Thursday, April 18, 2013

Some People Change - Michael English - CD Review

Michael English released Some People Change on March 26. This is his first solo album that's been released in several years. I've always been a fan of Michael English, and after seeing him sing live a couple of weeks ago, I was even more impressed. Where this CD is great, it's really great!

The highlight of the CD has to be "Stubborn (Psalm 151)." Lyrically, this song is amazing, and Michael has such emotion behind each and every word. You are convinced that he's lived the song, and it's definitely a convicting song for your own life, or at least it was for mine. This is Micahel English at his finest!

The title track "Some People Change" is another standout for me. This song has a strong country flare. Another one of my favorites is "On That Great Day." The Martins provide background vocals on this song.

Michael includes another version of "In Christ Alone" on this project. I love the song, but I'm not sure another version and release was completely necessarily.

Most of the songs on the project have been previously released by another artist, either secular or Christian. And that works in most cases. I really enjoyed his take on "I Ain't Giving Up on Jesus," that was previously recorded by Wilburn & Wilburn. The arrangement is pretty similar, but this song suits Michael's voice and style so well.

One case where I don't think this works so well is "I Knew You Where Waiting for Me." This was a popular pop song in the 1980s. Honestly, this is one I found myself skipping. I'm not generally a huge fan of trying to turn secular songs and make them fit on a gospel project, and this one really didn't work for me.

However, the project also has the Hank Williams classic "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." This was included on the soundtrack of the movie The Last Ride about Hank Williams. I love Michael's version of this song! No, it doesn't exactly fit, but coming after the song "Stubborn" I think they made it work nicely.

Michael also has an interesting take on the Goodman classic, "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey" that I really enjoyed. Mark Lowry, David Phelps and Wes Hampton lend their vocals to this song.

Album rating - 4 stars - Michael's talent is undeniable, and each song is vocally so strong, but the overall lack of original songs and all the remakes of songs brings it down for me.  I do love all the different styles of music that are all on this project.

Track List:
1. "I Ain't Givin' Up on Jesus" **
2. "Come to the River"
3. "I'd Rather Have Jesus"
4. "Some People Change" **
5. "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me"
6. "On That Great Day" **
7. "In Christ Alone"
8. "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey" **
9. "Waking up the Dawn" **
10. "Stubborn (Psalm 151)" **
11. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"

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