Love Is A Verb – Devin McGlamery

devinmcglamery2013verb250GRADE:  B+

  • Album – Love Is A Verb
  • Artist – Devin McGlamery
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive, Blues
  • Release Date – 05/21/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody)

 

SYNOPSIS:

I have been thoroughly pleased with the slate of albums that have been released thus far in 2013.  That trend continues with the release of Devin McGlamery’s solo album, Love Is A Verb.

Being lead singer for Ernie Haase and Signature Sound is not Devin’s first quartet rodeo.  He got his start as lead singer for the Dixie Melody Boys and would also spend time with Karen Peck and New River.

Many times when a quartet singer does a solo album, they tend to see how far outside what listener’s are used to create something edgy.  Devin does not do that with Love Is A Verb.  All twelve songs on this album could easily be sung with quartet arrangements.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Devin stays true to traditional Southern Gospel quartet music with one of the strongest songs I have heard all year; “As Long As You Will Walk With Me”.  This big ballad would easily be a monster hit for any quartet.  Here’s hoping this song becomes a radio hit for Devin.
  • The choice for first single from Love Is A Verb is another stand out track.  “From My Rags To His Riches” is another traditional Southern Gospel tune with a slight country flavor.
  • Devin decided to include the song in which he is featured on Signature Sound’s current album, Glorious Day.  “That’s Why” is the best song on that new Signature Sound album and Devin was wise to include it on this solo recording.
  • Devin also decided to cover a couple Southern Gospel classics.  He tackles the Cathedrals “In The Depths Of The Sea” with precision.  He also gets some help from Russ Taff on the quartet classic, “Up Above My Head”.  Both songs are highlights.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “As Long As You Will Walk With Me”, “From My Rags To His Riches”, “That’s Why”, “In The Depths Of The Sea”, “Up Above My Head” and “Love Is A Verb”.
CRITIQUES:
  • Devin attempted to cover another Southern Gospel classic with “When He Was On The Cross”.  The problem with this track was more in the arrangement than the performance.
  • The easy listening style tune, “I Tasted Your Water”, also felt out-of-place among all the standard Southern Gospel type songs.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Tasted Your Water”, “When He Was On The Cross” and “Hold On, Help Is On The Way”.

 

WRAP UP:

I have been pleasantly surprised by the caliber of solo albums released thus far in 2013.  Jason Crabb and Michael English have already released two of the best albums of the year.  I would be as bold to state that Love Is A Verb would rank higher for me than Signature Sound’s recent release of Glorious Day, and that album was no slouch.  If nothing else, do yourself a favor and grab the strongest songs I included in the review.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

SONG (Style) – SONGWRITER:  1. “Love Is A Verb”/featuring Beyond The Ashes (Blues) – Dennis Bowling  2. “Hold On, Help Is On The Way” (Progressive SG) – Amy Foster, Michael Harland  3. “In The Depths Of The Sea” (Progressive SG) – Carolyn Cross, Phil Cross  4. “From My Rags To His Riches”/featuring Dailey and Vincent (Country) – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  5. “I Will” (Progressive SG) – Steven Carey, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  6. “I Tasted Your Water” (Easy Listening) – Marcy Anna Each  7. “While I Still Can”/featuring Karen Peck and New River  (Traditional SG) – Diane McDougal, Greg McDougal, David Speegle  8. “As Long As You Will Walk With Me” (Traditional SG) – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  9. “Up Above My Head”/featuring Russ Taff (Traditional SG) – Rosetta Tharpe  10. “Waiting At Home” (Progressive SG) – Cindi Ballard, Wayne Haun  11. “When He Was On The Cross” (Easy Listening) – Ronny Hinson, Mike Payne  12. “That’s Why”/featuring Signature Sound (Traditional SG) – Mike Bowling, Marty Funderburk, Wayne Haun

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16 thoughts on “Love Is A Verb – Devin McGlamery

  1. “Verb?” Eeek. Sorry, that’s just nails on chalkboard for the English-language-lover in me. 🙂 Otherwise, looks interesting! I got confused when I saw “Help Is On the Way” though, because I thought it was a song recorded by Michael W. Smith and Israel Houghton on his live worship album _A New Hallelujah_. Sounds different from the previews though.

    1. It sticks out like a blue sore thumb (to borrow an expression from Daniel Mount). It’s a technical grammar term. It has no place in poetry or song lyrics, which are a kind of poetry, any more than “relative pronoun” “gerund” or “split infinitive” would.

      1. I’ll bet the dc Talk song by the same title (except “love” is spelled “luv”) would really send you over the edge.

        As for split infinitives, consider the phrase “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Take out “boldly” and that classic phrase loses it’s unique character.

        A critical aspect of creativity is knowing when to break the rules.

      2. Thankfully, I hadn’t heard the DC Talk song. As for creativity, I’ve studied a lot of creative poetry and all kinds of lyrics. But there’s a big difference between being truly creative and just having a tin ear. This ain’t T.S. Eliot.

        I wasn’t actually discussing the merits of split infinitives, just throwing it in there as a technical grammatical term that shouldn’t be used in a song lyric. As in “Pain and trouble, toil and care/Split infin’tives everywhere.”

  2. To me the main part of a song’s lyrics is to tell a story or send a message. In that regards “Love is a verb” wraps up the thoughts that love is more than feeling quite nicely. Sure on a beauty level I like songs that tell messages more poetically, but ultimately the message is more important than the way the message is presented. For instance, some would rather read a different version of the Bible with an easier to understand and “meat and potatoes” approach than the King James’ version. To each their own.

    1. “To each HIS own.” Bwahaha, couldn’t resist. 😉

      Bible translations are interesting. I can appreciate the textual benefits of using a wider variety of translations than just the King James. (NASB seems to be the preferred source for scholars.) However, I think sometimes we underestimate the importance of aesthetic value for its own sake. Excellence really should matter (even putting aside the doctrinal/theological issues that arise with truly heretical paraphrases like The Message or the TNIV). If I say the NIV is clunkier linguistically than the King James, I don’t think that should be an offensive thing to say. We can acknowledge that some people might prefer to read the NIV while also recognizing that it’s still a shame when things are written clunkily and gracelessly. It’s the same reason why I get annoyed when people talk about how it shouldn’t matter whether a worship song has three chords and cliched lyrics, because it’s all about the heart and the intent of the song. I think God cares about both.

      It’s ironic, because sometimes the same folks who will carp at you over criticizing a clunky Bible translation will also rip into a Christian movie they really hate on the grounds that it’s artistically bad and makes Jesus do a facepalm.

      1. I thought you would like that before I it submit. I am glad you did. 😀

        I haven’t heard the song either, nor had I heard the DC Talk song. However, the song title itself seems pretty explanatory as far as the meaning.

        Yes aesthetics and beauty can matter, but if the meaning is lost on the common man then ultimately what good is it? We can appreciate the beauty and things on one level, but if the message gets lost to at least some then the message hasn’t reached as many as it might have otherwise.

        For instance some might admire poetry and the beauty may add a layer of depth to the meaning, but not all might get the meaning. One at that point needs to decide if the message is the main thing or the packaging. One must also decide the audience. In this case, I think the message was meant for everyone and of course I am sure they were looking for a hook to grab the listener’s attention. It must have worked since we are all talking about it. :p

  3. But here’s the great thing about creative writing: while there are rules to them, they are bendable and adaptable to fit what you need at that moment. 😉

    1. I suppose if you need to write a song with a painfully awkward hook, a word like “verb” comes in mighty handy! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to write “Caring is a Participle (And Sometimes It’s a Gerund).” We could have some fun with this.

      1. “_____ is a gerund” or whatever is just a simplistic statement of fact with no deeper meaning.

        I haven’t heard this song yet, but I expect a certain message in a song titled “Love Is A Verb.” Of course, that may be because I’m already familiar with the dc Talk song I mentioned earlier, but I expect anyone could figure it out without hearing the song.

        Love is an action, not just something you merely observe or theorize about. Boil that thought down to a hook for a song. “Love is a verb.”

      2. One can say the same thing about music theory. There are rules, but the rules get broken sometimes. There might be good reasons for the rules, but sometimes there might be reasons to break the rules and the results might serve a purpose.

        For that matter, look at other forms of music. Country music has certain rules broken that fit the style well, whereas would not in Classical and vice versa. This includes words used, grammar, and pronunciation.

        There are musical rules broken in other genres. Nasal singing is expected in bluegrass and maybe some Country. I was going to say try it in pop, but I guess Bob Dylan does do it. 😉

      3. Of course I know that’s the idea. I was just joking. I still think a little poking fun is warranted. But if you’re really going to say that graceful execution is of no significance whatsoever… or at any rate that you can’t _hear_ the aesthetic clunkiness of this particular hook… then I think we’re just separated by denominational differences. Or educational backgrounds. Or something. 🙂

        quartet-man, when musical rules are “broken,” as in jazz music, or putting a little rock in one’s country, that can work IF the results still have artistic merit. I think we just disagree about whether using the word “verb” in a song is artistically pleasing. (Besides which, even jazz music still has its own rules—random banging away isn’t going to produce jazz music by any means! Same with free verse poetry. Few things are worse than free verse poetry by someone who has no clue what he’s doing.)

  4. I think YGG here is not acknowledging the fact that there are some types of songs that are well written even with such words as verb. I’m sure if the song writer was intending to write a hymn type of song, he would have used more poetrically eloquent words, for hymns demand it. “Jesus, The Noun Above All Nouns” would sure make a bad hymn, but for a sunday school/kindergarten class learning about nouns at a christian education facility (if at all there’s anything like that), it would be great.

    I’ve not listened to Devin’s song, but I’m sure it is one that doesn’t employ, like most hymns, old English words such as thee, thou, thy, ye, wilt shalt, e.t.c to show the ultimate poetry eloquence.

    If to take a listen to Legacy Five’s/GVB’s That’s When The Angels Rejoice, you will find words like computer, model T, light bulb. These are words you would least expect to find in a southern gospel song, but because of the type of song, they work perfectly to communicate the message intended. I think that if the writer avoided the use of such words, the song wouldn’t have had the intended effect.

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