- Album – Without A Sound
- Artist – Steeles
- Label – Custom
- Style – Traditional, Progressive
- Release Date – 11/13/15
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes
For listeners who have been following Southern Gospel music for at least twenty years will know the name; Steele. With Jeff Steele penning 99% of everything the group ever recorded, the Steeles burst on the scene in 1991 with an instant top 40 hit; “I Wanna Go Home”.
The group would garner four #1 hits during their career and pick up album of the year at the 1997 Singing News fan awards. The Steeles came off the road a decade ago for Jeff to accept a pastor’s position. Last year, the Steeles returned to Southern Gospel radio with another top ten hit; “But God”.
As a result of the success, the group went back in the studio to record, Without A Sound. This 2015 release is a collection of 5 newer hits along with 7 covers from (2) past Steele recordings. Joining Jeff and Sherry Steele on Without A Sound to complete the trio is Matthew Thompson.
- During their time on the road, Sherry Steele was a favorite female vocalist of mine. One of my all time favorite Sherry features was re-recorded on Without A Sound; “He Went All The Way”. Sherry conveys the message of the great lengths Christ went for each of us because of his ultimate love. I love this song!
- The Steeles had a huge return hit in 2014 with “But God”. They had an accompanying concept video that fit the song perfectly. Jeff’s songwriting talent is evident on a song like “But God”. The version on Without A Sound is even an updated version from last year’s radio single version with added production elements.
- Another new song for the Steeles takes a page from the Southern Gospel classic, “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me” with a lot of the same sentiments in a song titled “I Have Been Blessed”. Look for this song on Southern Gospel radio sometime in 2016.
- Back to some previously recorded songs; the Steeles had a top 20 hit in 2003 with “Who’s At The Door”. I was glad to hear this song covered on Without A Sound. I still remember a skit acted out to this song, that still makes it all the more powerful.
- Another up tempo cover that needs another listen is “Say So”. This song of praise will have you singing along before it finishes. You may even find yourself hitting repeat.
- I’ll close by highlighting “Sing Praise”. Originally listed as “No God Like Jehovah” when it was originally recorded. This updated version is better than the original.
- Strongest songs included in order: “He Went All The Way”, “But God”, “Who’s At The Door”, “I Have Been Blessed”, “Say So”, “Sing Praise” and “We’re All Human”.
- Jeff has been known for his ‘call to action’ songs, made popular in the late 1990’s. The Steeles are probably most noted for one of these type songs; “We Want America Back”. The title track, “Without A Sound” could be classified as a ‘call to action’ song. While not as blatant as “We Want America Back”, the song still conveys this myth of so-called Christian persecution in America. But I will give Jeff a pass because the song doesn’t specifically centralize America and can relate to real persecution that is happening around the world, especially in the middle east.
- The album is also a bit ballad heavy with eight slower tempo songs. Two more up tempo numbers would have balanced it better.
- Weakest songs included in order: “Eternally”.
I am happy to see the Steeles recording again. They have provided Southern Gospel music with a multitude of great songs throughout their career. With songs like “But God” and “I Have Been Blessed”, I believe the Steeles have picked up where they left off a decade ago. While not available yet, Without A Sound will soon be available through iTunes. I know there are a large group of Southern Gospel listeners who were not listening when the Steeles made their impact. Pick up Without A Sound to make your introduction to the newly re-vamped Steeles.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – All songs written by Jeff Steele; New or Song Cover: 1. “Without A Sound”/Jeff – New 2. “Sing Praise“/Sherry – original on By Grace, Through Faith (2002) 3. “Who’s At The Door”/Jeff – original on By Grace, Through Faith (2002) 4. “Whatever You Have Left”/Sherry – original on By Grace, Through Faith (2002) 5. “The Land Of Beginning Again”/Sherry – original on Standing Room Only (2004) 6. “Voice Of The Martyrs”/Jeff; Sherry – original on Standing Room Only (2004) 7. “Say So”/Jeff; Sherry – original on By Grace, Through Faith (2002) 8. “He Went All The Way”/Sherry – original on By Grace, Through Faith (2002) 9. “But God”/Jeff – New 10. “I Have Been Blessed”/Jeff – New 11. “Eternally”/Jeff; Sherry – New 12. “We’re All Human”/Ensemble – New