Unexpected: Jason Crabb

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Unexpected
  • Artist:  Jason Crabb
  • Label:  Daywind
  • Style:  Progressive, Country, Pop
  • Release Date:  04/20/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  41 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from Jason Crabb, Unexpected.

Unexpected is not the reality of this new recording, it is actually everything we as listeners have come to expect from Jason Crabb.  Staying true to his roots while providing pop and CCM sounds.

Unexpected is a return to Southern Gospel record label Daywind.  Surprisingly, the return to Daywind gives listeners a less Southern Gospel friendly recording than Jason’s previous effort; Whatever The Road (2015).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The album comes barreling out of the gate with the ‘hard driving’ country tune, “Expect The Unexpected”.  Flavors of Jason’s past with the Crabb Family show in this particular song.
  • The first single from the recording, “Washed By The Water”, is the most Southern Gospel friendly song on the album.  The funky melody lends to the overall appeal of the song.
  • There is enough progressive Southern Gospel sounds in Jason’s cover of “Chose To Be My Friend” to make it enjoyable.  The Crabb Family originally recorded the song in 2001 (Living Out The Dream).  Rascal Flatts member Gary LeVox joins Jason for this number.
  • Speaking of Duets, Kaya Jones joins Jason on the modern country ballad, “Let It Be Love”.
  • Jason goes mainstream country on the song “Short Are The Years”.  A familiar trope of not letting life pass you by; enjoy every moment because short are the years.
  • Jason deserves kudos for contributing his songwriting talents to seven of the ten songs on the album.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Washed By The Water”, “Expect The Unexpected”, “Day One”, “Chose To Be My Friend”, “The Love In Your Heart Knows The Way”, “Love Will Have The Final Word” and “Let It Be Love”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Stylistically, Unexpected might find trouble appealing to a mainstream Southern Gospel listener.
  • Whatever The Road (2015) gave Jason 4 top ten singles on the Southern Gospel radio chart, two of those going #1.  I was hard pressed to find two songs on Unexpected that could be top ten hits.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Mercy We Can’t Go Beyond” and “He Made You”.

WRAP UP:

Jason Crabb has built a fan base unmatched by most Southern Gospel artists; appealing to a broad spectrum of listeners.  Unexpected will appeal to Jason’s core fan base.  For the more mainstream Southern Gospel listener, Unexpected doesn’t match the caliber of Whatever The Road (2015).

SONG (Style) – Songwriter:  1. “Expect The Unexpected” (Modern Country) – Jason Crabb, Tony Wood, Jimmy Yeary  2. “Day One” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Gloria Gaynor, Chris Stevens  3. “Chose To Be My Friend” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Gerald Crabb  4. “Mercy We Can’t Go Beyond” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Jay DeMarcus, Don Koch  5. “Let It Be Love” (Modern Country) – Jason Crabb, Michael Farren, Kenna West  6. “Short Are The Years” (Country) – Michael Boggs, Neil Thrasher, Bryan White  7. “Washed By The Water” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Dave Barnes, Jason Crabb, Jordan Reynolds  8. “He Made You” (Modern Country) – Al Babcock  9. “Love Will Have The Final Word” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Michael Farren, Tony Wood  10. “The Love In Your Heart Knows The Way” (Country) – Ronnie Bowman, Chadley Brasfield, Jason Crabb

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VOTE: Best Of 2017: Breakthrough/DuoTrio/Soloist

Who were the top artists in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best breakthrough (new), duo/trio and solo artist.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/29/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

Best Of The Last Decade (2007-2016)

Somebody’s Coming (2011) – Gold City (New Haven): “Peter, James And John“; “I Get Down“; “Footprints On The Water“; “It Won’t Be Long“; “Showers Of Blessings“; “Lord Of Life“; “Somebody’s Coming“; “Leave That Burden“; “I Have An Anchor“; “Never Too Broken To Belong“.

Love Came Calling (2010) – Triumphant Quartet (Mansion Entertainment): “Saved By Grace“; “Love Came Calling“; “I Can Take You To The Place“; “Mercy, Forgiveness And Grace“; “Movin’ Up To Gloryland“; “The Undertaker“; “Jesus Is Your Ticket To Heaven“; “We Shall Overcome“; “Holy Hands“; “The Cross Of Christ“; “You’ll Find Me There“.

Whatever The Road (2015) – Jason Crabb (Sony): “Never Gonna Let Me Go“; “Chance For A Miracle“; “He Knows What He’s Doing“; “If I Shout“; “He Won’t Leave You There“; “Home“; “This Life For You“; “It’s A Good Life“; “Opened Up My Eyes“; “Mysterious Way“.

Best Of The Last Decade (2007-2016)

Through The Night (2012) – Perrys (Daywind): “I Got A Hold Of God This Morning“; “Whosoever Will“; “Everywhere I Go“; “Through The Night“; “He Is Good To Me“; “Too Good Not To Be True“; “The Blood And Its Power“; “One Of These Mornings“; “Unspoken Request“; “When He Spoke“.

Jason Crabb (2009) – Jason Crabb (SpringHill): “Somebody Like Me“; “Walk On Water“; “Daystar“; “Worth It All“; “I Will Love You“; “Through The Fire“; “Sometimes I Cry“; “Hope For Me Yet“; “One Day At A Time“; “Ellsworth“; “No Love Lost“; “Forever’s End“.

A Beautiful Thing (2007) – CrossWay (Big Ten House): “70 x 7“; “On My Way To Heaven“; “That’s All“; “Beautiful Thing“; “Took It All Away“; “Greatest Love“; “Hallelujah Side“; “When I Hear The Thunder“; “Wherever You Are“; “Surrendering“; “Thank God I’m Not Jesus“.

The First Shall Be Last, The Last Shall Be First

I thought I would kick off the week by offering a little switch of Southern Gospel’s current popular artists and swapping them with artists that deserve to be recognized as ‘first’.

Starting with mixed group, I would swap the Collingsworth Family with the Erwins.  These young kids have proven they are at the top of their game.

On the solo artist side, I would easily swap out Ivan Parker with Jason Crabb.  “Home” and “If I Shout” are more than enough reason.

Taking a look at trio, the Booth Brothers would be swapped out with Goodman Revival.  The musical concert experience offered the audience by Goodman Revival with actual musicians is a missed art in Southern Gospel music.

Finally, quartet would have me swapping Triumphant Quartet with Tribute Quartet, for the mere fact they are currently providing the listener with some of the best Southern Gospel quartet music.

So, how would you handle the swapping of Southern Gospel’s current most popular artists?

VOTE: Best Of 2016: Radio Single/Song Cover

3rdannualThis week we will wrap up voting in the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.  What was the best radio single and song cover of 2016?  You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/05/16.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

The Fab Five – February 2016

It is time to kick off February 2016.  The 2016 political process starts today in the state of Iowa.  No matter what state and what side of the aisle you fall, participate in this political process.  The most played Southern Gospel radio songs (or should be) in my musical playlists over the preceding month ranks as follows.

Wisecarvers

*Video Credit (#TheWisecarvers)

Jason Crabb

*Video Credit (#JasonCrabb)

Dunaways

*Video Credit (#TheDunaways)

AustinEthan

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

GV

*Video Credit (psalmofpraise)