This is my first CD Review of an album that has been released this year, and I think Beyond the Ashes has set the bar high with Living in the Moment.
Beyond the Ashes released Living in the Moment on March 5, 2013. To me, this album surpasses their previous release of Treasures Unseen in 2011.
The album starts with "So Amazing to Me" which has a very strong praise and worship feel to it. To me the first verse and chorus of the song is the strongest ensemble singing on the project. Anthony Facello turns out an incredible vocal on the second verse.
The second song and title track, Living in the Moment, is a pop song by Jason Mraz. Normally I'm not the biggest fan of southern gospel groups covering popular groups or secular songs, but this works really well for them. The song sounds very similar to the original, but most southern gospel fans are probably not familiar with Jason Mraz's version (I wasn't that familiar with it). The song is also a strong contrast from the previous song. It has a very catchy melody that you'll find yourself humming and singing along.
By far my favorite song on the project is "Peace in the Midst of the Storm." I put this song on repeat during my first listen through before listening to the rest of the album. Couldn't help myself! All my notes said were "Wow!" Incredible vocals, incredible lyrics! This song is a feature for Dustin Doyle.
Dustin is definitely featured more on this project. Another song that he sings that stands out to me is "Over For Good." It's a close second favorite of mine. Anthony does not have as many features on this album only on "No Sin Greater Than God's Grace" and "I Can't Do This By Myself." I really liked "No Sin Greater Than God's Grace." Normally when I think about songs about grace they are more power ballads. This uptempo number is a nice change.
Baritone Kellan Monroe is featured on "Where Gold Begins." It also has a more "pop" feel to it. I think this type of song really fits Beyond the Ashes and sets them apart from other groups. "Your Love Comes Shining Through" is another uptempo, pop-ish song.
There are two "love" songs on the project, "When Love Whispers Your Name" and "Your Love Comes Shining Through". My favorite of these two "love" songs is "When Love Whispers Your Name." It's a great ballad, I love the lyrics of this song.
Album rating - 4.75 stars - I love the song selection of the album. The album has so many standout tracks. I don't think there is a weak song on the project. The album is definitely more toward the progressive side, but it's fits with what we've heard from Beyond the Ashes before. Definitely a project that you should buy!
1. "So Amazing to Me"
2. "Living in the Moment" **
3. "Oh the Thought that Jesus Love Me"
4. "No Sin Greater than Grace" **
5. "Peace in the Midst of the Storm" **
6. "Walking With my Eyes on Jesus"
7. "I Can't Do This by Myself"
8. "Where the Gold Begins"
9. "When Love Whispers Your Name" **
10. "Your Love Comes Shining Through"
11. "Over For Good" **
** Denotes personal favorites