CD Review: Strength (Young Harmony)

RATING: 4 Stars

Label: Lamon Records
Producer/Arranger: Dave Moody
Website: www.youngharmony.com

Song Titles: “I Never Knew Love,” “God’s Still God,” “Letting Go Testimony,” “Let It Go,” “Less Of Me,” “What If He Didn’t,” “I Can Mend Your Fences,” “I Will Trust In The Lord,” “Light Your World,” “Trust His Heart,” “For Goodness Sake,” “Miracle In The Making,” “So You Would Know,” and “May Tomorrow Be A Perfect Day”

Young Harmony strikes a good balance between creativity, solid production quality, and putting a personal touch on the songs they record. This vocal duo consists of Johnathan and Ginger Bond. Their latest recording titled Strength includes a generous thirteen songs.

The group’s current single titled “God’s Still God” is one of two songs written by Johnathan Bond for Strength. The other Bond original is “Let It Go,” which is preceded by a testimony about witnessing to a woman who was on the verge of suicide.

There’s a number of cover songs on Strength. Fortunately, Young Harmony’s cover songs have a sense of freshness that, for the most part, match the rest of the CD. They clearly have a place in their heart for the music of Newsong, since three cuts on Strength were originally recorded by that group: “Light Your World” has been given a Country anthem treatment; “Trust His Heart” has a light piano accompaniment at first with strings coming in later; and “For Goodness Sake” has a driving feel punctuated by an emphasis on the backbeat in the drums and a pulsing bass guitar.

I particularly enjoyed Young Harmony’s take on Glen Campbell‘s “Less Of Me.” The arrangment features a couple of acoustic guitars strumming along with bass and very light drums. The vocal “ooo” hook before and after each verse really makes this track stand out. “What If He Didn’t” is a track I’d have left off. The lyrics feel awkward. Their version of “Miracle In The Making” is pretty good…I like the way they sang behind the beat a la Mark Trammell. “So You Would Know” is very good quality, but it feels stylistically out of sync with the rest of the CD. The short blessing song at the end is a nice touch that helps tie everything together both lyrically and conceptually.

There’s a lot of good things I can say about Strength. The music tracks have solid production quality. The vocal arrangements (produced by Donna Beauvais) are also top notch. I wish more artists approached the recording process looking at the big picture of stylistic consistency rather than just throwing together a random collection of songs.

A few areas could have been improved a bit. The artwork in particular leaves a lot to be desired. It looks like someone had a lot of fun playing around with all the effects Photoshop is capable of doing. The interior photo of Ginger pushing a keyboard over while Johnathan attempts to catch it and a faded out black and white guy in the background holds the keyboard in place is just bizarre looking. Also, I would say in terms of the content that a couple of weak songs diluted the overall appeal. Generally speaking, though, Strength is a well above average sounding CD with several songs that have the potential to do well for the group on the radio and in concert settings. My rating is 4 Stars.

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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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Reply December 04, 19:15 #1 Anonymous

    Uh, David have you checked the Singing News charts lately? “What If He Didn’t” is doing quite well as a single.




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