CD Review: Talleys – After All This Time

CD Review: Talleys – After All This Time

talleys2015afterallthistimemaxLabel: Horizon Records
Producers: Roger Talley and Lauren Talley
Song Titles: After All This Time; There Is Coming A Day; There’s Never Been A Mountain; This Thing Called Grace; Naaman; Jesus’ Blood Is Enough; My Hope Is In The Lord; But I Need You More; The People In The Line; Somebody’s Story; Who But God; I Love To Tell The Story/Blessed Assurance
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)

When December rolls around, Roger, Debra, and Lauren Talley will begin their 20th year singing together. The title for their upcoming release, After All This Time, alludes to this milestone. One page of the CD insert booklet reflects on their formation in December 1996 and includes a photo of that first CD cover.

After All This Time gets things moving with a compelling bluegrass anthem, also titled “After All This Time.” You won’t often hear this style from the Talleys, but they make it their own with their trademark harmonies around Lauren’s confident melody. “There Is Coming A Day” is a driving, orchestrated number that again features Lauren primarily. This is our first chance to really sink our ears into the excellent orchestration work of Cody McVey.

The whole CD is great, but there are three songs in particular that really stood out as I listened to this recording the first few times. “This Thing Called Grace,” written by Rebecca Peck and Dianne Wilkinson, features Debra on the opening verses, then builds to a big finish with Lauren on the melody. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a traditional back-beat rhythm kick in when “My Hope Is In The Lord” started. I was expecting a repeat of their slow-paced 2008 song by the same title, but this is a new toe-tapper written by John D. Rowsey and Dean Hickman. The third song that made my ears perk up is “But I Need You More,” featuring the traditional Civil War-era melody “Aura Lee” with a new lyric written by Gloria Gaither. If you don’t recognize the melody name “Aura Lee,” you probably know it as the 1956 Elvis Presley hit song “Love Me Tender.”

There’s a good bit of variety on After All This Time both in terms of musical style and lyric topics. “The People In The Line” uses modern imagery to convey a message of hope, for example, while the closing medley of “I Love To Tell The Story” and “Blessed Assurance” is as traditional as you can get. It’s also worth noting that the Talleys remade a few songs from that historical middle ground between traditional and brand new that sometimes gets forgotten. We get to hear the Ronny Hinson/Mike Payne song “Who But God” and Eleanor Wright’s “Naaman” again, which also means we get to hear that soulful style we’ve come to expect from Lauren.

There’s not a weak vocal performance on After All This Time. The song-writing is top-notch. Production-wise, everything just sounds right, or to put it another way, everything that calls attention to itself in the production does so for a good reason. Better yet, there are layers in many of the music arrangements that I started to notice on repeat listens. It’s still interesting even after you’ve heard it several times.

The release date is still some six weeks out, but you might want to go ahead and put this Talleys recording on your Christmas wish list. It’s a solid 5 Star recording.

Category CD Reviews, 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. Jay
    Reply November 09, 16:25 #1 Jay

    Are Lauren Talley and Brian Alvey divorced?

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