Pray For Me: Inspirations

InspirationsGRADE:  B-

  • Album – Pray For Me
  • Artist – Inspirations
  • Label – Horizon Records
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 01/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Catching up with one album review this week, missed when originally released; the Inspirations, Pray For Me.

The Inspirations are an institution in Southern Gospel music.  Their simple Appalachian quartet style has been the same since the group hit the scene in the early 1960’s.  The group saw their biggest decade in the 1970’s.

Pray For Me offers a lot of elements, including song covers, that hearken the listener back to the group’s prime of the 1970’s.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • In the many personnel changes the group has seen over the last several years, the biggest gains with the current vocal line-up is having Harold Reed on tenor and Joe Brown on bass.  These two scream classic Inspirations.
  • One such song is the up tempo, “Surely I Come Quickly”.  The song features tenor Harold Reed and is classics Inspirations.  But one only need to look at the song credits to see that it is a new song penned by Dianne Wilkinson.
  • While not pictured on the recording, former Inspiration Melton Campbell is called on to take two features.  The first, is hands down the best song on the album; “God’s Already There”.  Another new song, this should be an easy choice for radio single possibilities.
  • Melton also takes the lead on another stand out track, “What All The Shoutin’s About”.  Another classic Inspirations up tempo song that will having you hitting repeat.
  • Another, is “Onward To The Goal”.  Rebecca Peck and Dianne Wilkinson penned the former and the latter.  A must listen.
  • Newest bass vocalist, Joe Brown, gets a chance to shine on the classic; “Pray For Me”.  This was chosen as the first single and selected as the album title.  Not the strongest on the recording, but good to hear this classic Dottie Rambo number.
  • Scott Barnett, Jeff Collins and Martin Cook shared producing duties on Pray For Me.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “God’s Already There”, “Surely I Come Quickly”, “Onward To The Goal”, “What All The Shoutin’s About”, “Pray For Me” and “It’s All Under The Blood”.
CRITIQUE:
  • If you are going to have a former member perform vocally on your recording, why would you not feature them on the cover?
  • Classic song covers tend to weigh down Inspiration recordings.  Such is the case with “Child Of The King” and “Sweet Beulah Land”.  Although, I have to give the group props for turning in a nice a cappella rendition of the song.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Child Of The King” and “Sweet Beulah Land”.

WRAP UP:

The Inspirations are part of the 50 club; artists that have had 50+ year careers in Southern Gospel music.  Their consistent sound shouldn’t be frowned upon; it is who they are.  Why change that now?  Inspiration fans will love adding Pray For Me to their musical playlists.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Daniel Prayed”/Ensemble – George Speer  2. “God’s Already There“/Melton – Joseph Habedank, Leah Sandlin  3. “Pray For Me”/Ensemble; Joe – Jimmie Davis, Dottie Rambo  4. “Child Of The King”/Joe – Cindy Walker  5. “Surely I Come Quickly”/Harold – Dianne Wilkinson  6. “It’s Under The Blood”/Matt – Leonard Fletcher  7. “Onward To The Goal”/Ensemble; Harold – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  8. “What All The Shoutin’s About”/Melton – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  9. “Jesus Picked A Rose”/Matt – Rebecca Peck  10. “Sweet Beulah Land”/Harold – Squire Parsons

*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)

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