DVD Review: Canadian Homecoming (Gaither)

RATING: 3 1/2 Stars

Label: Gaither Music Group
Producer: Bill Gaither
Website: www.gaither.com

Song Titles: “Goodby, World, Goodby,” “Somebody Loves Me,” “My Journey To The Sky,” “Something Within,” “Stand By Me,” “Holy Highway,” “You Raise Me Up,” “Little Is Much When God Is In It,” “O Canada,” “Gettin’ Ready To Leave This World,” “Come Out Of The Wilderness,” “I’ve Come Too Far,” “I Can Only Imagine,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” “I’m Saved,” “When Morning Sweeps The Sky,” “Rivers Of Babylon,” “More Than Ever,” “He Will Carry You,” “Through It All,” “Then Came The Morning,” “He Is Holy,” “When All Of God’s Singers Get Home,” and “Because He Lives”
DVD Bonus Songs: “Alpha And Omega” and “Canaanland Is Just In Sight”

I have one complaint that applies equally to Live From Toronto and Canadian Homecoming, so my opening paragraph for both reviews is identical. By way of background, these DVDs are the first Gaither releases to be shot using High-Definition cameras. When an HD camera is in focus, the sharpness and detail are outstanding. Unfortunately for these DVDs, quite a few shots are noticeably out of focus. It’s difficult to tell whether this is due to poor editing choices or a lack of competance in the camera crew. If you find this sort of problem distracting, prepared to be distracted for the duration of your viewing experience. If not, bump my rating of each video up a half star, because that’s how much I cut them for having this problem.

Most double video sets in the Gaither video series are comparable in terms of song selection and flow, but it appears that most of the more exciting songs were cherry picked for Live From Toronto. In contrast, Canadian Homecoming comes across as a bit boring overall. It seems to drag on longer, even though it’s actually a few minutes shorter. The first twenty-five minutes are pretty good as the Homecoming Friends sing “Goodby, World, Goodby” and “Somebody Loves Me,” followed by a bit of comedy and the Gaither Vocal Band singing “My Journey To The Sky.” Stephen Hill does a great job with “Something Within” and Signature Sound sings their popular “Stand By Me” followed by “Holy Highway” where they are joined by the GVB.

From that point on, though, the tempo of most songs rarely break 100 beats per minute. Slow songs like “Little Is Much When God Is In It,” “O Canada,” “You Raise Me Up,” “I’ve Come Too Far,” “I Can Only Imagine” and “It Is Well” are interrupted by “Gettin’ Ready To Leave This World” featuring Anthony Burger and “Come Out Of The Wilderness” featuring Jessy Dixon. After that, Jeff Allen is on hand with some comedy to break the monotony and Gaither has some funny moments with Ben Speer on “When Morning Sweeps The Eastern Sky.” Then it’s back to slow songs for the remaining thirty-five minutes.

The two bonus songs (“Alpha And Omega” and “Canaanland Is Just In Sight”) would have been a welcomed alternatives. Adding the mid-tempo “What A Lovely Name” (a bonus song on Live From Toronto) would have been a great move as well to make Canadian Homecoming more satisfying to watch. It isn’t that I have anything against slow songs or that the performances on Canadian Homecoming are inferior, but having thirty-five minutes of slow songs in a row after an hour of slow songs that were only punctuated briefly by a couple of upbeat numbers is just too much of a good thing. Live From Toronto is a great DVD to watch and feel you’ve been entertained when it’s over. Canadian Homecoming is better to put on when you want to sleep in your recliner.

Category DVD Review

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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  1. Anonymous
    Reply September 08, 01:04 #1 Anonymous

    I have just watched the wonderful Video made in 2000 made in Belfast Ireland. I was very interested to see Cynthia Clawson singing. Many years ago I was given a Tape of her singing and I have always treasured this and wanted to obtain a CD of it but could not do so thru my local Koorong Christian Book Shop. Can you please tell me if she has any CD’s published or how I can contact her. Thank you so much. Mrs. Claire Hunt



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