STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 114611-18452 LABEL: Gaither Music Group SHD6143 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2011-06-21 RRP: £7.99
Reviewed by Alastair McCollum
At the rock-pop end of the country spectrum this album by siblings Judy, Joyce and Jonathan Martin is certainly some distance in terms of sound and content from their Southern gospel roots, but then the Martin siblings have always been willing to take in a variety of styles in their music making. The tight harmonies and heartfelt faith that characterises the Southern gospel scene is still very much apparent in this, their first album after a six year break, but their 11th release on a record label and their 16th album since the early '90s. The vocals are flawless and often moving, sung with depth and feeling and though the group have picked up some criticism for being less explicit in talking about Jesus, the Cross and salvation than in previous recordings the love, life and challenge of faith are present in every line. The recording itself has echoes of Lady Antebellum or Rascal Flatts, and indeed is produced by Jay DeMarcus of the latter. Outstanding tracks from these 10 excellent songs include the country ballad about God's response to the prayer of a pastor asking God what to say at a funeral: "Tell Them That I Love Them"; the piano based "Unredeemed", the message of which is that when offered to God nothing is, in fact, beyond his redemption; and the mellow yet rocky "Somebody Like Me" which reminds us that the task of sharing God's amazing grace comes down to us! This somewhat new musical direction has given The Martins a new energy in the making of this disc, one which may well appeal to fans of bands such as FFH, Selah and Avalon and which continues their long career with distinction.
9 Squares Alastair McCollum
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