Monday, September 14, 2015

Just Sing - Amber Nelon Thompson - CD Review

When Amber Nelon Thompson released her EP last year, Southern Gospel audiences took note. It was an incredible set of four songs that made people realize what a talented vocalist she is. As one of the youngest sopranos in the industry, she's also one of the most powerful.

Amber really set the bar high with her EP, so I was anxious to hear the rest of the project. And I was NOT disappointed. In addition to the four on the EP, she added six new ones.

The opening song, "Sing-a-Long," is a fun tune to start the project on. Bill Gaither even gets in on the fun of the song. It's very catchy and light-hearted.

While this was a solo project, she had some help on a few other songs from more talented vocalists. Of course, her family, The Nelons, sang with her on "Be Thou My Vision." She has a duet with both Michael English and Joseph Habedank as well, both of which are highlights. "Another Time, Another Place" with Michael is definitely a must-listen. It's a remake of the Sandi Patty/Wayne Watson duet, but I'd put Amber and Michael's version right there with it. I also loved "Without Your Love," her duet with Joseph. Their voices complement each other well.

"He's Making Me" is one I found myself hitting repeat on. It's a great uptempo, more progressive number. It's a song I definitely found myself identifying with as it talks about God molding us into who we need to be.

"God Is Always Good" was another highlight. Amber does an incredible job on this ballad, communicating these powerful lyrics. The song has a soothing sound and a soothing message that reminds us of Romans 8:28. He's working things for our good.

Another standout ballad that was included on her EP release is "Falling." I love this song; it was my favorite from the EP release! The song has a very long intro with great orchestration. The song talks about the omniscience of God, when we see things falling apart, He sees them falling into place.

In addition to producing, Jason Clark wrote four of the 10 songs on the project, "Sing-a-Long," "What Do You Say?," "Without Your Love" and "Give It to Jesus." He doesn't get enough credit for his writing skills or producing for that matter. "What Do You Say?" is one I can see crossing over into country.

Many Southern Gospel fans have watched Amber grow up. She's still a young face but has the experience and maturity in her voice of someone much older because she started at such a young age. With this release, she proves that even as still a young face in the industry she deserves a place among the top female vocalists in the industry. I think Amber with her power vocals, distinctive style and young appeal can also help recruit younger listeners to this industry which is important. There's no doubt that this is one of the best releases of the year, and a project you definitely need to add to your collection!

Song List -
  1. "Sing-a-long"
  2. "He's Making Me"
  3. "Another Time, Another Place"
  4. "Be Thou My Vision"
  5. "What Do You Say?"
  6. "Without Your Love"
  7. "Grateful"
  8. "God Is Always Good"
  9. "Give It to Jesus"
  10. "Falling"

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