Live Like We’re Redeemed: Brian Free & Assurance

BFAGRADE:  C+

  • Album – Live Like We’re Redeemed
  • Artist – Brian Free & Assurance
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Progressive, Pop
  • Release Date – 03/18/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Brian Free and Assurance have been at the forefront of progressive Southern Gospel music for over a decade now.  Always pushing the envelope to see how far they can go without alienating a majority of Southern Gospel listeners.

The group has dropped back to a trio vocal configuration with their newest effort, Live Like We’re Redeemed.  Brian Free (tenor), Bill Shivers (lead) and Mike Rogers (baritone) delve a little further in to the pop style with this newest effort.

How does Live Like We’re Redeemed stack up to the body of artistic work presented by Brian Free and Assurance in the past?  Lets find out.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Brian takes the lead on the stand out track to Live Like We’re Redeemed; “That’s Just What Grace Does”.  I am not surprised this was chosen as the album’s first radio single.  It is the type song listener’s have come to expect from BFA.
  • The album opens strong with another potential radio single, “Somebody’s Miracle”.  Bill Shivers still proves he is one of Southern Gospel music’s most underrated vocalists.
  • Bill also takes the lead on another must listen, “Forever Home”.  This is probably the most Southern Gospel friendly song on the album.  This song should translate well to live concert audiences.
  • The mid-tempo progressive song, “Mission Of Mercy” has Mike and Bill trade-off on the verses.  I have already added this song to my musical playlists.
  • Ricky Free took the production duties on Live Like We’re Redeemed.  The production quality is what one would expect from a BFA recording.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “That’s Just What Grace Does”, “Forever Home”, “Somebody’s Miracle”, “Mission Of Mercy” and “He Will Carry You”.
CRITIQUE:
  • An album can be produced to perfection, but leaving a listener with a sound that sounds the same throughout the entire recording leaves one bored.  Such is the case with Live Like We’re Redeemed.  By the time I got to the end of the album upon first listen, I wondered what I had just heard on the last five songs because they all sounded the same.
  • Never Walk Alone is one of the best albums BFA has recorded.  The wow factor has fallen off over each new album released since.  While Nothing But Love and Unashamed had some strong musical moments, Live Like We’re Redeemed left me wondering what song would be the one remembered from the album in future years.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “When Mercy Looks At Me”, “The Measure Of A Man” and “Live Like We’re Redeemed”.

WRAP UP:

I may be sounding nostalgic, but I miss the Brian Free and Assurance that gave us “If It Takes A Valley”, “Never Walk Alone”, “Praying Man” and “You Must Have Met Him”.  They gave us progressive Southern Gospel music that had character; arrangements that were distinct.  I have listened to Live Like We’re Redeemed at least half-dozen times now and I still get songs that I can’t differentiate because they sound so much alike.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Somebody’s Miracle”/Bill – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West, Brian White  2. “That’s Just What Grace Does“/Brian – Laura Allen, Michael Farren, Don Poythress  3. “The Measure Of A Man”/Brian – Mark Harris, Don Koch, Stephanie Lewis  4. “Live Like We’re Redeemed”/Bill – Dave Clark, Ricky Free  5. “He Will Carry You”/Brian – Lee Black, Gina Poe  6. “Mission Of Mercy”/Mike; Bill – Jason Cox, Sue C Smith, Kenna Turner West  7. “When Mercy Looks At Me”/Mike – Jeff Bumgardner, Ricky Free  8. “Forever Home”/Bill – Jason Cox, Joel Lindsey  9. “You Could Be The Difference”/Mike – Sam Mizell, Jamie Slocum, Sam Tinnesz  10. “One Mile World”/Brian – Lee Black, Ben Storie

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One thought on “Live Like We’re Redeemed: Brian Free & Assurance

  1. I agree with you Steve on this review. Each song runs into the same sound. I still hear over polished vocals also. Too much production.

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