Just Sing: Amber Nelon Thompson

amber2015justsingmaxGRADE:  B+

  • Album – Just Sing
  • Artist – Amber Nelon Thompson
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Progressive, Modern Country, Pop
  • Release Date – 07/31/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Last year, Amber released an EP of four songs that I ended up naming the best Southern Gospel album released in 2014.  2015 finds the release of Amber’s first full solo recording, for Daywind Records, titled Just Sing.

To be fair, this review (and rating) will only look at the six new songs found on Just Sing.  If you want to know my thoughts on the four songs that were also contained on the 2014 EP, Without Your Love, you can find that review here.

The six songs contained in this review continues with the style Amber provided on last year’s EP.  Amber melds progressive Southern Gospel sounds with modern country and layers in some pop overtones.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The album starts with some ukulele and all around fun song with “Sing-a-Long”.  A bit of a folk/country-style that also has a stuttering cameo from Bill Gaither.  The listener will be hard pressed to not be singing along by the time the song is done.
  • Second on the song list is a song some listeners may have heard recently.  The song, “He’s Making Me”, was recently recorded by Shane Dunlap on his 2015 release, Love So Amazing.  Amber uses a pop style to convey the message that God is constantly making us better individuals; no matter how hard we try to fight it sometimes.
  • The latest single from Just Sing is “Another Time, Another Place”.  Amber gets the vocal talents of Michael English to perform this Sandi Patty/Wayne Watson cover.  Even though this is a CCM cover and even has pop influence in its style, the song should do well at Southern Gospel radio.  Amber and Michael’s vocal combo on this song will have you hitting the repeat button.
  • A little Gregorian Chant at the beginning of the traditional hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” adds some variety to the recording.  The rest of the Nelons join Amber on this stellar performance of a classic song.
  • From there, we move to the end of the recording to get the other two new songs on Just Sing.  “God Is Always Good” is a progressive Southern Gospel song that should be considered for future radio release.  Of all the new songs (not found on last year’s EP), this is the most Southern Gospel friendly.
  • The final new song is the modern country, “Give It To Jesus”.  Amber’s vocal talent leaves you wanting more when the recording is finished.
  • Strongest songs (not on last year’s EP) included in order:  “Another Time, Another Place”, “Be Thou My Vision”, “God Is Always Good” and “Sing-a-Long”.
CRITIQUE:
  • After the stellar four song EP released last year, I was a bit hesitant on a full solo recording, but Amber delivered.
  • Weakest songs (not on last year’s EP) included in order:  “Give It To Jesus”.

WRAP UP:

Amber Nelon Thompson is one of the best things about Southern Gospel music right now.  She is also on a short list of the strongest female vocalists to EVER be a part of this industry.  Why she isn’t winning every award available boggles this listener’s mind.  If you committed the criminal act of not picking up Amber’s four song EP last year, then you can get that sentence pardoned by grabbing Just Sing.

SONG (Style) – Songwriter:  1. “Sing-a-Long” (Folk/Country) – Dave Clark, Jason Clark  2. “He’s Making Me” (Pop) – Marty Funderburk, Scott Godsey  3. “Another Time, Another Place” (Pop)/duet with Micheal English – Gary Driskell  4. “Be Thou My Vision” (Gregorian Chant/Old Hymn) – Traditional  5. “What Do You Say” (Prog SG) – Jason Clark  6. “Without Your Love” (Prog SG)/duet with Joseph Habedank – Jason Clark, Joel Lindsey  7. “Grateful” (Pop) – Ian Eskolin, Don Poythress, Tony Wood  8. “God Is Always Good” (Prog SG) – Chad Cates, Marty Funderburk   9. “Give It To Jesus” (Modern Country) – Jason Clark, Joel Lindsey  10. “Falling” (Prog SG) – Gina Boe, Ronnie Freeman, Tony Wood

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