- Album – Rescued From Religion
- Artist – Master’s Voice
- Label – Custom Records
- Style – Traditional, Progressive
- Release Date – 06/10/14
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)
I have been familiar with the music of Master’s Voice for at least five years. Many Southern Gospel listeners are not acquainted with Master’s Voice because they rarely tour the Southeast, since they call Bristow Oklahoma home.
The trio is composed of Ricky Capps (tenor), Justin Morphis (lead) and Joey Johnson (baritone). They may very well be Southern Gospel’s best kept secret. Every album this trio has released has been top-notch in terms of song selection, vocal harmonies and production.
2014 finds the release of Master’s Voice newest album, Rescued From Religion. I can’t tell you how much I love the title of this album. Religion is one of the biggest downfalls of society through the centuries. Thankful that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is so far from the over zealous organized religious culture of today.
- Lead singer Justin Morphis spent some time with 11th Hour before joining Master’s Voice about a year and a half ago. His powerful lead vocal really sets Master’s Voice apart from many touring artists in Southern Gospel music and anchors the sound of this trio.
- Justin is featured on a cover of the Gold City song, “The Saving Kind”. Many long time listeners of Southern Gospel will remember this song from Gold City’s, Windows Of Home album. Can I tell you that Justin absolutely owns this song and turns in a better performance than the Gold City original.
- Justin also has the feature with another stand out track on Rescued From Religion; “Holy All Over Again”. A Southern Gospel song that speaks to the majesty of God without turning in to a tired and worn praise and worship tune. This song would make a great radio single choice.
- Baritone Joey Johnson takes the lead on one of the best up tempo Southern Gospel barn burners I have heard in a long time. “Ship Was Made To Sail” is reminiscent of the classic up tempo songs Southern Gospel listeners were treated to in the late 80s/early 90s. A listener would be hard pressed not to hit several repeats before moving on to the rest of the album.
- Another Joey Johnson feature gets high marks in terms of performance. “It’s Still Through The Blood And The Old Rugged Cross” is a must listen with the entire message of the song contained in the title. Classic Southern Gospel sounds. Loved it!
- Joey and Justin trade off features on another power house song, “Safe In The Grip Of His Grace”. I can’t tell you how many musical highlights this album has, it is that good!
- Tenor Ricky Capps shouldn’t be left out as he turns in a stellar performance on the ballad, “He Saved Me Anyway”.
- Strongest songs included in order: “The Saving Kind”, “Ship Was Made To Sail”, “Holy All Over Again”, “It’s Still Through The Blood And The Old Rugged Cross”, “He Saved Me Anyway”, “Safe In The Grip Of His Grace” and “Ordinary Sunday”.
- Master’s Voice always record several cover songs on each new album. The group decided to cover the Perrys hit single, “He Forgot”. The cover doesn’t hold the same musical punch that the original Perrys version did.
- The up tempo, “Never Again” was the weakest song choice on Rescued From Religion. Compared to the rest of the album, it just didn’t fit.
- Weakest songs included in order: “Never Again” and “He Forgot”.
The sad truth is most readers of the blog will not even read this review. They will see the front page and see a group they don’t recognize and gloss right over reading. All I can say, it is their loss. Rescued From Religion is one of the most enjoyable Southern Gospel albums I have heard all year. Since entering my iPod I have not stopped listening. Every Southern Gospel listener who happens to be reading this review should own this album. Why? Because, depending on what gets released between now and the end of the year; Rescued From Religion may just end up being the best Southern Gospel album released in 2014.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter: 1. “Ordinary Sunday”/Ensemble; Justin – Mark Mathes 2. “He Saved Me Anyway“/Ricky – Theresa Haddock 3. “Safe In The Grip Of His Grace”/Joey; Justin – Angela Monehan 4. “Ship Was Made To Sail”/Joey – Ricky Brown, Daryl Williams 5. “God I Know”/Ricky – Adina Bowman 6. “Holy All Over Again”/Justin – Joseph Habedank, Sue C Smith 7. “He Forgot”/Justin – Joseph Habedank, Matthew Holt 8. “It’s Still Through The Blood And The Old Rugged Cross”/Joey – ?? 9. “Never Again”/Ensemble; Ricky – ?? 10. “The Saving Kind”/Justin – Linda Bolton 11. “Nothing Greater Than Grace”/Joey – Marshall Hall, Sam Mizell, Antonio Phelon 12. “Beyond The Blue”/Justin – Jim Brady, Joseph Habedank
Here is a YouTube clip (published by dasahuikko) of a recent performance of Master’s Voice singing “It’s Still Through The Blood And The Old Rugged Cross”. This particular youtuber has several other song performances from Rescued From Religion you may want to check out. Enjoy!