Undivided: Master’s Voice

mastersvoice2015undividedGRADE:  B

  • Album – Undivided
  • Artist – Master’s Voice
  • Label – Sonlite Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 01/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

I already mentioned 2016 has been a strong start for Southern Gospel album releases.  That continues today with new quartet, Master’s Voice.  This is the group’s first release with Sonlite Records.

The group has been traveling as a trio since the start of their career.  Last year, the group picked up a bass singer and transitioned to a quartet.  Immediately, upon first listen to Undivided, I was met with a new quartet that has a distinct sound.

If this is your first introduction to the music of Master’s Voice; the vocal ensemble is composed of Ricky Capps (tenor), Justin Morphis (lead), Stan Watson (baritone), Jerry Pilgrim (bass).  Pianist, Theron Perry provides the group’s accompaniment.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Master’s Voice went back and re-recorded three songs from previous recordings.  The first was from the trio’s 2011 recording, New Grace.  Justin Morphis is featured on “This Same Jesus”, a song that was also a single from the original release.  A great song is a great song, no matter the version.
  • Lead vocalist, Justin Morphis also shines on another cover; “Here I Am Again”.  This song goes back to 2004 and a group by the name of Christlike.  I remember hearing this song on radio and was glad is was resurrected.
  • After listening to “Things God Doesn’t Know”, I had to do a little research to see if the Inspirations had ever recorded the song.  I couldn’t find any such recording.  The simple arrangement on this up-tempo number will have you wanting to hit repeat before the song even finishes.
  • Southern Gospel veteran, Jerry Pilgrim takes the lead on another song recorded by the trio in 2009; “I Know What He Did For Me”.  Having a bass vocal feature on this song really transforms it into a new song.
  • Jerry also gets to show a fun side on the up-tempo, “Lord Of Mercy”.  Veteran songwriter, Daryl Williams penned this song designed for quartets.
  • Speaking of fun songs, I loved “Goodbye To Goodbye”.  Justin takes the lead on this Gaither Vocal Band type arrangement.
  • Justin and Jerry trade verses on the album’s closing track, “Everything The Blood Touches Lives”.  This was the third song the trio originally recorded in 2009.  At least the three songs the quartet chose to re-record from the trio era were all stellar songs.
  • I don’t want to leave tenor vocalist Ricky Capps out.  His best feature on Undivided was the up-tempo, “Somebody Is Me”.
  • Veteran producer, Jeff Collins took the reins on Undivided.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “This Same Jesus”, “Things God Doesn’t Know”, “I Know What He Did For Me”, “Here I Am Again”, “Goodbye To Goodbye”, “Everything The Blood Touches Lives”, “Lord Of Mercy” and “Somebody Is Me”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Considering Master’s Voice is new to many, re-recording three songs they had previously recorded and released to radio is not a big deal.  But, for someone like myself who has followed their music for upwards of eight years now, hearing these songs again seemed like an easy out.  I am glad the three they chose were awesome songs.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Can Hardly Wait To Fly”.

WRAP UP:

After following their music now for upwards of eight years, I am glad Master’s Voice will now gain some new listeners as a result of moving to a quartet vocal configuration and recording with a major recording label; Sonlite Records.  2016 remains on a winning streak in terms of Southern Gospel album releases with Undivided.  Go ahead an introduce yourself to the music of Master’s Voice.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Can Hardly Wait To Fly”/Ensemble; Stan – Regina Walden  2. “Goodbye To Goodbye“/Justin – Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips  3. “How Long A Lifetime Is”/Ricky – Joseph Habedank, Rachel McCutcheon  4. “Lord Of Mercy”/Jerry – Daryl K Williams  5. “Here I Am Again”/Justin – Daniel Anderson, Weylin Bohannan  6. “I Know What He Did For Me”/Jerry – Ben Scroggs  7. “Somebody Is Me”/Ricky – Roger Duncan  8. “This Same Jesus”/Justin – Stephen Phillips  9. “Things God Doesn’t Know”/Ensemble; Stan – Chris White  10. “Send Somebody”/Justin – Steve Chapman, Joseph Habedank, Lindsey Williams  11. “Ain’t It Good”/Stan; Justin – Rachel McCutcheon  12. “Everything The Blood Touches Lives”/Jerry; Justin – Stephen Phillips

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