Monday, October 22, 2012

Pure and Simple - Gaither Vocal Band - CD Review

The more I hear from this lineup of the Gaither Vocal Band, the more I like. Their latest album, Pure and Simple, is definitely one of the best albums of the year. The production and quality of the album is by far the best I've heard all year.

However, with a 15-song album, there are bound to be a few "skip songs." While I enjoy more than the  usual 10 songs, I think it would have been better overall to choose the top 12-13 songs and have a much stronger project. Vocally, there's not a weak song in the bunch, but some songs just don't seem to fit quite as well.

Instead of going song by song, here's a list of standout points for me:

  • "Rasslin' Jacob" - This is a fun up-tempo song to start the project. This song was the only noticeable time that you could hear Bill Gaither in the mix, which I thought was interesting. On most other songs, his bass vocals don't stand out.
  • "Come to Jesus" - This for me is THE best track of the album. David Phelps delivers incredible vocals on this song. The song stylistically is such a blend of different styles, and the harmonies are so spot on. 
  • "Glorious Freedom" - I was not familiar with this hymn at all before hearing it on this album, but after hearing it, I wondered why it wasn't more well-known. Thanks to the GVB for bringing attention this song! Another great song with Phelps featured.
  • "The Love of God" - This song has been done a lot in recent years it seems, but I never get tired of it. Mark Lowry and Wes Hampton both get features on this song. The arrangement is pretty stripped down to allow the vocals to shine through.
  • "Rumormill" - This song doesn't fit well for me. On a 15-song project, this would be a song I would cut. 
  • "I'll Pray for You" - This is not to be confused with the well-known song by the Whisnants. Wes Hampton does an incredible job and delivers on this song with one of the best vocal performances of the project.
  • Michael English's features aren't standout tracks for me, which is a shame, because I love his voice. However, none of the songs he was featured on really stood out with me. It was nothing to do with his vocal performances, because he's one of the best leads, but the songs just didn't click with me. 

Overall the blend and vocals of this Gaither Vocal Band lineup make it a must-buy CD this year!

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog, and just wanted to say that I TOTALLY agree with you about 'Come to Jesus' being the best track on this album! When I heard it I just sat there in awe! We all know David Phelps is incredible...but this brings another facet to his talent, and the harmonies are so awesome! I also think that musically and spiritually, this song offers many deep perspectives!


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