The Greatest Story – Triumphant Quartet

triumphantqt2013greateststory250This edition of the ‘must buy or not’ feature will be a collaborative effort from Diana Brantley and Steve Eaton.  Welcome Diana in providing insight on your first album review.

Triumphant Quartet released their new album, The Greatest Story, on April 9th, 2013.  Early indications show this new album to be a custom recording by Triumphant.  Whether Mansion Entertainment plans to distribute the album later is an answer I don’t have.

The Greatest Story is a 15 song collection filled with traditional Southern Gospel quartet music.  The album doesn’t tackle any new ground musically but offers Triumphant fans what they have come to expect from the reigning Southern Gospel quartet of the year.

Song list:  (1) “Because He Loved Me” – Traditional (PD)  (2) “I Go To Calvary” – Gene Ezell, Terry Franklin, William Maggart  (3) “Thomas Never Doubted Again” – Rodney Griffin  (4) “Take It From Me, Meshach” – Rodney Griffin  (5) “He Was There All The Time” – Gary Paxton  (6) “No Such Thing” – Phil Cross, Mark Lanier  (7) “He Would Do It All Over Again” – Jeff Bumgardner  (8) “There’s A Fountain” – Rebecca Peck, Daryl Williams  (9) “Heaven Will Be Mine Someday”Squire Parsons Scott Inman, Dianne Wilkinson  (10) “I Saw The Light” (Instrumental) – Hank Williams  (11) “I Can’t Help But Smile” – Scott Inman, Dianne Wilkinson  (12) “Jesus Is The Anchor” – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  (13) “I’ve Got Confidence” – Andrae Crouch  (14) “If You Had The Only Key” – Tim Lovelace  (15) “The Greatest Love Story” – Ricky Goodman, James Payne

DIANA BRANTLEY

  • I like a variety of styles and this CD has quite an assortment from the country-flavored songs to songs with light instrumentation that lets the piano work shine through to songs with the bigger orchestral tracks.   Quite a few of the songs used instrumentation that I would say lends itself more to the country side.  Is that a weakness or a highlight?  For me, a highlight!
  • The Greatest Love Story was previously recorded on Triumphant’s own Past to Present project and I think the updates they have made to the song make it worthy of the (almost) title track distinction.
  • While it’s not a big highlight, the harmonica/piano duets are always enjoyed so much by the audiences at their live concerts that they frequently get standing ovations.  I think that’s why  I Saw the Light was included on this album.

STEVE EATON

  • Triumphant Quartet doesn’t shy away from covers.  At least half of The Greatest Story is filled with previously recorded songs.  Eric turns in two of the best covers.  They include the opening track, “Because He Loved Me” and the closing track “The Greatest Love Story”.  Listeners may remember the latter being recorded by the Happy Goodmans on their 1990 Reunion album.
  • Eric doesn’t leave off with those two selections.  He also shines on the second verse of “There’s A Fountain”.  This slow tempo reflective tune is a perfect fit for Eric.
  • Scott continues to prove why he is one of the best male vocalists in Southern Gospel music right now.  He is featured on the best new song on the album, “I Go To Calvary”.  Father, Clayton isn’t left out as he is featured on another of the album’s best new songs; “He Would Do It All Over Again”.
  • There are some really strong up tempo Southern Gospel quartet numbers.  First on the list is “Jesus Is The Anchor”.  If you listen close enough it sounds a lot like the Hoppers, “Hope”.  The group also covers the Poet Voices barn burner “No Such Thing” and the Downings classic, “I’ve Got Confidence”.  All three songs deserve several listens.

DIANA BRANTLEY

  • A couple of the cover songs didn’t appeal to me too much.   (“No Such Thing” was not one of them though!  I love that little song!)

STEVE EATON

  • Having a 15 song album means there will be filler.  Such is the case with several selections, the biggest filler being the harmonica instrumental of “I Saw The Light”
  • With all the big songs on The Greatest Story, I was surprised “Take It From Me, Meshach” was chosen as the first single.  I consider this one of the weaker songs on the album along with “I Can’t Help But Smile”.

DIANA BRANTLEY

  • YES – This CD contains an assortment of  tempos and styles and has some great solo features.   With this many songs, you’re sure to have several favorites!

STEVE EATON

  • YES – While there was some filler on this 15 song collection, there is too much good to not give this a yes on the ‘must buy’ scale.  I don’t doubt this will be one of the best-selling Southern Gospel quartet albums of 2013.
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9 thoughts on “The Greatest Story – Triumphant Quartet

  1. I’m gonna pick it up because ot contains 2 of my favorite songs!!! He Was There All The time and The Greatest Love Story.

  2. Mansion is distributing it; this is their mainline for the year/cycle. I intend to evaluate it according to mainline standards when I review it, as opposed to treating it like a really good table project.

    1. Daniel,
      That’s an interesting approach to writing reviews that I’m a bit surprised to hear you advance.

      I just have one set of standards regardless of a CD’s budget or marketing level. I might say a custom CD is “better than I expected considering it’s a table project” or whatever, but that wouldn’t affect how I’d rate it on my 1-5 Star scale. There is no “A for effort” here.

      That may be why I don’t find as nearly as many CDs in my mailbox these days as I used to a few years ago, but I figure there are two types of artists/labels out there: the first wants an honest evaluation of their work compared to the best music being made; the second just wants some free publicity and to be told how great they are regardless of the reality.

      1. Where it does make a difference is song selection, which forms a huge percentage of my overall album ratings. Something approaching 2/3 covers is no big deal on a table project, but if it’s a mainline, it’s another story.

        By the way: I received my review copy from Mansion, with Mansion logos etc.

      2. Are you saying in terms of originality, you would rate a CD higher if the songs are all new as opposed to covers?

        I would be more likely to look at originality in terms of whether they know how to pick great new songs that fit their style vs. songs that don’t suit them or lack creativity.

        Or, if they do record cover songs, is their interpretation unique?

      3. For new songs, I look for strong, new original songs.

        For cover albums, I look for songs that haven’t been overdone, arranged in fresh ways, and performed well.

        On albums of new songs, how strong the songs themselves are forms a higher percentage of my rating, where it is generally assumed that songs strong enough to be covered are strong songs. So I base a higher percentage of the rating on the arrangements and performances.

    2. Yeah, I didn’t know. All the online download sites list it as a custom recording. And, in this era of Southern Gospel music recording, I don’t always consider custom recordings ‘table’ projects.

      I knew this was Triumphant’s mainline release for 2013. Many big artists record and release albums independently.

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