Crystal River – Crystal River

crystalriver2013crystalriver250GRADE:  B+

  • Album – Crystal River
  • Artist – Crystal River
  • Label – Day 7
  • Style – Progressive SG, Modern Country, Pop
  • Release Date – 03/12/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody)

 

SYNOPSIS:

Young vocal trio, Crystal River has released a new self titled album.  The group decided to record and release this new album independently.  It has been available at retail since 03/12/13.

Vocalists Ben Mooney (tenor), Tony Churchill (lead) and Randy Gober (baritone) combine to release one of the best albums of their career thus far. Newest group member is guitarist, John Miears.

Crystal River is filled with modern country sounds with a little pop thrown in for good measure.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Lead vocalist Tony Churchill penned 7 of the 10 songs on this new album.  The reflective ballad, “I Love You”, is the stand out track.  Churchill uses his country-style vocal to deliver the message in this song with honesty.
  • Tenor, Ben Mooney turns in one of the more unique/different arrangements I have heard of the classic “Never Grow Old”.  The haunting melody really meshes with the vocal interpretation of the song.
  • The album kicks off with a nice up tempo country tune, “Day Off”.  Tony Churchill has a perfect voice for the group’s country-style and he shines on a song of this nature.  The song takes the approach of waking up and deciding not to go to church and poses the question would you make that decision if you knew He was coming back.
  • The pop infused, praise style song “Here I Am” also deserves a mention for being more than just the standard praise and worship melody that often make this listener cringe.  The guitar solo on this song is phenomenal.  Great work!
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I Love You”, “Never Grow Old”, “Day Off”, “Here I Am”, “Minute At A Time” and “What A Day”.
CRITIQUE:
  • There was one pop flavored tune that lacked the depth of some of the stronger songs on the album.  “In This Place” fits this category.  It was the standard praise and worship style tune.
  • The group attempted something fun with a song they recorded previously titled “Temptation”.  While I enjoyed the ‘be-boxing’ on previous albums, this attempt fell a bit flat.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “In This Place” and “Temptation”.

 

WRAP UP:

Crystal River continues to create their own brand of Gospel music.  It is a little Southern Gospel with a lot of modern country overtones with some pop infused layers.  This self titled effort is one of the strongest in the group’s discography and the best this vocal configuration of Crystal River has released.  If you’re looking for something a little different to break up the monotony of all that quartet music, give this new album by Crystal River a listen.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Day Off”/Tony – Tony Churchill  2. “Light Of You”/Tony –  Tony Churchill  3. “Never Grow Old”/Ben – Traditional (PD)  4. “In This Place”/Tony – Tony Churchill  5. “Minute At A Time”/Tony – Tony Churchill  6. “I Love You”/Tony – Tony Churchill  7. “What A Day”/Randy – Jim Hill  8. “Here I Am”/Tony – Randy Gober, Marcus Sentelle  9. “Temptation”/Tony – Tony Churchill  10. “Should Have Thought”/Tony – Tony Churchill 

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