Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row (Steve Eaton) and Musicscribe (David Bruce Murray) join forces once again to present the ‘must buy or not’ feature. Highlights and dislikes will be offered along with a definitive yes or no on whether the album is a ‘must buy’.
In this edition of the ‘must buy or not’ feature is the new album by HisSong. Decade: A Landmark Celebration landed at retail on Tuesday (04/17/12). Dennis Humphries, Adam Elrod and newest member Michael Frost come together to celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary in Southern Gospel music.
Song list: (1) “Just Over The Horizon” – Joseph Habedank/Wayne Haun (2) “God’s Grace Is Sufficient For Me” – Ernie Haase/Dianne Wilkinson (3) “My Last Battle” – Mike Payne (4) “Trust You In The Trial” – Sarah McCutcheon (5) “Midnight Oil” – Phil Barker/Charles Humphrey (6) “That’s God” – Michael Frost (7) “What I’m Really Waiting For” – (8) “Kneel At The Altar” – Kelly Chowning/Harold Williams (9) “Take It And Leave It” – Wayne Haun/Lyn Rowell (10) “I Know He Heard My Prayer” – Curtiss Pearson (11) “He Will Provide” – Cindi Ballard/Wayne Haun/Shelby Haun (12) “One Simple Touch” – Wayne Haun/Joel Lindsey (13) “A Reason To Start Again” – Wayne Haun/Joel Lindsey
- The few up tempo songs found on Decade. “My Last Battle” is the stand out up tempo number. Penned by Mike Payne, it reminded me of something the Paynes would have recorded in their prime.
- Dennis Humphries turns in a nice performance on the stand out ballad “What I’m Really Waiting For”. The song gets the full Wayne Haun orchestrated production.
- The Wayne Haun/Joel Lindsey song “One Simple Touch” would make a strong radio single choice as would the Joseph Habedank/Wayne Haun opening track “Just Over The Horizon”. Both are medium tempo numbers with the latter bringing a country gospel sound to the listener.
- “My Last Battle” is the best performance on Decade.
- The songwriting is consistently good on Decade. HisSong knows how to choose great songs.
- The acoustic arrangement on “A Reason To Start Again” was so good, it made me wish the entire CD had been recorded that way. They sing with a lighter approach. This is the only slow song on Decade where the vocals synchronize in truly satisfying harmony.
- The lack of up tempo songs found on Decade. When you only have three up tempo songs on a thirteen song collection, the pacing of the album causes the listener to lose interest. A nice ratio of up tempo/medium tempo/slow tempo songs would pace the recording better.
- HisSong has had some success at radio in their 10 year career with their biggest single being “I Still Have It All”. After listening to Decade several times, I wasn’t able to pick out one song from the recording that could potentially find the group another top ten song.
- Although the individual members of HisSong are capable singers, their combined vocals don’t quite mesh into a satisfying blend for most songs on Decade.
- There’s a lot of good music, but nothing I’d really call outstanding. The moments with the potential to be great are typically over-sung. Other bits, like the chorus of “Take It And Leave It,” sound almost robotic.
- Any time a group records a song another group has popularized, it’s only natural to compare and contrast their version with the original. In every such case with Decade, I prefer the earlier version. “He Will Provide” worked better as a slightly faster quartet song on Daywind’s first All Star Quartets recording. “I Know He Heard My Prayer” is not quite as good as Greater Vision’s version, and Phillips, Craig & Dean did a far better version of “Midnight Oil.”
- NO – I found the pacing of Decade to be the biggest problem. While I would download several songs from this new HisSong album, there wasn’t enough that would get me to consider it a ‘must buy’.
- NO – Decade is good, but not enough that I’d feel compelled to buy it.