RATING: 7.550 (10 song average)
- Album – Amen
- Artist – Down East Boys
- Label – Sonlite Records
- Style – Traditional
- Release Date – 11/15/11
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes
This week’s album review features another 2011 release. Released in November, I didn’t get around to reviewing the Down East Boys new recording Amen before the year closed. There was some over zealous hype in the marketing department of the record label prior to the release of Amen. That was discussed here.
Amen is a 50/50 mix of new material and song covers. The new material does elevate the recording to make it good enough to just miss making my year-end top 20 list in 2011 for best albums. It was the lackluster song covers that held the recording back from making the year’s best list.
- There was a block of four songs in the middle of the recording that easily define the best music found on Amen. Starting with “I Won’t Trade My Crown” (Rich Adkins/Gina Vera) and ending with “Suddenly One Morning” (Sandy Knight).
- Tenor, Tony Jarman, turns in an absolutely near perfect vocal performance on “I Won’t Trade My Crown”. Currently the group’s latest radio single, this song is a gem that shouldn’t be missed.
- Baritone vocalist Daryl Paschal also turns in a great performance on “When I Could Do Nothing” (Rodney Griffin). Next in line for best song on the recording this should also be considered as a radio single.
- The stand out up tempo quartet number on Amen is “His Beloved The Redeemed” (Chris Binion/Rodney Griffin). On this particular number, the Down East Boys prove they can hold their own in the Southern Gospel quartet world.
- There is no denying the Down East Boys are underrated when folks start naming the best quartets traveling today. This album may have just missed making 2011′s best list, but it is a strong effort with several really high-caliber songs.
- Strongest songs included in order: ”I Won’t Trade My Crown”, “When I Could Do Nothing”, “His Beloved The Redeemed”, “Suddenly One Morning” and “Every Word In The Word” (Phil Cross).
- Too many song covers can bring down the overall appeal of a recording if the song covers don’t stand up to the original. In the case of Amen, the covers of “Hold On A Little Longer” (Regina Crawford), “Redemption Draweth Nigh” (Gordon Jensen) and “Amen” missed the mark.
- Weakest songs included in order: ”Amen”, “Hold On A Little Longer” and “Under The Blood”.
SONG LIST: 1. “Every Word In The Word” (7.5) 2. “Hold On A Little Longer” (7) 3. “I Won’t Trade My Crown” (8.5) 4. “When I Could Do Nothing” (8.5) 5. “His Beloved The Redeemed” (8) 6. “Suddenly One Morning” (7.5) 7. “Under The Blood” (7) 8. “Waiting For The Day” (7) 9. “Redemption Draweth Nigh” (7.5) 10. “Amen” (7)