Journey Of Hope – Tribute

Tribute QtGRADE:  B-

  • Album – Journey Of Hope
  • Artist – Tribute
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 08/26/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

With NQC behind us for another year, I will have a slew of album reviews to get in before my annual crowning of the best of 2014.  Up today is the new album from Tribute (Quartet), Journey Of Hope.  I haven’t read anywhere why the group chose to drop Quartet from their moniker.  Either way you still may see me refer to the group as Tribute Quartet.

This was Tribute’s first release with Daywind Records.  They were also following up their best album to date, the 2012 album, Our Anthem.  If you have been following Tribute for any length of time, Journey Of Hope is a continuation of what they have already been providing listeners since their inception.  It is mainly traditional Southern Gospel quartet music with some progressive overtones throughout.

If you still have not introduced yourself to Tribute’s music, the quartet is composed of Riley Clark (tenor), Gary Casto (lead), Josh Singletary (baritone) and Anthony Davis (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Bass vocalist Anthony Davis and tenor Riley Clark are featured on the stand out track on Journey Of Hope.  The Terry and Barbi Franklin composition, “In The Valley He Can Hear My Voice”, is a must listen.  It has been a little while since I saw the Franklins among songwriter credits.  Good to see your names once again.
  • The album starts off strong with the progressive album opener, “He Can Do It Again”.  After listening to the first song, I thought this was an indication of where the rest of the album may be headed.  Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
  • That is followed by a uniquely titled and arranged song; “All Made It Ashore”.  The arrangement really fit the vocal style of Josh Singletary.  My visual while listening to the song was everyone bailing out of the Jolly Roger pirate ship to get to shore, aargh!  Don’t let that fool you though because I really enjoyed this particular song.
  • Tribute turns in a nice cover of the Larry Whitehead classic, “I Could Sing About Heaven”.  Originally recorded by the Wilburns in the early 1990’s and then later by Paid In Full, this is just a fun Southern Gospel song that puts a smile on your face by the time the song is done.
  • Tribute and lead singer Gary Casto turn in a strong performance of a Kyla Rowland standard, “I Am A Soldier”.  I can understand this song not doing well at radio, clocking in just over five minutes, but the song does translate well in the live concert setting.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “In The Valley He Can Hear My Voice”, “He Can Do It Again”, “I Could Sing About Heaven”, “All Made It Ashore”, “I Am A Soldier” and “God Of All My Days”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The middle of the recording leaves the listener with some non-memorable musical moments.  It starts with the group’s cover of the Perry’s classic; “I Remember The Day”.  This version is so far from what was provided in the original that I am surprised the record company decided to leave this song on the recording.
  • I was also not impressed with the calypso themed, “Those Who Know Me Know”.
  • I prefer Josh performing songs like “All Made It Ashore” (mentioned above) or the groups big #1 smash hit, “Good News From Jerusalem”.  I wish they would get away from the crooner style songs like “Everybody Needs Jesus”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Remember The Day”, “Those Who Know Me Know” and “Everybody Needs Jesus”.

WRAP UP:

Anytime a group follows up a career record, like Tribute had with Our Anthem, you run the risk of not measuring up.  That is what happened with Journey Of Hope.  Don’t get me wrong, there were some strong musical moments with the songs I listed above, but that gets bogged down with some less than stellar moments (also listed).

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “He Can Do It Again”/Riley – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West  2. “All Made It Ashore“/Josh – Marcia Henry  3. “I Am A Soldier”/Gary – Kyla Rowland  4. “I Remember The Day”/Ensemble; Anthony – Mary Spencer  5. “Those Who Know Me Know”/Josh – Caleb Collings, Marty Funderburk  6. “I Will Rise”/Riley – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  7. “Everything I Need”/Ensemble – Lee Black, Michael Farren, Kenna Turner West  8. “Everybody Needs Jesus”/Ensemble; Josh – Kyla Rowland, Sue C Smith  9. “In The Valley He Can Hear My Voice”/Anthony; Riley – Barbara Franklin, Terry Franklin  10. “I Could Sing About Heaven”/Ensemble; Anthony – Larry Whitehead  11. “God Of All My Days”/Gary – Ricky Free, Tony Wood

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