Mark Bishop & Forget The Sea: Forget The Sea

forgetthesea2016forgettheseaGRADE:  B

  • Album – Mark Bishop & Forget The Sea
  • Artist – Forget The Sea
  • Label – Sonlite Records
  • Style – Folk, Americana
  • Release Date – 01/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Mark Bishop teamed up with band, Forget The Sea to record one of the most refreshing Gospel albums you’ll hear.  Forget The Sea is composed of Mark’s daughters Courtney and Haley on vocals.

Russell Funk (keys), John Isaacs (percussion), Josh Rison (lead guitar) and Chris Withrow (bass) make up the band.  The band’s performance at the 2015 edition of the National Quartet Convention was one of my favorites of the entire week.  Separating yourself from a sea of artists that tend to sound the same is a good thing.

Forget The Sea’s style can be compared to the popular folk rock sound a listener will hear from artists like the Lumineers and Of Monsters And Men.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Any time I listen to a new album, the first thing I listen for is finding new songs for my musical playlists.  The stand out track on the album that immediately had me adding it to my musical playlists is “Baptize Me In The Rain”.  This up-tempo folk number will have you singing along and feeling good way before the song ends.  A must listen!
  • Mark also has another up-tempo stand out with “Sometimes God Whispers”.  Mark has always had the voice to interpret the folk/Americana style that encapsulates this recording.  This little story in song is folk at it’s best.  This song would translate well to Southern Gospel radio.
  • Oldest daughter Courtney’s vocal style also fits the folk style the group conveys.  If you are familiar with the Civil Wars, Courtney adds that special touch to Forget The Sea’s sound.  Her and Mark prove that on the song, “Take To The Sky”.
  • Courtney gets a  chance to shine on “You Are, You Are”.  A song that uses old folk imagery (words like hearth, lantern) to paint a modern-day picture of knowing Christ is there in everything we do.  Love this song!
  • The album’s first single is the opening track, “You Love Me Anyway”.  A nice introduction for what the listener will expect from the rest of the recording.
  • Mark Bishop fans will enjoy this effort in that the majority of the recording is Mark with his daughters on harmony with selected numbers that feature Courtney and Haley.  “Everything I Give” is a song that features Mark, that stretches the sound to a folk rock.  Don’t let that scare you away.  Awesome!
  • Another up-tempo number that would translate well to Southern Gospel radio is “Pick Me Up And Carry Me”.  This doesn’t stray far from the up-tempo songs Mark has been providing Southern Gospel listeners since the start of his solo career.
  • Jeff Collins and Mark Bishop shared producer duties.  I also want to send a shout out to Lynn O’Hara for her graphic design work on the album artwork and booklet details.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Baptize Me In The Rain”, “Sometimes God Whispers”, “Take To The Sky”, “You Are, You Are”, “Everything I Give”, “You Love Me Anyways” and “Pick Me Up And Carry Me”.
Forget The SeaCRITIQUE:
  • The only critique I may have is the majority of songs featuring Mark.  At times, as a listener, I thought I was listening to Mark’s new solo album.  I would have loved to hear more features (not just harmony) from Courtney and Haley.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Ordinary Average Autumn”.

WRAP UP:

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed listening to Mark Bishop & Forget The Sea.  It was a refreshing change of pace from the typical three/four-part harmony style so prevalent in Southern Gospel music.  Now, don’t think I’m knocking the three/four-part harmony that defines Southern Gospel music; I enjoy getting an  album that breaks that mold on occasion and make for a recording that will remain in my musical playlists for months to come!

SONG/Featured Vocalist – All song written by Mark Bishop, John Isaacs, Josh Rison:  1. “You Love Me Anyway”/Mark; Ensemble  2. “Baptize Me In The Rain“/Mark; Ensemble  3. “Take To The Sky”/Mark; Courtney  4. “The Son Is Shining”/Ensemble  5. “I Will Sing”/Haley  6. “Pick Me Up And Carry Me”/Mark  7. “You Are, You Are”/Courtney  8. “Tinderbox”/Mark  9. “Sometimes God Whispers”/Mark  10. “Everything I Give”/Mark  11. “Ordinary Average Autumn”/Mark

*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)

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