Another review from the vault

I wrote this review in 1998. This CD had more crossover appeal for Christian pop airplay than any other Martins release, IMO.

Dave’s Review

Dream Big:

The Martins (Spring Hill)

Length: 37:38
Producers: Phil Naish and Michael Sykes
Cuts: Come On In

You Come To My Senses

Go Where The Love Flows

Be Strong

Dream Big

We Trust In God

Except For Grace

He’ll Be Holding His Own

Count Your Blessing

More Like A Whisper

Dream Big marks the sixth recording by The Martins since signing with the Spring Hill label. They also have five independent recordings in their discography. Having already demonstrated their recording versatility with complete Christmas, live, and á capella projects — never content to be predictable — The Martins have given Dream Big a decidedly more pop emphasis than their previous efforts. Utilizing producer Phil Naish on six cuts, this project is comparable to recordings by contemporary vocal groups like Avalon and Point Of Grace. “Count Your Blessing” and “He’ll Be Holding His Own” being exceptions, they have made a conscious effort to avoid the country tinged pronunciations that have been their trademark since releasing “Out Of His Great Love” and “Timothy’s Burden.” (Incidentally, “Count Your Blessing” is a new song, not to be confused with “Count Your Blessings” from their self-titled debut.)

When Jonathan Martin sings the tender Scott Krippayne/Steve Siler tune “More Like A Whisper,” he could easily be mistaken for Michael O’Brien or Krippayne himself. At least two cuts sound very similar in style to Sierra. They haven’t completely cut their ties to Southern Gospel radio, though. The previously mentioned “Count Your Blessing” and “Go Where The Love Flows” ought to play well there, although the latter is closer to something 4 Him might sing. Whether this chasing of the contemporary winds will foster broader air play, sales, and recognition in an already glutted Christian pop market remains to be seen. The Martins do have quality vocals and the financial backing of Spring Hill in their favor.

It never hurts to “dream big.”

Category CD Reviews

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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