STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 86563-16669 LABEL: Gaither Music Group SHD6044 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-09-30 RRP: £7.99
Reviewed by Ian Hayter
Back in 2009 the Gaither Vocal Band went through a renovation of legendary proportions when all-star members from the group's rich history reunited to create the first ever five-member Gaither Vocal Band featuring Michael English, Mark Lowry, Wes Hampton, David Phelps and, of course, founder, Bill Gaither. Basically, this is the cream of Southern Gospel, with an extra voice. From the first bars of the opening "I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary" you know exactly what you're going to get and Mr Gaither and his co-performers are not going to start tinkering with a long-successful (over a quarter of a century) formula now. There are some old favourites here - notably, "Because He Lives" - and the closer is a wonderful live version of "There's Something About That Name", with some great vocal harmonies. At times it sounds as if Jim Steinem has moved into the producer's chair, with huge orchestral soundscapes swelling from the speakers ("It Is Finished", for example). Other tracks are a little more underplayed (relatively speaking!) and there's an extended spoken section on "The Church Triumphant". If you enjoy southern gospel harmonies, massive arrangements and top-notch lead vocalists then you'll certainly love this. And the lyrics leave the listener in no doubt whatsoever where the performers are coming from.
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With an unprecedented “full circle” line-up of all-star voices, the Gaither Vocal Band presents this quintessential collection of Gaither-penned favourites with all the excellence and spirit that has defined the group’s legacy for more than a quarter-century.
Reunited delivers these classics with sterling vocals and breathtaking harmonies… once again raising the standard in male harmony for decades to come. The voices of Michael English, Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, Mark Lowry and David Phelps represent men who have tested the truth of these powerful messages over time and found them to be thoroughly trustworthy – a treasury of songs worth celebrating!