Shoulders: Wilburn & Wilburn

Wilburn2 (300x300)GRADE:  B-

  • Album – Shoulders
  • Artist – Wilburn & Wilburn
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Progressive, Country
  • Release Date – 10/30/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

Today marks the retail release date of Wilburn and Wilburn’s new Daywind Records release; Shoulders.  This marks the third album the father/son duo has recorded with Daywind.

Stylistically, the album picks up where their last album, Here Comes Sunday, left off.  Shoulders is filled with progressive Southern Gospel arrangements with many modern country music moments.

The duo even covered a mainstream country hit from George Strait that dates back to 1990.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The rollicking, modern country flavored “This Wouldn’t Be The Same Song” starts the album on a strong note.  Jonathan lowers his vocal range on this song that would make a strong radio single choice.  There are some great musical moments from Jordan on the harmony of the chorus.  Strongest song on the recording.
  • That is followed up by the stand out ballad from Shoulders.  I always considered Jordan one of Southern Gospel’s strongest vocalists and to hear the soft tones found on “It’s What He’s Done” is a nice vocal touch to contrast the previous song.
  • It is a bit ironic that the three strongest songs on the album are the first three songs, back to back to back.  Wilburn and Wilburn decided the cover the George Strait mega-hit song from 1990; “Love Without End, Amen”.  The duo trades off on the verses to turn in a cover that is definitely worth a listen.
  • For someone who has that special person in their life that they see as a hero, give the title track a listen; “Shoulders”.
  • Jordan also turns in a nice performance on “Where The Love Of God Is Gonna Go”.
  • The more I listen to Wilburn and Wilburn, the more I compare them to the Judds.  During their peak in country music, the Judds was built around Wynona with Naomi standing on stage filling in harmony where needed.  Wilburn and Wilburn is similar in that each vocalist has their own feature while the other fills in harmony where needed.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “This Wouldn’t Be The Same Song”, “It’s What He’s Done”, “Love Without End, Amen”, “Where The Love Of God Is Gonna Go” and “Shoulders”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I really don’t get songs like “You Asked Him To Leave”.  Death and destruction is a horrible thing that happens everywhere in the world everyday.  It is not America exclusive.  It is also contradictory in the fact that God dwells in those who believe in him, not in an inanimate object.  What is even more surprising, is this song was chosen as the first single for radio.
  • Speaking of contradictory, placing “Prayer Is All I Need” directly after “You Asked Him To Leave” completely contradicts the message you’re trying to portray in “You Asked Him To leave”.
  • While the performance of “The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference” was fine, the song felt entirely out-of-place on an album of nine songs before, that were all progressive/modern country in style.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “You Asked Him To Leave” and “Living Proof”.

WRAP UP:

If you enjoyed what Wilburn and Wilburn provided listeners with their first two albums, you will enjoy Shoulders.  As an entire recording, when stacked up with the other two, it is the weakest of the three.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “This Wouldn’t Be The Same Song”/Jonathan – ??  2. “It’s What He’s Done“/Jordan – Gerald Crabb, Jimmy Yeary  3. “Love Without End, Amen”/Jordan; Jonathan – Aaron Barker  4. “Sin Is No Match For Grace”/Jonathan – Gerald Crabb  5. “You Asked Him To Leave”/Jordan – Gerald Crabb, Dennis Morgan  6. “Prayer Is All I Need”/Jonathan – Valerie Dacus, Randall Garland, Sue C Smith  7. “Living Proof”/Jonathan – Bruce Haynes  8. “Shoulders”/Jordan – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West, Tony Wood  9. “Where The Love Of God Is Gonna Go”/Jordan – ??  10. “The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference”/Jonathan – Gloria Gaither, William Gaither

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