Today, we take a look at the latest album from the Taylors; Faithful Again.
This marks the third album released for the Taylors under the Stow Town record label. It is also the second recording for the group since moving to a trio vocal configuration. The album gives listeners nine new songs, that range from progressive Southern Gospel to some country flavored songs.
The Taylors are all siblings; Jonathan (lead/tenor), Suzanne Hise (soprano) and Chris (baritone).
Jonathan is featured on the album’s stand out tracks. The first is the modern country flavored, “Anything Less”. It is good to see the name Adina Bowman on songwriter credits again. This would be a great choice for Southern Gospel radio.
Next up is the Taylors cover of the Heirloom classic, “Mountain Of Sorrow”; from the 1991 album release, Uncommon Love. So happy to hear this song again!
Lee Black and Scott Inman have been combining for some really strong up-tempo songs recently. Another is “I Pray Every Day”, which fit the Taylors perfectly. The soprano vocals of Suzanne takes the lead on this number.
Another strong up-tempo song, “Love Still Flows”, is a must listen. Suzanne is also featured on this tune that you will soon be singing along.
Speaking of Suzanne, she turns in a strong performance on the progressive ballad, “Making Me Stronger”.
The sound/style of Faithful Again is heard from the first notes of the opening title track. Chris is featured on this song that would also make for a great concert opening song.
Strongest songs included in order: “Mountain Of Sorrow”, “Anything Less”, “I Pray Every Day”, “Faithful Again”, “Making Me Stronger” and “Love Still Flows”.
I like the idea of artists releasing album’s with fewer, greater songs than an album of 12 or more songs with several fillers.
A down side is, one mediocre song on a nine song album could bring down its overall appeal.
The praise/worship style tune that closes the album felt out-of-place.
Weakest songs included in order: “Honored, Exalted & Glorified”.
2018 marks a decade for the Taylors as a Southern Gospel recording artist. The siblings have consistently improved their vocals, harmony and stage presentation. While I miss the traditional mixed quartet sound the group had with four vocalists, Faithful Again is their best recording since moving to a trio vocal configuration.
SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:1. “Faithful Again” (Mid)/Chris – Kristi Fitzwater, Donna King, Joel Shoemake 2. “Anything Less” (Mid)/Jonathan – Adina Bowman, Denny Livingston, Brittany Potter3. “Love Still Flows” (Fast)/Suzanne – Jeff Bumgardner, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey 4. “Every Hallelujah” (Mid/Fast)/Suzanne – Karen Gillespie, Helga Kaefer 5. “Mountain Of Sorrow” (Slow)/Jonathan – Jim Chapman, Tony Elenburg 6. “Making Me Stronger” (Slow)/Suzanne – Richard Blythe, Sandy Blythe 7. “I Pray Every Day” (Fast)/Chris – Lee Black, Scott Inman 8. “The Sweetest Name I Know” (Slow)/Jonathan, Suzanne – Marty Funderburk, Rachel McCutcheon 9. “Honored, Exalted & Glorified” (Slow)/Suzanne – Geron Davis, Wayne Haun
In the case of today’s post, a clone is an artist that duplicates, imitates or closely resembles another artist in appearance, performance or style.
Today’s post is not meant to be a bad thing (as in the myriad of carbon copy artists in the industry), but one that will take a Southern Gospel artist from the past and match them to an artist of today that best resembles/carries on the sound of the great artist of the past. I will continue this feature with several more posts.
Downings match is the Taylors
Florida Boys match is Freedom Quartet
Happy Goodmans match is the Perrys
Hinsons match is the Hinson Family
Mid South Boys match is Akins
Oak Ridge Boys match is Triumphant
So with the artists in today’s grouping, do you agree with my choices or do you feel other artists match closer to the great artists of the past?
Happy Wednesday. Vocalist categories are still open. Today we start the artist categories. Who were the top breakthrough artist and best vocal duo/trio of 2016? You get one vote per day. Poll closes 11/30/16. Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.
Thursday night of the NQC is over. The music was very good tonight, but the night nearly ruined by the biggest miss of the entire week.
It was like a hit parade tonight. Many artists decided to do entire sets of some of their biggest hits.
Gold City had an entire set of classic Gold City songs. The Perrys decided to use all hit singles in their set. Add Jeff & Sheri Easter to that list. A ton of great music.
Josh Townsend, pianist for LeFevre Quartet, was styling tonight in that jacket and he also pulled off an awesome piano solo.
Congrats to Ronny Hinson for finally being inducted in to the Southern Gospel hall of fame. Long overdue.
The back to back sets of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Nelons provided some awesome music. Karen Peck joining Kelly Nelon on “You Can’t Make Old Friends” was a special moment.
I’ve always loved Squire Parsons composition, “King Of Eternity”. The Kingdom Heirs (trio) did a fantastic job on that particular number tonight.
The Taylors capped off a great night of music with a solid three song set.
There is only one miss tonight, but it is the biggest of the week. Why do individuals feel the need to spew their political views? A certain preacher had to hock a new book to tell us how horrible America is and tell us that we have to vote for a certain candidate who for the last year has also been telling crowds how horrible America is. Putting your trust in an individual that will ultimately go down as the worst presidential candidate in the history of this nation is not something you should be proclaiming to large crowds of people. When are individuals like this going to realize not everyone thinks the way they do. Everyone (yes even evangelicals) will not vote the same way. That is what it means to be American. We are free to differ on issues but in no way is it ok for anyone (especially in his position) to tell another how to vote and by not voting the way they say is wrong/bad and somehow the nation is doomed. If you want to live in that kind of country, go to Russia.
**Now to crown the best of the night:
Best single song performances (in order of appearance): (1) “I’m Getting Ready To Leave This World” – LeFevre Quartet (2) “Praise His Name” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (3) “There Rose A Lamb” – Gold City (4) “Keep On” – Perrys (5) “Redeemed” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (6) “I Think I’ll Read It Again” – Nelons (7) “A Moment Of Grace” – Booth Brothers (8) “King Of Eternity” – Kingdom Heirs (**Favorite song performance of the evening) (9) “He Won’t Fail You” – Taylors
Best Set of the Night: There were several contenders tonight but I had to give it to the group that was high energy from start to finish; Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.
I trust everyone has a great weekend. Lets give away some free music to help alleviate those Monday morning blues.
Today, you have a chance to win the Taylors 2014 recording, Measure Of Grace. This recording featured the four siblings on traditional/progressive Southern Gospel songs.
“I’m Committed To You Lord”
“He’s My Guide”
“Measure Of Grace”
“I Want The World To See (Jesus Lives In Me)”
“The Least I Can Do”
“The Cross Is Calling”
“He Goes Before Me”
“The Greatest Wonder”
“Heaven Is Ready And Waiting For Me”
“That Will Be Heaven To Me”
The first person to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the answer to the following trivia question will win.
**In 2008, on the Taylors first recording (Rivers Crossed), the group recorded a song that would later (2011) be recorded by the Booth Brothers and become a big hit song. Can you name the song? Research is allowed.
Congratulations to Bobbie for being the first to answer “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name” as first being recorded by the Taylors and then later became a big hit for the Booth Brothers. More free music next Monday.
Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
The Taylors are working on their first decade in Southern Gospel music, which comes in 2017. 2016 brings the release of the group’s 9th recording; the second with Stow Town Records.
The Taylors go to a trio vocal configuration on their newest effort, Hope & Healing. As a result, they drop the bass vocals that used to be sung by Chris and have him sing baritone as Jonathan sings lead with Suzanne performing the alto/soprano.
With the change in vocal configuration and drop of the bass vocal, the Taylors move to a more progressive, Talley-esque type sound replacing the traditional mixed quartet sound.
Hope & Healing kicks off with a cajun-country style tune that is out-of-place once you hear the rest of the album. The song ends up being the best song on the recording because it is so different from the rest of the recording. I would expect to hear “He Won’t Fail You” on Southern Gospel radio in the near future.
Suzanne turns in a strong performance mid way through the album on “That’s What The Cross Is For”. This reflective ballad is one that will stay with you even after the song ends.
Another strong ballad is the Chris Taylor feature, “Somebody’s Praying”. There can never be enough songs about the power in prayer. “Somebody’s Praying” is another in a long list of must listen prayer songs; one that reminds us that even Christ himself is praying for us.
One song I can see being a future Southern Gospel radio single is the Jonathan feature, “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”. Another story we’ve heard many times in song but the presentation here is a must listen. The idea of sacrificing the thing in life most cherished in order to follow Christ is not the easiest thing to do.
Jonathan also shines on the progressive mid tempo, “Between Here And Heaven”.
The Taylors need credit for choosing from some of the best writers in the business for the song selection on Hope & Healing.
Wayne Haun can take credit for the best sounding Taylors album to date.
Strongest songs included in order: “He Won’t Fail You”, “That’s What The Cross Is For”, “Somebody’s Praying”, “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”, “Between Here And Heaven”, “I Hope He Smiles” and “Call Out My Name”.
Just with my last review; an album can be produced to perfection, but if there is very little in song variation, the album starts bleeding together for the listener. You can’t tell one song from the last. Hope & Healing has one true up-tempo song, two in the mid-tempo range and ten songs would be considered slow-tempo. This is tiring for a listener, especially on a 13 song recording. This is what ultimately led to my rating for the album.
Speaking out on this; I have noticed a small trend lately in Southern Gospel music to record more slower to mid-tempo songs compared to up-tempo songs. Are there not enough good up-tempo songs being written? The pacing is just as important in listening to an album as the songs you are choosing to record.
Weakest songs included in order: “We Are Not Ashamed” and “Far Enough”.
The Taylors would have been best served to record the ten best songs from Hope & Healing and save the three other ballads for a future recording. It is tough to give an album with such strong songs a (B-) because the pacing of the album doesn’t make for the best listening experience. With that said, don’t overlook Hope & Healing. There are some absolutely stellar songs on this album that will find a home in your musical playlists and don’t be surprised the album will still be competing for a spot in my annual countdown of the year’s best releases.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:1. “He Won’t Fail You”/Ensemble; Suzanne – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey 2. “Somebody’s Praying“/Chris – Sue C Smith, Ed Stivers, Kevin Ward3. “I Can Feel You Healing Me”/Jonathan – Natalie Cromwell, Denny Livingston, Donna Norton 4. “We Are Not Ashamed”/Suzanne – Geron Davis 5. “For What I Don’t Know”/Suzanne – Marcia Henry, Denny Livingston, Rachel McCutcheon 6. “Far Enough”/Chris – Jeff Bumgardner, Wayne Haun 7. “Right Now”/Jonathan – Randall Garland, Glen Green, Marcia Henry 8. “That’s What The Cross Is For”/Suzanne – Paul Chapman, Kenna West, Lindsey Williams 9. “Between Here And Heaven”/Jonathan – Gina Boe, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood 10. “Call Out My Name”/Jonathan, Suzanne – Pamela Furr, Tanya Goodman Sykes 11. “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”/Jonathan – Lowell Alexander, Dave Clark, Bonnie Keen, Tony Wood 12. “Worship You Again”/Suzanne – Sandy Blythe 13. “I Hope He Smiles”/Chris – Lee Black, Gina Boe, Joseph Habedank