CD Rated: Ben Jam – Prepare To Meet God, Volume 2

RATING: 1 1/2 Stars

Website: benjams.com

Prepare To Meet God, Volume 2 begins with a halfway promising piano riff indicating this could be a decent mid-grade recording. That first impression only lasts for a few seconds, though.

Conceptually, this CD is all over the place musically, vocally and visually. Vocally, there are considerable pitch, phrasing, and diction issues. The mix on the last three tracks has the vocals buried, and there are spots on those three tracks where the instruments aren’t in sync. This CD is mostly Country Gospel, except for one song titled “I’m A Dead Man.” How should I describe it? Southern Goth-pel, maybe? It features maniacal laughter.

Visual elements in the packaging are rather random as well. There’s a British flag printed on the CD itself along with the words, “If it ain’t Southern Gospel, it ain’t gospel.” You can see the front cover above featuring a photo with one singer’s face completely obscured by a shadow. On the back, the same two singers are pictured standing in a cemetery. By the way, there are three singers featured on this CD. This fact is obvious to the ear, but I guess they didn’t want to include the third guy on the cover.

I wrote a longer review initially, but decided to pull most of the details and just let the rating speak for itself. There’s little to be gained by ripping it apart. I can’t find anything to recommend about this CD other than the fact that the third singer…the one I’m presuming isn’t included…on the cover photo has a good Country Gospel style of vocal delivery.

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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20 Comments

  1. j-mo
    Reply March 08, 12:13 #1 j-mo

    The third voice is Gordon Killcollins. The reason he is not pictured on the CD cover is because he is “an elusive man of mystery”.

    This nugget of info came from ben-jams.com, which is filled with interesting information. I’d highly recommend everyone take a moment to peruse through the site. You’ll be especially interested to learn how the lead singer learned to write songs.

    • Aaron Swain
      Reply March 08, 12:32 Aaron Swain

      I see that they were influenced by The “Happy Goomans.” Maybe that’s part of the problem; if they had a Happy Goodmans influence, they’d have already stepped in the right direction!

    • admin
      Reply March 08, 12:33 admin Author

      j-mo,
      I don’t have the CD in front of me at the moment, but I believe the third singer in this case is named Gary McVay.

      This is one of those cases where I considered:
      1. not reviewing the CD at all.
      2. just posting a rating with no comments.
      3. posting a more lengthy review describing the issues I heard.

      There are too many mixed signals here to count, particularly in the artwork…but it is what it is…

      Evidently, some organzation actually gave this recording an award!

      • yankeegospelgirl
        Reply March 08, 14:48 yankeegospelgirl

        Actually, j-mo was right. McVey plays instruments, but Killcollins is the one whose vocals are featured. He has a pleasant country sound.

        • j-mo
          Reply March 08, 18:09 j-mo

          YGG, the big question is…

          What do you think of their wardrobe?

        • admin
          Reply March 09, 23:22 admin Author

          Actually, it is McVay who sings on this particular CD. Ben Blankenship commented on my Facebook page:
          “The 3rd vocalist (and all the studio instrumentation) was Gary McVay who owns and operates Gloryland Studios in Pigeon Forge, TN where the album was recorded, as he is not a part of the group, and just made a camo (sic) appearance of sorts he’s not in the picture, as according to his’ wishes.”

  2. Norm
    Reply March 08, 20:00 #2 Norm

    j-mo is right. Their website is interesting and a little strange but you can listen to their music there. I too enjoyed the section on how the lead singer learned to write gospel songs. Sounds as if it goes beyond annointing. They can’t be all bad if Jerry Lee Lewis is one of their influences.

  3. Friday Night Revival
    Reply March 09, 09:49 #3 Friday Night Revival

    Yeah, that’s probably the greatest bio I’ve ever read. Instantaneously…it does happen like that.

    And of course, his wife committed adultery. I can’t believe he even put that on the website. Just leave it alone.

  4. yankeegospelgirl
    Reply March 09, 22:41 #4 yankeegospelgirl

    Hey, did I lose a comment or two here?

    • admin
      Reply March 09, 22:53 admin Author

      ygg,
      Yes, your comment about the song came through incomplete and the next one saying it was a good lyric wouldn’t have made sense, so I figured I’d let you try again!

      It came though something like, “This is the song inspired by that:”

      …and that was it…no song listed. It just stopped with the colon.

  5. Sam
    Reply March 10, 09:27 #5 Sam

    Their website seems very dark, almost Goth-like, as does the cover. My first thought was Wigan SG? Not my cup of tea anyway.

  6. Harry Baulzonia
    Reply March 10, 22:04 #6 Harry Baulzonia

    This is absolutely, without a doubt, the worst music i have ever heard in my entire life! I went to the website and looked at the videos; the lead singer CANNOT SING, and the drums OMG even worse!!! Please tell me this is supposed to be a joke! Worst thing i have ever heard in my life, when i was through listening my ears were bleeding. This music could be used to torture people with.

  7. Mary Kercy
    Reply March 15, 18:50 #7 Mary Kercy

    DAVID BRUCE MURRAY WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO PICK APART, DESTROY, OR EVEN UPLIFT GOSPEL GROUP! YOU MUST BE A REALLY TALENTED MUSICIAN! YOU MUST BE A REALLY NOTED SONGWRITER! YOU MUST BE A POPULAR GOSPEL SINGER! I THINK YOU’RE A LOSER! ARE YOU EVEN BEING PAID TO REVIEW THESE GROUPS? MOST PEOPLE LIKE YOU DO THINGS FOR FREE! WHAT DOES THAT SAY FOR ANY WEBSITE THAT WOULD HIRE YOU! THINKING ON YOUR OPINION ON THE SOUTHERN GOSPEL GROUP BEN-JAM IN TWO WORDS YOURE WRONG! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHET NO HARM”! BEN-JAM MUST BE BLESSED CAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS “BLESSED ARE YE WHEN MEN SHALL REVILE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU AND SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY”! DAVID BRUCE MURRAY GET A REAL JOB! ONE THAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT AND ANYONE CAN GET SOMEONE TO AGREE WITH THEM ON ANY GIVEN SUBJECT AT ANY GIVEN TIME ESPECIALLY IF THEY THINK YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT AND YOU DON’T! HAVE A NICE DAY!

    • admin
      Reply March 15, 20:55 admin Author

      Mary,
      Thank you for reviling me. By your own definition, you just confirmed that I am highly blessed!

    • Chad
      Reply March 16, 07:09 Chad

      Mary,
      David was being nice by giving it 1.5 stars. I would have give it a negative 5.

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