As We Speak: Greater Vision

greater-visionGRADE:  B+

  • Album – As We Speak
  • Artist – Greater Vision
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 04/14/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes)

SYNOPSIS:

In the wake of two of the group’s biggest albums (The Only Way – 2011 and For All He’s Done – 2013), Greater Vision releases their newest effort; As We Speak.

This is also the third album of new music since the return of tenor, Chris Allman.  The group doesn’t stray stylistically from what they have been providing Southern Gospel listeners for over 20 years.

One of the first things that stood out to me was the songwriter credits.  While Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman dominate the list, it was nice to see names like Phil Cross, Lari Goss, Joel Hemphill and Regina Walden among the credits.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chris knocks it out of the park on a song he and Rodney co-wrote; “Saved By The Same Grace”.  This mid-tempo Southern Gospel, future classic, is hands down the best song on the recording.  The song relays the message that while two sinners came with separate sins, they were both saved by the same grace.  In a time when a majority of the church has become the sin police, this was a nice refreshing message.  A must listen!
  • When a group decides to use only their own material (something Greater Vision was known for), they miss gems like the Phil Cross penned, “We Can’t Tell It All”.  I applaud the group for stepping out a bit and spreading the songwriter love.  This a perfect song for Rodney to convey.  This would make a great radio single choice.
  • Speaking of Rodney; has he become lead singer for the group?  He is featured vocalist on six of the ten songs on As We Speak, while Gerald has one feature.
  • And Rodney really steps it up in terms of performance on the group’s cover of the Hemphills, “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me”.  This big Southern Gospel ballad is something I would normally expect to hear Gerald tackle, but Rodney really out does his self.
  • The one up-tempo bright spot is another Rodney feature, “In The Sandals Of Daniel”.  This is the type of song listeners have come to expect from the pen of Griffin.
  • I couldn’t leave this review without mentioning Chris’ performance of “He Does”.  A simple musical arrangement that allows the vocal to shine.  The slow to mid-tempo songs on As We Speak are the best the album has to offer.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Saved By The Same Grace”, “We Can’t Tell It All”, “In The Sandals Of Daniel”, “He Does”, “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me” and “I Do Know”.
CRITIQUE:
  • In an area where Greater Vision usually excels, I felt the up-tempo songs on As We Speak were a bit stale in terms of what they usually offer listeners.
  • “Never Will I Ever Again”, “Toes In The Water” and “Put Out The Fire” all fall in this category.  I was surprised with the strength of the other songs found on As We Speak, the group/record company would choose “Put Out The Fire” as a single.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Toes In The Water”, “Never Will I Ever Again” and “Put Out The Fire”.

WRAP UP:

Greater Vision has a lot to be proud of with As We Speak.  The slow to mid-tempo songs were so strong they really overshadowed the weaker moments that came with the up-tempo numbers.  This album stands alongside the group’s two previous efforts and should give the group several big hit songs (if they pick the right ones).  Continued proof the group is once again at the top of their game.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Put Out The Fire”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  2. “We Can’t Tell It All“/Ensemble; Rodney – Phil Cross  3. “Toes In The Water”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  4. “He Does”/Chris – Chris Allman  5. “In The Sandals Of Daniel”/Ensemble; Rodney – Rodney Griffin  6. “Let The Blood Of Calvary Speak For Me”/Ensemble; Rodney – Candy Christmas, Lari Goss, Joel Hemphill  7. “Never Will I Ever Again”/Chris – Regina Walden  8. “I Do Know”/Rodney – Rodney Griffin  9. “Saved By The Same Grace”/Chris – Chris Allman, Rodney Griffin  10. “As We Speak”/Ensemble; Gerald – Rodney Griffin

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4 thoughts on “As We Speak: Greater Vision

  1. I think you really need to listen to the lyrics of Put Out The Fire a few more times. I’m not impressed necessarily on the musical side of the song, but it makes up for it lyrically. My only critique is the similarity of the bridge to the bridge in He’d Still Been God.

  2. It’s interesting how different people can hear these CDs in different ways. If you stacked the songs from your most favorite to least favorite on this CD, it looks like it would be almost the opposite of mine. But we both like the CD as a whole! Ha! And it’s good to hear another reviewer speak highly of Griffin’s vocal performance on the project.

    1. I’ve come to the conclusion that some reviewers are sent different versions of the CDs than what I buy. A difference of opinion is to to be expected, but sometimes that turns into, “Are listening to the same CD? Let me look at the cover.” LOL That said, I enjoyed this CD. I don’t think I would go as high as Steve’s B+ rating, but this is a solid project.

      And hasn’t Griffin been the group’s lead singer in all but name for the last 2-3 years, at least?

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