Only Faith Can See: Erwins

erwins2016faithcanseeGRADE:  B

  • Album – Only Faith Can See
  • Artist – Erwins
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Progressive
  • Release Date – 09/02/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from the Erwins; Only Faith Can See.  The album hit retail outlets on Friday (09/02/16).

The Erwins teamed with Stow Town Records in 2015 to release Ready To Sail.  The album was named one of the top five albums of last year.  How does Only Faith Can See stack up?

If you’re being introduced to the Erwins, the group is composed of Katie (tenor/lead), Keith (lead), Kris (baritone) and Kody (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The album is a dichotomy of sorts.  The first half of the album is stellar while the latter half of the recording leaves the listener bored.
  • The stand out track on Only Faith Can See is the Kody Erwin feature, “Chasing After You”. A unique arrangement allows something totally different from what you hear on the rest of the album.  A must listen!
  • The album’s opening track, “Up And Out Of The Valley” is the only other up-tempo song on the entire album. A nice progressive Southern Gospel song that would make for a great radio single.  If only the rest of the album took the lead of this song.
  • Kris has a strong feature on the first half of the recording, the Jason Blaine/Wayne Haun penned; “Holding On To Me”.  It may be a bit too progressive for the general Southern Gospel listener but its intricate arrangement makes for one of the best songs on the album.
  • Keith takes the lead on the album’s title cut, “Only Faith Can See”. A nice opening musical score sets the song up perfectly.
  • Katie continues to get stronger vocally with each new recording.  Another strong radio single choice is her performance of the Rachel McCutcheon song; “He’s Still Alive”. I would imagine this song going over well in the live concert setting.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Chasing After You”, “Holding On To Me”, “Up And Out Of The Valley”, “Only Faith Can See”, “He’s Still Alive” and “I Can Through Christ”.
CRITIQUE:
  • After the first half of the recording left me thinking this could be the best album release of 2016, the last half of the recording left me bored.
  • With only two up-tempo songs in a sea of slower tempo songs, leaves the last half of the recording melting into each other and the listener trying to distinguish one song from the next.
  • What is with Stow Town Records releasing these kind of recordings in 2016.  They did it with the Taylors (Hope & Healing) and Cana’s Voice (This Changes Everything).
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Everything To Me”, “Give It To God” and “The Same Grace”.

WRAP UP:

The Erwins have come a long way in the last few years.  When they released Ready To Sail in 2015, I knew they would be Southern Gospel’s best mixed group in the not to distant future.  While Only Faith Can See doesn’t match the caliber of Ready To Sail, I would definitely listen to the first six songs on Only Faith Can See.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Up And Out Of The Valley”/Kris; Katie – Wayne Haun, Scott Inman, Joel Lindsey  2. “Only Faith Can See“/Keith – Jeffrey Bumgardner, Daniel Doss, Kenna West  3. “He’s Still Alive“/Katie – Rachel McCutcheon  4. “Chasing After You”/Ensemble; Kody – Caleb Bumgarnder, Jeffrey Bumgardner  5. “I Can Through Christ”/Keith – Joseph Habedank, Devin McGlamery, Tony Wood  6. “Holding On To Me”/Kris – Jason Blaine, Wayne Haun  7. “Here’s My Everything”/Katie – Rachel McCutcheon  8. “The Same Grace“/Keith – Geron Davis, Wayne Haun  9. “Everything To Me”/Kris; Ensemble – Chad Cates, Sue C Smith  10. “Give It To God”/Kris – Jessica Campbell, Jason Cox, Kenna West  11. “Clouds”/Keith – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey

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