Measure Of Grace – Taylors

taylors2014measureofgrace300GRADE:  B+

  • Album – Measure Of Grace
  • Artist – Taylors
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 06/10/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

 

SYNOPSIS:

Taylor siblings Jonathan, Leslie, Suzanne and Chris come together with Stow Town Records to release the best album of their recording career.

Measure Of Grace is the first album the Taylors release under new record label Stow Town Records.  The song selection, vocal arrangements and production value of Measure Of Grace easily make it the best album the Taylors have recorded thus far.

I have always considered the Taylors a modern era Downings.  They take traditional Southern Gospel sounds and meld them perfectly with progressive arrangements.  This eleven song collection is filled with all new material from some of the most talented writers in Southern Gospel music.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chris Taylor steps out from his bass singing duties to provides the album’s stand out performance on the title track, “Measure Of Grace”.  Caleb Collins and Sue Smith wrote a winner here and if this song is released to radio, should give the Taylors a strong shot at getting their first top five.  This song is a must listen!
  • The album gets off to a strong start with “I’m Committed To You, Lord”.  From the first note of the first song, you can hear the production quality a record label such as Stow Town can give an artist.  That is followed by the Sonya Isaacs Yeary, “He’s My Guide”.  The Taylors take this song and make it a true Southern Gospel barn burner.
  • It is good to have Leslie back on the road with the group.  Her soprano tones really anchor the group’s sound.  She stands out on the song, “I Tremble”.  A song that could have easily morphed in to a praise/worship style tune, but it stayed true to Southern Gospel sounds.
  • The album also closes strong with the up tempo, convention style, “Heaven Is Ready (And Waiting For Me)”.  Beware, you will find yourself singing to this song before it is over and hitting repeat to get more!
  • “That Will Be Heaven To Me” is also a great song to close Measure Of Grace.  Jonathan turns in a top-notch performance.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Measure Of Grace”, “Heaven Is Ready (And Waiting For Me)”, “That Will Be Heaven To Me”, “He’s My Guide”, “I’m Committed To You, Lord” and “I Tremble”.
CRITIQUE:
  • No album is perfect, nor should it ever be.  An artist should always strive to produce something better than their previous efforts.  With that said there are a couple of songs that were weak compared to other material.
  • “The Least That I Can Do” never got off the ground.  It’s as if the song didn’t know if it should be a mid-tempo or up-tempo song.  The same could be said of “He Goes Before Me”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The Least That I Can Do” and “He Goes Before Me”.

 

WRAP UP:

If you are reading this album review, let me make something clear.  Are you listening?  Okay.  It is time to step out of your comfort zones (and I only listen to my favorite artists and nobody else attitude) and give these new artists a chance.  Why?  Because of the albums I have listened to/reviewed so far in 2014, these newer artists are releasing better material than the ‘top tier’ groups.  The Taylors have easily released the best album of their career with Measure Of Grace.  Pick up this album so a couple of years from now when the Taylors are one of Southern Gospel’s biggest mixed groups, you can say, remember when.

 

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I’m Committed To You, Lord”/Ensemble – Jeff Bumgardner, Wayne Haun  2. “He’s My Guide“/Ensemble; Leslie – Sonya Isaacs Yeary  3. “Measure Of Grace”/Chris – Caleb Collins, Sue C Smith  4. “I Want To World To See (Jesus Lives In Me)”/Suzanne, Leslie – Wayne Haun, Sandra Taylor  5. “I Tremble”/Leslie – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  6. “The Least I Can Do”/Ensemble, Jonathan – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  7. “The Cross Is Calling”/Suzanne – Rachel McCutcheon  8. “He Goes Before Me”/Leslie – Helga Kaefer, Rachel McCutcheon  9. “The Greatest Wonder”/Suzanne; Jonathan – Jim Brady, Melissa Brady  10. “Heaven Is Ready (And Waiting For Me)”/Jonathan; Ensemble – Amy Lewis, Lyn Rowell  11. “That Will Be Heaven To Me”/Jonathan – Jeff Bumgardner

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2 thoughts on “Measure Of Grace – Taylors

  1. They are definitely improving with each recording, though still a little too vanilla sounding for my taste. Reviewers keep drawing attention to Leslie’s voice as the strongest. While it does have the most umph in the group, I find Suzanne’s the most enjoyable–quite like an early 80s Karen Peck.

  2. Regarding your closing statement, I was thoroughly impressed by the new 11th Hour CD. I haven’t heard this one by the Taylors yet. I agree there are some new groups coming on the scene who are making their mark while some groups that have been around for a while are just phoning it in.

    My impression of this group after seeing them in concert a couple of times is that the sisters outshine their brothers by a clear margin. It isn’t that the men are bad singers. They just seem uncomfortable on stage.

    That being said, I’d still love to hear their new CD based on your review. Some groups are better in the studio than on stage and vice versa.

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