Because Of Love – Crist Family

cristfamily2013becauseofloveThis edition of the ‘must buy or not’ feature will be a collaborative effort from Steve Eaton and David Bruce Murray.

This ‘must buy or not’ feature will critique the new album by the Crist Family; Because Of Love.  Released on September 17th, Because Of Love is the latest collaboration for the Crist Family and Crossroads Music and their first CD since Valerie Crist replaced her sister Breana.

The Crist Family’s Because Of Love is filled with progressive Southern Gospel sounds mixed with modern country overtones.

Song list:  (1) “Where It All Comes From” – Jason Cox, Belinda Smith, Kenna Turner West  (2) “Worth Every Mile” – Jason Cox, Kenna Turner West  (3) “Your Love Is” – Stephanie Scragg, Kevin West  (4) “Through The Roof” – Jason Cox, Belinda Smith, Kenna Turner West  (5) “The Closer I Get To The Cross” – Scott Krippaehne, John Lemonis, Tony Wood  (6) “God Is Greater” – Lee Black, Allison Speer, Kenna Turner West  (7) “I’ve Got Forever On My Mind” – Marcy Each, Karen Gillespie  (8) “What A Ride” – Michael Fordinal, Sue C Smith, Kenna Turner West  (9) “Everywhere” – John Lemonis, Kenna Turner West, Tony Wood  (10) “Live” – Rebecca Peck  (11) “Because Of Love” – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West


  • I really enjoyed the modern country sounds found on Because Of Love.  The Crist Family vocals suit this style perfectly.
  • The stand out modern country tunes include “Where It All Comes From” (features Jackie), “Everywhere” (Jackie) and “Through The Roof” (Tami).  The listener is even treated to a little steel guitar and some traditional country sounds on “I’ve Got Forever On My Mind” (John).
  • Lead vocalist Tami Starkel continues to shine as the standout vocalist in the Crist Family.  Her performances on both “Worth Every Mile” and “Your Love Is” are must listens.  The former is a reflective ballad that is sung with precision.  The latter is a progressive Southern Gospel mid-tempo number that would make a strong radio single choice.  The acoustic guitar work on this song only adds to its appeal.
  • The Crist Family’s vocal strength has always come from the ensemble work of multiple vocalists.  This latest effort is no different.
  • Because Of Love has some of the strongest lyrical material the group has recorded to date.



  • “Your Love Is” features a rhythmic acoustic guitar as the only accompaniment, providing a nice contrast to the more intense instrumentation on the other tracks.
  • Because Of Love offers several progressive tracks. My favorite is “God Is Greater.”
  • The group tries their hand at Country, and they’re very good at it. This is reflected in the excellent CD artwork as well as their sound. My favorite Country track is “I’ve Got Forever On My Mind” with “What A Ride” running a close second.
  • From a pure songwriting perspective, my favorite track is Rebecca Peck’s “Live.” Overall, the song selection on this CD is very strong.


  • I don’t have too many critiques in regards to Because Of Love.  In terms of song selection, I may have thrown in one traditional Southern Gospel style barn burner to help pace the album a bit better.



  • The CD booklets on past Crist Family recordings have indicated which singers were featured on each song. The booklet for Because Of Love doesn’t.


  • YES – In terms of stacking this up against the Crist Family’s body of work, I would say this is the best album the group has released to date.  So for that reason, I give it a yes.



  • YES –  Because Of Love includes several songs with simple harmony, but I also heard several layered arrangements that required a full-team effort. Combined with the unexpected Country-style songs and the excellent songwriting, this latest Crist Family CD is a strong “must buy” for me.

One thought on “Because Of Love – Crist Family

  1. “Because Of Love” is the first project by the Crist Family that really made me stop and think, “Wow… this is a great CD.” I have their older projects and found a track or two that I liked on each of those, but this is the first that I enjoyed start to finish.

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