the release of Living In The Moment after the group’s last mainline release Treasures Unseen.  As great as Treasures Unseen was, Living In The Moment surpasses it and makes it the best album Beyond The Ashes has released to date.  I wouldn’t wait too long in adding what will be one of the best albums released in 2013 to your music collection.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – SONGWRITER:  1. “So Amazing To Me”/Ensemble; Anthony - Wayne Haun, Sarah McCutcheon  2. “Living In The Moment”/Dustin - Jason Mraz, Richard Nowels  3. “Oh The Thought That Jesus Loves Me”/Ensemble; Kellan; Dustin - Wayne Haun, Lyn Rowell  4. “No Sin Greater Than God’s Grace”/Anthony - Anthony Facello, Sarah McCutcheon  5. “Peace In The Midst Of The Storm”/Dustin - Stephen Adams  6. “Walking With My Eyes On Jesus”/Dustin – Sarah McCutcheon  7. “I Can’t Do This By Myself”/Anthony - Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  8. “Where The Gold Begins”/Kellan - Carl Cartee, Joseph Daniels, Allen Dukes, David Neesmith, Aaron Tomberlin, Nathan Tomberlin  9. “When Love Whispers Your Name”/Dustin - Ernie Haase, Joel Lindsey  10. “Your Love Comes Shining Through”/Dustin – Calvin Rhone  11. “Over For Good”/Kellan Dustin – Marcy Each, Kimberly Ford, Karen Gillespie

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Comments
  1. yankeegospelgirl says:

    I wonder where they got the money for the rights on the Mraz song.

  2. Benjamin Molnar says:

    Just to comment about that pop song, from Mraz…i did go to youtube to check out the song,…now this guy also does a song called “You f…. did it”…you can have a listen to it on youtube. Now if this song is on the same cd as “Living in the Moment”…it is pretty sad that Beyond the Ashes has recorded the song. Believers in Christ proclaim the Gospel…”we are in the world…but not of the world”….Paul said. I do like Beyond the Ashes…their last cd was great!…but i will not buy this cd…because of that song!!…i do not like it when gospel singers mix gospel songs with secular songs…thats just my opinion!!

    • Steve Eaton says:

      I would venture to say that the majority of Southern Gospel listeners would have never known the song was a pop cover if I hadn’t pointed it out.

      And Beyond The Ashes recording a particular song doesn’t endorse the individual who wrote it.

      Hank Williams wrote several Gospel songs many of us sing today, but us singing those songs doesn’t endorse the lifestyle Williams chose to live.

      • Benjamin Molnar says:

        But if your performing the song on stage,,,how do you set the gospel moment to the people who are listening. And what if,, theres that unsafed person in the crowd,, that knows the song,,, how would we witness to that person?..

      • Steve Eaton says:

        The group may never choose to stage the song. And as far as an unsaved person hearing and knowing that song; it could be that song that grabs their attention but another song in the group’s set (say “Guilty Of Love”) that drives home the message of salvation.

        I know have your thoughts on this particular topic and I’m in no way trying to change them, just offering a counter point to show that the Lord can use anything to speak to the loss.

        Look, the Lord allowed a donkey to talk.

      • Benjamin Molnar says:

        But why would you want a secular song on your cd?.. The beat?.. The message?… There are so many great christian songs out there!

      • Steve Eaton says:

        My answer would be why not? Do you have an issue with a Southern Gospel artist putting a patriotic tune on their CD? I would consider patriotic songs secular. What about artists who record Christmas albums and record “Jingle Bells” or “Let It Snow” alongside “Oh Holy Night” and “Mary Did You Know”? The first two are secular. I don’t see an issue with an artist recording a song with a positive message alongside an album full of ‘Gospel’ songs.

        Now if the entire album was just ‘positive’ message songs, then it can be marketed as such, but when an eleven song album has one ‘positive’ message style song alongside ten clearly ‘Gospel’ tunes, then I don’t see a problem. I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

      • Benjamin Molnar says:

        Well.. Then it would be okay then to say.. we can record a song like “Sympathy for the Devil” …by the Rolling Stones…. With the other christian songs on a cd… Ok!! … Cool!! But…. As you stated… I will take the “disagree “part… We can go on forever with this… It”s just how “i feel”…

      • Steve Eaton says:

        I don’t know how recording a ‘positive’ song on a Gospel album got to “Sympathy For The Devil”. They are so far apart in terms of what is being discussed.

        Unless your equating all secular songs as music of the devil. If that is the case, then there is no way we’ll ever agree on this topic.

        Also thanks for stopping by. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I value your opinion any less.

      • Benjamin Molnar says:

        I was just trying to make a point, that recording a secular song then is ok!..

  3. Janet Davis says:

    That’s actually Dustin that sings “Over for Good” I seen them in Kentucky and that song is also Dustin. They were such a blessing. They are awesome!

    JD

  4. Anthony Facello says:

    We love reading reviews from our friends and fans of our new CD’s. Thank you Steve for the great review and point of view. I will be honest in saying I wanted to take a “back seat” on this CD and allow the new guy to shine. “I Can’t Do This By Myself” is actually one of our favorite cuts and probably the strongest moments in concert.

    Now I wanted to address Benjamin on Living In The Moment. I can honestly say I have never listened to the Jason Moraz CD. This song was brought to us and we loved the Christian perspective on this. Live in the moment for tomorrow has it’s own problems. With Christ we have freedom and forgiveness and loving Christ is joy. I encourage you to go and listen to our version with that in mind.

    I am sorry Benjamin that you won’t buy our new CD because if this song but you are missing out!

    Thank you all for your love and support of what we do!

    • Steve Eaton says:

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Benjamin Molnar says:

      The song does not state, “living in Christ”. It’s states “living in the moment”.. Puffed up,,.. The lyrics don”t talk about living in the moment with Christ.. It could be any feeling he had when he wrote it!!

      • Anthony Facello says:

        Well Benjamin like Steve said we will have to agree to disagree on this. We know our hearts and intention. I have learned through the years when someone has an opinion it usually does not change.

        Blessings

  5. Dan Green says:

    I love the sound of this CD so far that I’ve heard. Anthony Facello has been singing Gospel music since I’ve been listening to it. I love his voice and his heart. He is unmistakeably singing for/to God. Benjamin if one song ( which has a VERY POSITIVE message to it) turns you off then yes you are missing out. This CD is without a doubt a Gospel CD and in no way singing one of their songs makes them a promoter of Jason Mraz. Like Steve said how come it is OK to record a Patriotic tune written by unsaved people or Christmas songs written by unsaved people but it is not ok for BTA to record one? It’s sad that there are people who will agree with you and with that attitude you miss the true meaning of being a Christian and it is a turnoff to the unsaved. All that to say GREAT job BTA and great review Steve. Benjamin may not be buying the CD but I may buy TWO just to make up for it. ;)

  6. John Situmbeko says:

    I have no problem with Three Bridges singing Living for the moment. Many gospel artists do sing secular songs and do them really well, and these songs capture listeners who would have otherwise not cared to listen to anything from the gospel artist. David Phelps did I Wanna Know What Love Is, a song that has been done by Mariah Carey and many other secular performers. When Phelps does a solo recording he either sings pop or classical, any southern gospel song he sings he makes sure it’s in a pop or classical style. That’s why I don’t get all excited about his solo work though he’s one of my favourite tenors in southern gospel.

    But here, Three Bridges have a pop song and made it sound like southern gospel so that it fits with the rest of the southern gospel style songs on the CD, that’s a good thing for me.

    However I do see why one would not like this. I’ve never heard of Mraz or his songs, or his character, but if he has a bad reputation, it wouldn’t be such a good move for any gospel artist to record his song no matter how good or positive it may be. Imagine a gospel group (say, GVB) recording a song with a positive message written by Britney Spears, I would raise my eyebrow and frown at that. “Why her song?” I would ask.

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