CD Review: Wilburn & Wilburn – Shoulders

CD Review: Wilburn & Wilburn – Shoulders

wilburnwilburn2015shouldersmaxLabel: Daywind Records
Producers: Ben Isaacs, Jonathan Wilburn & Jordan Wilburn
Songs: This Wouldn’t Be The Same Song; It’s What He’s Done; Love Without End Amen; Sin Is No Match For Grace; You Asked Him To Leave; Prayer Is All I Need; Living Proof; Shoulders; Where The Love Of God Is Gonna Go; The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference
Rating: 5 Stars (scale of 1-5)

Shoulders is the third major label release for father & son duo, Wilburn & Wilburn, since their debut in 2011. In addition to singing, Jonathan and Jordan handled production duties this time out along with Ben Isaacs. The list of songwriters contributing to Shoulders includes some of the most recognizable names in the industry: Lee Black, Sue C. Smith, Gerald Crabb, Jimmy Yeary, John Darin Rowsey, Gina Boe, William J. & Gloria Gaither and more.

Back in 2011 when I reviewed Wilburn & Wilburn’s debut CD, Family Ties, I grumbled that the CD sounded like a collection of songs by two soloists rather than a duet album. I’m pleased to report there are some genuine duet harmonies on Shoulders.

The full mix and anthem quality of “This Wouldn’t Be The Same Song” is a fun way to start a CD, and those two-part harmonies are spot-on. The mood immediately shifts to a more meditative feel for “It’s What He’s Done.” Next up is a remake of George Strait’s “Love Without End, Amen.” I liked that song the first time I heard it, but the message in the lyric is even more obvious when sung by a father and son. “Sin Is No Match For Grace” features a gritty swamp rock style. The harmonies here are more in the background than duet, but it’s a great feature for Jonathan and another overall winner.

“You Asked Him To Leave” is a good mid-tempo story song with a timely message featuring Jordan. The duet harmonies have returned for the choruses and second verse. “Prayer Is All I Need” slows the pace for a strong coming-back-to-God song that reminded me of “The Climb” in terms of the lyric structure on the chorus.

“Living Proof” is a toe-tapper. The title track, “Shoulders,” is a tear-jerker. “Where The Love Of God Is Gonna Go” is a rhythmic, slow-building country song. “The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference” is an all-time classic with Steve Mauldin’s trademark stamped on the orchestration.

Shoulders is the best collection of songs Wilburn & Wilburn has put together in their four-year career. If this is where they were always headed when they started, it was definitely worth the wait. I’m eager to hear more of the same on their next one.

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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3 Comments

  1. yankeegospelgirl
    Reply December 01, 19:54 #1 yankeegospelgirl

    That’s interesting, because while I haven’t had time to write a full review, I still maintain after a first listen that their debut album stands as the best collection of songs they’ve put out.




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    • David Bruce Murray
      Reply December 01, 20:54 David Bruce Murray Author

      It wasn’t bad, for a collection of solo arrangements alternating between two lead singers.




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  2. Darrell
    Reply December 02, 09:43 #2 Darrell

    When I saw the title track, I initially thought it was the same song that was recorded recently by the CCM duo, For King & Country. But after listening to a clip of the song on Wilburn and Wilburn’s website, I quickly figured out it is not. Oh well…. :-)




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