Best Of 2017: #13/#14

REASON FOR RANKING:  The Old Paths returned to the scene in 2017 after a two-year hiatus.  They returned with a six song EP instead of a full album.  The positive to an EP is it allows the artist to pick the six best songs they can find.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “In The Long Run”; (2) “Tangled In The Middle”; (3) “Peace Is On The Way”; (4) “My Everyday Life”; (5) “At The Name Of Jesus”.

REASON FOR RANKING:  It just so happens to be coincidence that two EPs fall back to back on the annual countdown.  Misty Freeman released her first new album in a decade with Turn The Page.  Another example of six really strong songs.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “The Sermon”; (2) “A Day In The Life Of Jesus”; (3) “When God Speaks”; (4) “New Beginnings”; (5) “Garden Of Grace”.

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Best Of 2017: #15/#16

REASON FOR RANKING:  The Kingsmen went in a different stylistic direction for They Don’t Know, than their previous effort Battle Cry.  That was a smart move because there was no way they were gonna top the caliber of Battle Cry.  The biggest travesty of They Don’t Know is not the stylistic shift but that it didn’t feature living legend, Ray Dean Reese.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “Don’t Underestimate God’s Grace”; (2) “Hear The Word Of The Lord”; (3) “God Calls It Grace”; (4) “They Don’t Know (What The Lord Can Do)”; (5) “I’ll Sail Away Yonder”.

REASON FOR RANKING:  It has been three years since Akins provided new music to listeners.  Eyes On The Road contains one of the best recorded songs of the entire year, “Dying To Be With You”.  The album also has some of the best songwriting to date from group members Nick and Eli Akin.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “Dying To Be With You”; (2) “You’ll Never Break A Promise”; (3) “Eyes On The Road”; (4) “Seek First”; (5) “As For Me And My House”.

Best Of 2017: #17/#18

REASON FOR RANKING:  There has not been a time since doing these annual countdowns that a new Gaither Vocal Band album has not been regarded as one of the year’s 20 best.  We Have This Moment had enough strong moments to counter the weaker ones and find a home in the annual countdown.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “Hallelujah Band”; (2) “Livin’ In The Rhythm Of Grace”; (3) “Manna From Heaven”; (4) “Man Of Sorrows”; (5) “We Are The Sands, We Are The Stars”.

REASON FOR RANKINGTower Of Song was anchored by one of the strongest songs in the Freeman’s recording career, “It Still Takes The Blood”.  The album is filled with some strong traditional country moments.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “It Still Takes The Blood”; (2) “When He Loves Me Most”; (3) “Wide River To Cross”; (4) “God Of The Storm”; (5) “One Foot On The Water”.

Best Of 2017: #19/#20

REASON FOR RANKINGBeyond Amazed was anchored by the album’s first single, “He Can Take It”.  The trio has excelled at pushing the envelope with their progressive style.  The album even a bit too progressive to find a home any higher on the annual countdown.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “He Can Take It”; (2) “Everything He Forgot”; (3) “Unheard”; (4) “Anything Is Possible”; (5) “The Voice Of Jesus”.

REASON FOR RANKING:  The LeFevre Quartet has provided consistent Southern Gospel quartet music since their formation.  Well Done was initially slated as a table project, but that changed.  Not surprising considering it ranks as one of the 20 best album released in 2017.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “I’m Gonna Be Movin'”; (2) “Victory Side”; (3) “Out Of The Grave”; (4) “Well Done”; (5) “Somebody Left The Door Open”.

VOTE: Best Of 2017: Recorded Song/Album

I want to thank everyone who participated in voting for the best of 2017, in the 4th annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.

It is time to wrap up the voting by presenting the last two categories; Recorded Song and Album of the year.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/11/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

VOTE: Best Of 2017: Mixed Group/Quartet/Album Cover Design

Today, starts the voting for best mixed group, quartet and album cover design.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/05/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

VOTE: Best Of 2017: Single/Song Cover/Songwriter

What were the top songs in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best single, song cover and songwriter.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/01/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.