Hope For All Nations: Karen Peck and New River

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Hope For All Nations
  • Artist:  Karen Peck and New River
  • Label:  Daywind
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  06/23/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  44 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from Karen Peck and New River, Hope For All Nations.  The album hit retail on Friday June 23rd, 2017.

New River has built their career around progressive Southern Gospel sounds layered with some country flair.  Hope For All Nations marks the 26th album to mark the group’s 26th anniversary in Southern Gospel music.

The group’s sound has always been built around Karen Peck Gooch (soprano/lead).  The 2017 edition of New River is rounded out by Susan Peck Jackson (alto), Ricky Braddy (lead/tenor), Kari Gooch (harmony vocals) and Matthew Gooch (lead guitar).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Karen contributed her songwriting talents to seven of the twelve songs on Hope For All Nations.  The album starts strong with the classic New River country sound and “Love Will Never Give Up”.  This song sets the tone for the rest of the album.
  • The group adds a traditional spiritual feel to the up-tempo “Gotta Be Saved”.  Fun song!
  • This is the first album to feature newest vocalist, Ricky Braddy.  He shows he fits with New River on his performance of “Victory Is Mine”.  This mid-tempo song is the most traditional sounding Southern Gospel song on the recording.  This is an easy choice for radio single possibilities.
  • Karen gives listeners her obligatory power house features.  The strongest on Hope For All Nations is “The River”.  Karen adds a little extra soul to her performance.
  • She also has the lead on the first single from the recording, the title track; “Hope For All Nations”.  The central theme to the entire recording is hope; hope for us, hope for our neighbors and hope for the world.
  • The up-tempo songs on Hope For All Nations are all strong.  “God’s Got A Blessing” follows the same formula as the album’s opening track.  Classic New River.
  • Don’t want to leave this review without pointing out another must listen, “Who He Is What He Does”.  Ricky Braddy takes the lead adding a little blues/soul flavor to the vocal.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Love Will Never Give Up”, “Victory Is Mine”, “Gotta Be Saved”, “The River”, “God’s Got A Blessing”, “Who He Is What He Does”, “Hope For All Nations” and “I Know I’ll Be There”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The only downside to Hope For All Nations is that it didn’t quite match the caliber of the previous album, Pray Now.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I’ll Keep On Praying” and “All You Need”.

WRAP UP:

Karen Peck and New River is celebrating 26 successful years in Southern Gospel music.  They continue to remain at the top of their game in the music they provide Southern Gospel listeners.  Hope For All Nations has a high probability to be one of the top ten album releases of 2017.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Love Will Never Give Up”/Ensemble; Karen – Jeff Bumgardner, Joel Lindsey, Karen Peck  2. “Hope For All Nations“/Karen – Lee Black, Benji Cowart, Karen Peck  3. “Who He Is What He Does“/Ricky  – Lee Black, Jason Cox, Kenna West  4. “The Reason”/Ensemble; Susan – Lee Black, Wayne Haun, Karen Peck  5. “Gotta Be Saved”/Ensemble – Joseph Habedank, Wayne Haun, Karen Peck  6. “I’ll Keep On Praying”/Kari – Daniel Doss, Wayne Haun, Karen Peck, Kenna West  7. “The River”/Karen – Rebecca Bowman, Kenna West, Sonya Isaacs Yeary  8. “Victory Is Mine“/Ricky – Melissa Brady  9. “God’s Got A Blessing”/Ensemble; Karen – Lee Black, Wayne Haun  10. “All You Need”/Susan – Tim Lovelace, Nathan Woodard  11. “I Know I’ll Be There”/Karen – David Clark, Wayne Haun, Karen Peck  12. “I’m Gonna Love My Neighbor”/Ensemble; Ricky – Rodney Griffin, Karen Peck

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