Reviewed by Dave Brassington
Becoming a five piece ensemble had seemed to have breathed new life into this veteran group, but listening to this new CD, sad to say, not only was I disappointed, but it gave me the distinct impression they may have run out of steam! I hope I am wrong, but truthfully there was nothing that really grabbed me listening to a bevy of well known hymns such as "The Old Rugged Cross" and the country gospel favourite "I'll Fly Away". They have all been recorded countless times, and I have to say there would be better versions elsewhere of many of the classic titles found here. Two exceptions are "Amazing Grace" which is arranged using major and minor keys for individual verses, resulting in a very thoughtful version, and a song I was not familiar with, "Redeemed", where the hugely talented David Phelps is let loose. Despite this set featuring possibly the Gaithers' most gifted lineup - Phelps, Michael English, Mark Lowry, Wes Hampton and of course, the patriarch himself, Bill Gaither - this is in truth a lacklustre set.
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|The legendary, award-winning Gaither Vocal Band sheds new light on some of the most popular, timeless hymns of the church. From the hand-clappin’ Love Lifted Me and the transparent, heartfelt harmonies of Pass Me Not to their easy-on-the-ear rendering of Redeemed and the triumphant Amazing Grace, these straightforward classics combine the comfort of the familiar with moving vocal arrangements that are uniquely The Gaither Vocal Band.
Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Mark Lowry and Michael English, along with producer Ben Isaacs, have created an intimate collection that is stirring and heartwarming.