- Album – Love Is Stronger
- Artist – Jason Crabb
- Label – Spring House Music Group
- Style – Progressive, Modern Country, Pop
- Release Date – 03/12/13
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody)
One of Christian music’s biggest touring artists, Jason Crabb, released his new album Love Is Stronger this week. It hit retail outlets on Tuesday (03/12/13).
Jason Crabb became a house hold name in Southern Gospel music as a member of his family group, the Crabb Family. After starting his solo career, Crabb’s popularity has only increased.
Love Is Stronger seems to be an experiment in how far can I push the style envelope, compared to his previous solo recordings. The fact is, Crabb’s influence stretches a lot further than Southern Gospel and Love Is Stronger is proof of that with its pop style overtones.
- The pop infused “Let Mercy Hold You” is one of the best songs I’ve heard so far in 2013. Jason’s modern country vocal style is transformed to perform this pop style tune. One of the strongest messages of any song on the album. It is a shame many Southern Gospel listeners may overlook this song (or most of the album) because of its style.
- I was surprised to hear “What The Blood Is For” was chosen as the first single to Southern Gospel radio, based on style alone. It will be interesting to see how well it is received. I hope listeners will take hold of the message conveyed in this power house tune that would be a huge hit if I was a radio program director.
- Looking at this album through my Southern Gospel listening glasses, the strongest Southern Gospel selection is the opening track; “Give”. This is the type song most Southern Gospel listeners are familiar with in terms of Jason Crabb’s music. This is the strongest choice for Southern Gospel radio single choices.
- Another strong Southern Gospel choice is the ballad, “Satisfied”. The closing track is a simple arrangement and pure vocal similar to what Southern Gospel listeners got with “I’d Rather Have Jesus”.
- The duet with Jason and Kari Jobe is flat-out amazing. I can’t recall how many times I hit repeat on this track. The thematic element of ‘Love’ is heard throughout this recording as the title of the album points out.
- The lack of up tempo numbers made “God’s Up To Something” a refreshing break toward the end of the album. This straight ahead modern country-style song wins some points for that reason alone.
- Strongest songs included in order: “Let Mercy Hold You”, “What The Blood Is For”, “Love Wins”, “Give”, “Satisfied”, “God’s Up To Something” and “Morning”.
- The stylistic differences on Love Is Stronger may alienate some Southern Gospel listeners familiar with Crabb’s previous efforts. I don’t believe it will make much of a difference for the majority of Jason’s fan base.
- This listener enjoys a nice mix of up tempo, mid tempo and slower tempo songs. The pacing of an album is important and Love Is Stronger is dominated by slow to mid tempo songs.
- Weakest songs included in order: “Near” and “There’s Not A Crown (Without A Cross)”.
If you’re a listener that enjoys stylistic variety, you’ll love Love Is Stronger. The listener is treated to progressive Southern Gospel sounds mixed with modern country arrangements and selections that will reach the CCM market with pop infused overtones. Mainstream country music, to some’s dismay, figured that being able to crossover and appeal to not only country listeners, but pop listeners have found artists huge success (see Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, etc). Jason Crabb has done that in Christian music and has found huge success as a result. Southern Gospel should be proud. This album may not leave my iPod for the rest of the year.
SONG (Style) – SONGWRITER: 1. “Give” (Modern Country) – Connie Harrington, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy Yeary 2. “What The Blood Is For” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Ronnie Freeman, Tony Wood 3. “Let Mercy Hold You” (Pop) – Mia Fields, Seth Mosley, Alexis Willis 4. “Living Life Upside Down” (Modern Country) – Gary Driskell, Karla Worley 5. “Love Is Stronger” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Michael Mobley 6. “Morning” (Pop) – Ronnie Freeman, Barry Weeks, Tony Wood 7. “There’s Not A Crown (Without A Cross)” w/Joyce Sanders and Michael English (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Geron Davis, Bob Farrell 8. “God’s Up To Something” (Country) – Terry Allen Dennis, Garrett Parris 9. “Love Wins” w/Kari Jobe (Pop) – William Bollinger, Benjamin Caver, Crystal Hoyt 10. “Near” (Pop) – Jason Barton, Marc Byrd, Sarah Hart 11. “Satisfied” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Ronnie Freeman, Tony Wood