Still The Same: Whisnants

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Still The Same
  • Artist:  Whisnants
  • Label:  UIA
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  09/29/17
  • Digital Download:  No
  • Running Time:  42 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from the Whisnants, Still The Same.

The Whisnants career has now spanned 40 years.  Jeff Whisnant has been with the group since the beginning.  They have been providing Southern Gospel listeners traditional Southern Gospel music during their career.

The group has built a successful career around lead/alto vocalist, Susan Whisnant.  She has been at the forefront of the majority of the Whisnants #1 songs.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • I have to first give kudos to Trey Ivey who produced what may very well be the best sounding Whisnants recording to date.  His arrangements are also stellar.
  • It is no surprise Susan Whisnant has the stand out track on Still The Same.  “Keep Me Close” is a personal reflection type song that all Christians can relate.
  • Susan is also featured on a uniquely titled song, “Keep Counting Stars”.  This Sandy Blythe penned tune recounts the story of Abraham waiting for a son and spending time counting stars.
  • Listeners are treated to a crying steel guitar on three songs from Still The Same.  Thank you!  Jeff happens to be featured on all three.  “I’ve Seen What It Can Do” is the strongest of the three and should be considered for radio single possibilities.
  • Jeff also re-records the Mark Lanier classic, “The Ground Is Level”.  The song was made popular by the Bibletones when Mark Lanier was a member.  Mark then took the song to Perfect Heart when he joined them in the early ’90’s.
  • Lead/tenor vocalist Aaron Hise gets to shine on the up-tempo “Caught Away”.  This song is going to make a fun live concert tune.
  • Producer Trey Ivey makes a special vocal appearance on Still The Same with his performance of “Faithful”.  A definite must listen!
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Keep Me Close”, “Caught Away”, “Faithful”, “I’ve Seen What It Can Do”, “The Ground Is Level”, “Keep Counting Stars”, “He’s Never Moved” and “The Last Time I Saw Him”.
CRITIQUE:
  • While I enjoyed Trey’s piano interlude on the group’s cover of the Cathedral classic, “I’m Gonna Live Forever”; the arrangement didn’t quite fit the Whisnants.  The piano work reminded me of something one would find in a Charlie Brown holiday special!
  • The Whisnants hiding such a strong recording by not having it available for digital download.  I still don’t get it.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Why” and “I’m Gonna Live Forever”.

WRAP UP:

It is amazing how a specific producer can make a group sound.  The production work of Trey Ivey may have given the Whisnants one of the best sounding recordings of their career.  The Whisnants also win points on song selection!

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “He’s Never Moved”/Ensemble – Wendy Ferguson, Joseph Habedank, Devin McGlamery  2. “Keep Me Close“/Susan – Monty Lane Allen, Reba Rambo McGuire, Tery Wilkins  3. “I’ve Seen What It Can Do“/Ensemble; Jeff – Rodney Griffin  4. “Caught Away”/Aaron – Janice Crow  5. “Why”/Susan – Jim Brady, Melissa Brady  6. “The Lord Has Stood By Me”/Jeff – Kyla Rowland  7. “I’m Gonna Live Forever”/Aaron – Shirley Cantrell  8. “Keep Counting Stars”/Susan – Sandy Blythe  9. “The Last Time I Saw Him”/Jeff – Niles Borop, Sue C Smith, Dianne Wilkinson  10. “Faithful”/Trey Ivey – Joel Galloway, Megan Mulnix  11. “The Ground Is Level”/Jeff – Mark Lanier  12. “Lord Of All Of Me”/Susan – Rachel McCutcheon, Dale Spencer

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s