Solace: Master’s Voice

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Solace
  • Artist:  Master’s Voice
  • Label:  Sonlite
  • Style:  Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date:  01/10/20
  • Streaming:  Yes
  • Running Time:  46 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the first official album release of 2020.  It happens to be Master’s Voice; Solace.

2020 will mark 25 years for Master’s Voice in Southern Gospel music.  It has been about 15 years since I was introduced to the music of then trio, now quartet.  4 continues what the group has been providing since becoming a quartet, a good mix of traditional and progressive Southern Gospel music.

The vocal line-up has held consistency the last several years with Ricky Capps (tenor), TJ Evans (lead), David Folenius (baritone), Jerry Pilgrim (bass) and Theron Perry (pianist).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Good hearing the Annie McRae song, “Took It All Away” covered by Master’s Voice.  It was originally recorded by Crossway on their 2007 album, A Beautiful Thing.
  • Also enjoyed hearing the Geron Davis song, “He’s Coming Back” again.  It’s been at least 20 years since I first heard the song.  The first radio single from Solace has a bit of a 70’s vibe musically.
  • Bass vocalist, Jerry Pilgrim gets the chance to shine on Solace.  The stand out is the mid to up tempo, “At Home”.  This would be a strong radio single choice.  Jim Brady and Rodney Griffin penned a winner here.
  • Another great traditional Southern Gospel quartet number is the Rachel McCutcheon penned, “Last Of The Last Days”.  You’ll be singing along with this up-tempo song that may just be the best song on the album.
  • TJ takes the lead on the big power ballad, “This Same Jesus”.  Master’s Voice originally recorded this song in 2011 (New Grace).
  • Ricky has the feature on the mid tempo, “Because I Said So”.  You should also listen to Ricky’s feature on “Things Only God Can Do”.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “Last Of The Last Days“; “At Home”; “Let Us Not Grow Weary”; “He’s Coming Back”; “Took It All Away”; “Because I Said So” and “This Same Jesus”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The concept video for “Thinking Outside The Grave” has made it tough for me to enjoy the song.
  • I made a brief statement last year that I was going to be tougher on albums in 2020 when it came to using orchestrations.  Producers on Solace did a great job at staying away from orchestrations.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Thinking Outside The Grave” and “Five Minutes”.

WRAP UP:

The search for the best of 2020 has officially begun with the release of Solace.  Consistent with the group’s previous album of new music (Walk Worthy), Solace is a great start to the year!

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Let Us Not Grow Weary” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble; David – Lee Black, Ross King  2. “He’s Coming Back” (Mid/Fast)/TJ – Geron Davis  3. “Things Only God Can Do” (Slow)/Ricky – Toby Boyett  4. “Thinking Outside The Grave” (Mid)/Jerry Janice Crow, Marty Funderburk  5. “Five Minutes” (Fast)/David – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  6. “This Same Jesus” (Slow)/TJ – Stephen Phillips  7. “Peace Like A River” (Mid)/Ricky – Allen Russell  8. “At Home” (Fast)/Jerry – Jim Brady, Rodney Griffin  9. “Pray Through Me” (Slow)/TJ – Jim E Davis, Rick Simpson  10. “Because I Said So” (Mid)/Ricky – Stephen Phillips  11. “Last Of The Last Days” (Mid/Fast)/TJ; Ensemble – Rachel McCutcheon  12. “Took It All Away” (Slow)/David – Annie McRae

 

Love Has Won: Westward Road

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Love Has Won
  • Artist:  Westward Road
  • Label:  Chapel Valley
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  12/06/19
  • Streaming:  Yes
  • Running Time:  43 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the new album from Westward Road; Love Has Won.

I was introduced to the music of Westward Road with their 2018 album, Jesus Can.  They follow that up with Love Has Won.  The album is mainly a collection of praise and worship song covers done in a progressive Southern Gospel style.

The family trio is composed of Scott Roberts (lead vocalist), wife Kelli Roberts (soprano vocalist) and son Garrett Roberts (tenor/harmony vocals).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Uniquely enough, Westward Road takes ‘big box’ praise and worship songs and make them just enjoyable enough to pass the progressive Southern Gospel test.
  • The funky, up-tempo, “My Feet Are On The Rock” is the stand out track on Love Has Won.  A bit of blues infusion makes for a great sounding track.
  • Another mid to up-tempo song that would work well at Southern Gospel radio is “Unfailing Love”.  One added bonus for Westward Road is they have a sound that is uniquely theirs; easily identifiable.
  • Kelli turns in a nice performance of the Ruppes classic, “By The Way Of The Cross”; a song originally recorded 20 years ago.
  • Garret has a couple more features than on Westward Road’s previous effort.  I enjoyed his performance on “This Is Amazing Grace”.
  • I enjoyed the arrangements given most of the songs on Love Has Won.  Taking, what I consider mostly boring ‘big box’ church praise and worship music and making it enjoyable is a feat in and of itself.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “My Feet Are On The Rock“, “By The Way Of The Cross”, “Unfailing Love”, “We’ve Come To Worship”, “Belong” and “This Is Amazing Grace”.
CRITIQUE:
  • In some instances, it is still hard to get past the boring ‘big box’ church praise and worship music.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Praise Be To God” and “In Christ Alone”.

WRAP UP:

I enjoy Westward Road’s uniquely identifiable sound, which is mainly found in Scott’s blues infused vocals.  Love Has Won is a good counterpart to their previous effort, Jesus Can.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “We’ve Come To Worship” (Fast)/Garrett; Scott – Shane Roark  2. “My Feet Are On The Rock” (Fast)/Scott – Josh Bronleewe, Matthew Hein, Abbie Parker, Lindsey Sweat  3. “Belong” (Mid/Slow)/Scott – Chris Rice  4. “In Christ Alone” (Slow)/Garrett Andrew Craig, Donald Koch  5. “This Is Amazing Grace” (Mid/Fast)/Garrett – Joshua Farro, Jeremy Riddle, Philip Wickham  6. “Praise Be To God” (Mid/Slow)/Ensemble; Kelli – Paul Barrett  7. “Unfailing Love” (Mid/Fast)/Scott – Edmond Cash, Cary Pierce, Chris Tomlin  8. “Mercy Tree” (Mid/Slow)/Kelli – Michael Neale, Kristen Nordhoff  9. “By The Way Of The Cross” (Slow)/Kelli – Dennis Wilson  10. “Victory In Jesus” (Fast)/Ensemble; Scott; Kelli – Eugene M Bartlett

He Will Be God: Whisnants

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  He Will Be God
  • Artist:  Whisnants
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date:  09/13/19
  • Streaming:  No
  • Digital Download:  Yes (iTunes)
  • Running Time:  42 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from the Whisnants; He Will Be God.

The Whisnants are working on 35 years in Southern Gospel music.  Their traditional Southern Gospel sound has not changed in that time period, with maybe the addition of some progressive Southern Gospel sounds.

The current line-up has now been together for 20 years.  They are Susan Whisnant (lead/alto vocalist), Jeff Whisnant (baritone vocalist) and Aaron Hise (tenor/lead vocalist).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The best songs on He Will Be God are those that stay away from the booming orchestrated tracks.
  • I’ll take a steel guitar any day over the symphony and “Homesick Heart” is a home run.  This country flavored song features Jeff and is a must listen.
  • Jeff has another country style ballad near the end of the album, “Sweet Things Out Of Dark Places”, that would make for a great radio single choice.
  • Susan’s best feature on the album is another song that stays away from the over orchestration, “The Final Word”.  A great song from the pens of Jason Cox, Sue C Smith and Kenna West.
  • Aaron’s best feature is the up-tempo, “There Is”.  This is classic Whisnant and another strong radio single choice.
  • Austin and Ethan Whisnant even get a feature on He Will Be God; the up-tempo, “A New Beginning”.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “The Final Word“, “Homesick Heart”, “There Is”, “How About You”, “Sweet Things Out Of Dark Places”, “I’d Walk Through The Valley Again” and “A New Beginning”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The Whisnants still rely too much on the over orchestrated, booming tracks.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The Cross Still Stands” and “I Don’t Fear Forever”.

WRAP UP:

The Whisnants consistency have endeared them to many loyal listeners.  They continue to excel at song selection.  He Will Be God continues that model of consistency.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Am Here To Praise The Lord” (Mid/Slow)/Jeff; Susan – Joel Galloway  2. “How About You” (Fast)/Ensemble; Jeff; Aaron – Rebecca J Peck  3. “Believe For Me” (Slow)/Susan – Adina Bowman  4. “There Is” (Fast)/Ensemble; Aaron Chris Binion, Nathan Woodard  5. “Homesick Heart” (Slow)/Jeff – Rachel McCutcheon  6. “He Will Be God” (Mid)/Ensemble – Rachel McCutcheon  7. “I’d Walk Through The Valley Again” (Slow)/Aaron – Rachel McCutcheon  8. “The Final Word” (Mid/Slow)/Susan – Jason Cox, Sue C Smith, Kenna West  9. “I Don’t Fear Forever” (Fast)/Ensmble – Chris Allman, Matthew Lawson  10. “Sweet Things Out Of Dark Places” (Slow)/Jeff – Kyla Rowland  11. “A New Beginning” (Fast)/Ensemble; Austin; Ethan – Jeff Bumgardner, Jason Cox, Kenna West  12. “The Cross Still Stands” (Slow)/Susan – Joseph Habedank, Kenna West, Tony Wood

Who We Are: 3 Heath Brothers

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Who We Are
  • Artist:  3 Heath Brothers
  • Label:  Horizon
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  11/22/19
  • Streaming:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  40 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from the 3 Heath Brothers; Who We Are.

Who We Are marks the first major label release for the 3 Heath Brothers, releasing on Horizon Records.  Progressive Southern Gospel music is what listeners will get from the trio.

The group is composed of brothers, Nicholas Heath (lead vocalist), Clayton Heath (harmony) and Christian Heath (harmony).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Nearly all the song arrangements were built for ensemble work instead of individual vocal features.  That is no more evident than on the album’s first radio single, “Smell Of Smoke”.  The brothers did a really awesome music video for the song.  Check it out.
  • Lead vocalist, Nicholas does take the feature on a song he wrote, “Give It To Jesus”.  The simple arrangement makes for a nice progressive ballad.
  • Nicholas also takes the lead on another strong ballad that would make for a great radio single choice, “This Is Who I Am”.
  • Not sure if it is a ukulele or just an acoustic guitar, but the musical accompaniment at the beginning of “No Matter What” draws you in for what turns in to a great song.
  • The album needed more youthful songs like “Self Less” that allows the brothers to have a bit of fun.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “Smell Of Smoke“, “This Is Who I Am”, “No Matter What”, “Self Less”, “Give It To Jesus” and “Dream Small”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The group tackling a song like “We Choose Life” seemed a bit awkward.  The line in the song about wanting to hear a baby cry; I doubt they’d want to hear that at their ages.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “We Choose Life” and “Mother’s Day Song”.

WRAP UP:

The harmony the 3 Heath Brothers possess is great.  With each new album I’m sure they will get better at song selection choices.  There are a half dozen songs you will be hearing well into 2020.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Dream Small” (Mid)/Ensemble – Josh Wilson  2. “This Is Who I Am” (Slow)/Nicholas – Rachel Barrentine, Gene Ezell  3. “It Is Well” (A Cappella)/Ensemble – Traditional  4. “Smell Of Smoke” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette, Kenna West  5. “Give It To Jesus” (Mid/Slow)/Nicholas; Clayton – Nicholas Heath  6. “No Matter What” (Mid/Slow)/Nicholas – Bryon Fowler, Jonathan Smith, Ryan Stevenson  7. “Self Less” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Jordan Sapp, James Tealy, Josh Wilson  8. “I Believe You” (Slow)/Ensemble – Matthew Lawson, Bernadette Negus  9. “Mother’s Day Song” (Mid/Slow)/Nicholas – Craig Aven  10. “Shake In His Shoes” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Leonard Ahlstrom, Robert Arthur, Kenna West  11. “We Choose Life” (Slow)/Ensemble – Richard Blythe, Sandy Blythe

High Road: High Road

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  High Road
  • Artist:  High Road
  • Label:  New Day
  • Style:  Acoustic Country, Bluegrass
  • Release Date:  11/15/19
  • Streaming:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  36 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the new self titled (High Road) album from High Road.

I remember first seeing High Road perform at the 2012 NQC and immediately blown away by their talent and happy to see a group actually perform with instruments instead of tracks.  2019 brings the group’s self titled debut with New Day records.

The acoustical country/bluegrass sounds of High Road remains forefront on this new effort.  The 2019 edition of High Road is composed of Sarah Davison (lead/alto vocals-pianist), Kristen Bearfield (soprano vocals-banjo/mandolin), Kinsey Kapfhammer (alto vocals-acoustic guitar) and Lauren Conklin (fiddle).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • You know my thoughts on groups performing with actual instruments.  I’m thankful for groups like High Road, who not only sing but perform all their own music!
  • Sarah, along with Michael Farren and Tony Wood penned the album’s opening song (“Nothing At All”), which is also the first radio single.  While you may get mesmerized by the instrumentation, don’t let the strong lyric get past you.
  • The album is bookend with the strongest songs as the closing track, “The Day I Got Saved” would make for another strong radio single choice.  Sarah/Farren/Wood just so happened to pen this gem as well.
  • Alto vocalist, Kinsey Kapfhammer performs, “It’s You”.  The haunting melody along with Kinsey’s vocals make for a must listen!
  • Kristen is featured on a song she wrote, “Faithful Again”.  This up-tempo bluegrass flavored song will leave you wanting more.
  • Speaking of bluegrass, group member Lauren Conklin penned the barn burner instrumental, “Snake River Reel”.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “Nothing At All“, “It’s You”, “The Day I Got Saved”, “High Road”, “Faith, Hope And Love”, “Faithful Again” and “Snake River Reel”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Near the end of the album, High Road covers “Precious Lord Take My Hand” and “Two Coats”.  “Two Coats”, along with the song “High Road” have both been previously recorded by the group.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Two Coats”.

WRAP UP:

These late year album releases are making it tougher for me to finalize my annual best album list.  This self titled (High Road) album by High Road is another to add to the mix in finalizing that list.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Nothing At All” (Mid/Fast)/Sarah – Sarah Davison, Michael Farren, Tony Wood  2. “Faith, Hope And Love” (Mid)/Sarah; Kinsey; Kristen – Kristen Bearfield, Sarah Davison, Kenna West  3. “High Road” (Slow)/Sarah – Pete Sallis, Tia Sillers  4. “It’s You” (Slow)/Kinsey Devin McGlamery, Nathan Woodard  5. “Snake River Reel” (Fast)/Instrumental – Lauren Conklin  6. “God Of Second Chances” (Slow)/Kinsey – Sarah Davison, Kinsey Kapfhammer, Kenna West  7. “Faithful Again” (Mid/Fast)/Kristen – Kristen Bearfield  8. “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” (Slow)/Kristen; Sarah – Thomas Dorsey  9. “Two Coats” (Mid/Fast)/Sarah – Emory Gordy, Patty Loveless  10. “The Day I Got Saved” (Mid/Slow)/Sarah – Sarah Davison, Michael Farren, Tony Wood

Make It Count: The Sound

GRADE:  A-

  • Album:  Make It Count
  • Artist:  The Sound
  • Label:  New Day
  • Style:  Progressive, Modern Country
  • Release Date:  11/29/19
  • Streaming:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  40 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the new album from The Sound; Make It Count.

The Sound is one of the biggest breakthrough artists of 2019.  They released a memories album back in February and since that time, signed with New Day Records (a division of Daywind), had two top 40 hits and now release Make It Count.

The Sound provides a progressive Southern Gospel sound mixed with modern country overtones.  The trio’s sound is built around lead vocalist Levi Mills.  The trio is completed by father Rob Mills (baritone vocals) and brother Jacob Mills (tenor vocalist).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Levi Mills is already well on his way as establishing himself as one of Southern Gospel music’s great lead vocalists.  The album kicks off with a mid to up-tempo progressive song, “City Of Joy”.  This song sets the pace for the entire recording.  One of the best recorded songs of 2019.
  • The album’s first single, “Can I Get A Witness”, is a power house tune from the pens of Brent Baxter, Jason Cox and Kenna West.  I can’t imagine this song not becoming The Sound’s first top ten song.
  • Another strong radio single choice is the up-tempo country flavored, “Great God Almighty”.  I put this song on repeat several times before finishing the album.  I thoroughly enjoyed the instrument choices on this song and the entire album.
  • One of the strongest lyrics on Make It Count comes from the pen of Drew Cline, “I Am Becoming”.  Levi interprets this song perfectly.  Another must listen!
  • Jacob’s one feature deserves a listen; “It Was Grace”.  There can never be too many songs about Grace.
  • Father, Rob Mills decides to tackle the Steeles classic, “On the Road To Emmaus”.  The group puts their own spin on the song.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “City Of Joy“, “Can I Get A Witness”, “Great God Almighty”, “I Am Becoming”, “It Was Grace”, “First Church Of Mercy”, “On The Road To Emmaus” and “Rain”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Not that I got tired of hearing Levi’s voice, but I would have liked to hear at least one more feature from Jacob.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Make It Count”.

WRAP UP:

2019 will go down as the breakthrough year for The Sound.  This group is destined for top trio status in Southern Gospel music.  I didn’t want Make It Count to end.  One of the best Southern Gospel albums of 2019!

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “City Of Joy” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble; Levi – Michael Neale  2. “It Was Grace” (Mid)/Jacob – Hunter Leath, Rob Mills  3. “First Church Of Mercy” (Slow)/Levi – Lee Black, Aaron Wilburn  4. “Make It Count” (Mid)/Levi Jason Cox, Rob Mills, Kenna West  5. “Can I Get A Witness” (Slow)/Levi – Brent Baxter, Jason Cox, Kenna West  6. “On The Road To Emmaus” (Mid/Fast)/Rob; Levi – Jeff Steele  7. “I Am Becoming” (Slow)/Levi – Drew Cline  8. “Great God Almighty” (Mid/Fast)/Levi – David Carr, Mark Lee, Johnny Powell  9. “Something About Love” (Mid)/Levi – Lee Black, Jason Cox, Sue C Smith  10. “Rain” (Mid)/Levi – Jacob Mills, Levi Mills

Long Live Old Time Religion: Old Time Preachers Quartet

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Long Live Old Time Religion
  • Artist:  Old Time Preachers Quartet
  • Label:  Family Music Group
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  04/12/19
  • Streaming:  No
  • Digital Download:  Yes (iTunes)
  • Running Time:  40 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from the Old Time Preachers Quartet; Long Live Old Time Religion.

Long Live Old Time Religion is the sophomore album from the quartet, following up their 2016 debut (The Old Time Way).  Listeners are treated to nothing but traditional Southern Gospel quartet music.

The vocalists found on Long Live Old Time Religion are Tim Owens (tenor), Bob Sellers (lead) who has since left the group, Les Butler (baritone) and Mike Holcomb (bass).  Adam Borden has stepped in to the lead vocalist position to replace Bob Sellers.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The best thing about Long Live Old Time Religion is hearing Mike Holcomb featured so often.  This living legend shows he is still one of Southern Gospel’s greatest bass vocalists.
  • They do a great job covering the quartet classic, “When God’s Chariot Comes” of which Mike is featured on the second verse.
  • Mike takes the first verse of the album’s newest radio single, “One More Reason”.  This up tempo song from the pen of Hoy Duncan also features Les and Bob.
  • Mike slows it down taking the feature on “The Chapter And The Verse”.  The song fits it with the ‘old time religion’ theme of the album.
  • Adam Borden is featured on the album’s current top 40 radio single, “He Has”.  This song is easily the strongest lyric on the entire recording.
  • This traditional Southern Gospel album is produced as if it was still the 1970’s.  Another album with no orchestrations!
  • Strongest songs included in order: “He Has“, “One More Reason”, “Joy Comes In The Morning”, “The Chapter And The Verse”, “When God’s Chariot Comes”, “I’ll Soon Be Gone” and “I Sang Myself Happy”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Tenor Tim Owens didn’t get one feature on the album.
  • While the album held up to the theme of ‘old time religion’, the nostalgic nature of a good chunk of songs doesn’t stand up to the lyrical strength of songs like “He Has”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I’ll Continue In The Things I Have Heard” and “What We Need”.

WRAP UP:

Long Live Old Time Religion is traditional Southern Gospel quartet music at it’s finest.  While the album got bogged down in the lyrically nostalgic nature of ‘old time religion’, I consider this sophomore effort better than the quartet’s debut.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Long Live Old Time Religion” (Mid/Fast)/Mike – Rebecca J Peck  2. “I’ll Soon Be Gone” (Fast)/Ensemble; Bob – Joel Hemphill  3. “The Empty Altar” (Mid/Slow)/Les – Roger Johnson  4. “When God’s Chariot Comes” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble; Mike John Taylor  5. “The Chapter And The Verse” (Mid)/Mike – Rebecca J Peck  6. “I Sang Myself Happy” (Fast)/Bob – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  7. “What We Need” (Mid)/Bob – Rebecca J Peck  8. “He Has” (Slow)/Adam – Mark Wheeler  9. “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There” (Fast)/Ensemble; Mike – EM Bartlett  10. “I’ll Continue In The Things I Have Heard” (Mid)/Les – Joshua Callaway, Kenny Callaway  11. “One More Reason” (Fast)/Mike; Les; Bob – Hoy Duncan  12. “Joy Comes In The Morning” (Fast)/Ensemble; Bob – Larry Hinson

Authentic: Browders

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Authentic
  • Artist:  Browders
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  11/08/19
  • Streaming:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  43 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the new album from the Browders; Authentic.

After one Daywind album that had a record breaking seven #1 singles, the Browders go back to releasing music independently with the release of Authentic.  The album has already sparked a #1 song with “You’re Not In This Alone”.

Authentic brings listeners progressive Southern Gospel music.  The Browders are composed of Matthew Browder (lead vocalist), Sonya Browder (soprano vocalist/pianist), David Browder (lead/baritone vocalist) and Tommy Browder (baritone-harmony vocals).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Sonya wrote and performs the album’s first #1 song, “You’re Not In This Alone”.  This song stands out as the album’s best track.
  • Matthew and Gerald Crabb combined to pen the progressive ballad, “He Gave”.  David is featured on this song that would make for a great radio single choice.
  • Matthew is featured on another stand out, “My Home”.  A song which he also wrote.
  • Matthew has become an accomplished writer in the Southern Gospel industry.  “Death Of Me” is a strong lyrical composition that deserves a listen.
  • The album’s newest radio single is the fun, up-tempo, “When God Says Wait”.
  • Since the Browders already travel with a band, Authentic is produced with a sound that can be translated to the concert stage.  I’m enjoying all these albums recently that are passing on the over orchestrated tracks.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “You’re Not In This Alone“, “My Home”, “He Gave”, “When God Says Wait”, “I’ve Come Too Far”, “Let Us Come Together” and “Death Of Me”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Matthew attempts to add some blues to the album with the song, “Church House Blues”.  Some of the song is so over the top that it stood out in the wrong way.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Church House Blues” and “Because He Said So”.

WRAP UP:

As the title of the album signifies, the Browders provide listeners an Authentic look at what they could expect if they were to see the group in concert.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Let Us Come Together” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Matthew Browder  2. “You’re Not In This Alone” (Mid)/Sonya – Sonya Browder  3. “When God Says Wait” (Mid/Fast)/Matthew; David – Matthew Browder, John Darin Rowsey  4. “My Home” (Slow)/Matthew Matthew Browder  5. “All That Matters” (Mid/Fast)/Tommy – Tommy Browder  6. “Death Of Me” (Slow)/Matthew – Matthew Browder  7. “Because He Said So” (Fast)/Sonya – Matthew Browder, Joseph Habedank  8. “He Gave” (Slow)/David – Matthew Browder, Gerald Crabb  9. “So Good To Me” (Slow)/Tommy – Nancy Click Banfield  10. “Church House Blues” (Mid/Fast)/Matthew – Matthew Browder  11. “Healed By The Stripes” (Slow)/Sonya – Matthew Browder  12. “I’ve Come Too Far” (Fast)/Matthew – Matthew Browder