Stronger Together: Nelons

NelonsGRADE:  B+

  • Album – Stronger Together
  • Artist – Nelons
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive, Country
  • Release Date – 08/12/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the second of two new albums from the Nelons; Stronger Together.  Last week you got to read my thoughts on Family Harmony.

Stronger Together is a nice companion piece to Family Harmony.  Each one offers listeners something a little bit different.  I still believe the original six song EP should have stayed intact and one more new album released.

If you want to read my review of the six song EP, you can go HERE.  This review will focus on the six new songs not included in the original EP.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Nelons took the McGruders hit single, “I’m Going Home With Jesus” and turned it into an awesome concert closer for the group.  I believe they found another by going back and recording the Gold City standard, penned by Sandy Knight; “I Think I’ll Read It Again”.  Can’t wait to hear this song performed live!
  • The group closes Stronger Together with an awesome, harmony driven song, “Angels Hover Near You”.  This is a song you would have heard the Nelons record in their 1980’s prime.  A must listen.
  • The group’s latest single on Southern Gospel radio is “My Father’s House”.  This mid-tempo song features Amber and takes on a bit of a country-style.  Some really nice harmony work with Autumn takes the song up a notch.
  • One of the few up-tempo numbers found on Stronger Together is a song penned by Jason and Jerome Olds titled, “Gate Of Heaven”.  A rollicking, fun number that should get a listen.
  • While I said I would only cover the six new songs not found on the original EP, I can’t leave this review without mentioning Autumn’s performance on “Family Chain”.  Hands down, the best song on the recording and one of the best recorded songs of 2016.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Family Chain”, “I Think I’ll Read It Again”, “Angels Hover Near You”, “My Father’s House”, “Then Came The Morning” and “You Can’t Make Old Friends”.
CRITIQUE:
  • While the vocal talent far surpasses most of what you’ll get in Southern Gospel music, the recording of the song, “The Awakening” felt out-of-place.  The song’s style is that of a Broadway musical theater tune.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The Awakening”.

WRAP UP:

As already mentioned, Stronger Together is a great companion piece to Family Harmony.  If I were to choose one, I would give a slight edge to Stronger Together.  If the Nelons knew they wanted to release two new albums this year, I believe they would have been better served to not release the six song EP and release these two nine song recordings.  Either way, both Stronger Together and Family Harmony should make my annual countdown of the year’s best albums.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “My Father’s House”/Amber – Jason Cox, Sue C Smith, Kenna Turner West  2. “One Little Word“/Kelly – Constant Change, Jason Clark  3. “Family Chain”/Autumn – Joe Isaacs  4. “Then Came The Morning”/Amber – Chris Christian, Bill Gaither, Gloria Gaither  5. “Gate Of Heaven”/Jason – Jason Clark, Jerome Olds  6. “You Can’t Make Old Friends”/Kelly with Karen Peck – Ryan King, Don Schlitz, Caitlyn Smith  7. “The Awakening”/Ensemble – ??  8. “I Think I’ll Read It Again“/Autumn – Sandy Knight  9. “Angels Hover Near You”/Ensemble – Traditional

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One thought on “Stronger Together: Nelons

  1. I did the pre-order back at NQC last year for this project, and they said it would be a 2-disc, 17-song cd (one album). I received the 6-song EP autographed, but I didn’t get the project(s) as promised for the $20 I’d paid. Essentially, I paid $20 for the EP – not what was promised at all. I’m sure others have experienced this. Maybe they have plans to send the 2 projects out as promised.

    Also, the songwriter, Constant Change, may very well be Dawn Thomas. I remember Kelly Nelon mentioning in a FB Live video that “One Little Word” was her first song Kelly had recorded in 20+ years. I was looking at her repertoire at BMI, and several of those songs were written by Dawn Thomas. Not at all new for songwriters to have other pen names.

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