- Album – Devoted
- Artist – Mylon Hayes Family
- Label – Custom
- Style – Traditional
- Release Date – 09/25/15
- Available For Digital Download? – No
If you enjoy my take on album reviews, you will be happy with the remainder of November. I have at least a half-dozen albums to review before my annual countdown of the best of 2015 begins in December.
Today finds the new recording from the Mylon Hayes Family; Devoted. This is the family’s fourth album for Southern Gospel listeners and each recording seems to build on the last as the kids continue to vocally mature.
If this is your first introduction to the family, it is composed of Mylon (father) and Wendy (mother) and their three children Bailey, Conner and Kennedy. Mylon follows in the footsteps of his parents (Howard/Lucy Hayes) and his time spent with the Hayes Family to teach his own kids proper singing technique.
- The Mylon Hayes Family is the definition of traditional Southern Gospel music. A listener only needs to hear the group’s cover of the classic, “It’s Just Like Heaven”, to get that answer. The convention style singing this family pulls off is spectacular. You hear the boys offer tenor and bass singing while the family absolutely puts on a clinic of how to sing Southern Gospel convention style singing.
- Another song that offers this style is the Rebecca Peck/Dianne Wilkinson penned; “I’ll Take It Like It Is”. You can hear Dianne’s touch, as she contributed to four of the songs on Devoted.
- Each sibling gets a chance to shine as each gets one feature. Conner offers the mid-tempo, slight country flavored, “At The Foot Of Calvary’s Cross”. Conner tends to sing in the lead/baritone range. I love this song! Go ahead and hit repeat.
- Twin brother, Bailey, on the other hand tends to sing in a baritone/bass range. He delivers the slower ballad, “He Is All I Need”. I enjoyed how they offered both songs back to back, so the listener can hear the distinction in the twin boys vocals. The tenor harmony work done by Mylon on this number is worth an extra listen.
- Young Kennedy Hayes (13 years old) gets the up tempo, “I Choose To Stand”. She shows that age has no bearing on whether one can sing with proper vocal technique.
- Wendy shows off her smooth alto vocal on the worshipful, “Devoted To You”. Another Rebecca Peck/Dianne Wilkinson song that should be considered for radio.
- Can’t leave Mylon out as he gets the big orchestrated Southern Gospel ballad with, “What An Anchor”. This big production would work well in the live concert setting.
- The family even shows off their a cappella prowess with the album’s opening track; the Fanny Crosby classic, “Praise Him Praise Him”.
- Strongest songs included in order: “At The Foot Of Calvary’s Cross”, “What An Anchor”, “It’s Just Like Heaven”, “He Is All I Need”, “Devoted To You”, “I’ll Take It Like It Is”, “Love Medley”, “One More Opportunity” and “The Coming Of The Lord”.
- I don’t believe in perfection, especially in music. An artist should always strive to offer the best musically/artistically. You should never rest on past musical accomplishments. With that said, from a technical singing perspective, the Mylon Hayes Family attempts to touch perfection.
- The other critique is one I will always call out until I don’t have to anymore. In this technically advanced musical age, an album should not be released in 2015 without having it available for digital download.
- Weakest songs included in order: Not a single one. That’s right. Listen to the entire album.
After several impressive performances at the 2015 NQC and now the release of Devoted, the Mylon Hayes Family easily makes the case to be considered the best mixed group Southern Gospel had to offer in 2015. Pick up Devoted. It will be competing for the best Southern Gospel album released in 2015.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter: 1. “Praise Him Praise Him”/Ensemble – Fanny Crosby 2. “One More Opportunity“/Ensemble – Allen Guyer, Rebecca Peck 3. “Love Medley”/Wendy; Ensemble – includes “The Way That He Loves” (Elmo Mercer), “The Wonder Of It All” (George Beverly Shea) and “The Love Of God” (Vep Ellis) 4. “At The Foot Of Calvary’s Cross”/Conner – Amber Maxwell, Rebecca Peck 5. “He Is All I Need”/Bailey – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson 6. “The Coming Of The Lord”/Ensemble – Rebecca Peck 7. “Grace Happened Here”/Mylon – Rodney Griffin, Natalie Harp 8. “I Choose To Stand”/Kennedy – Sandy Blythe 9. “Devoted To You”/Wendy – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson 10. “It’s Just Like Heaven”/Ensemble – W Oliver Cooper 11. “What An Anchor”/Mylon – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson 12. “I’ll Take It Like It Is”/Ensemble – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson 13. “It’s Not A Problem For The Answer”/Wendy – Rebecca Peck