Must Buy Or Not: Nelons – Stronger Together & Family Harmony

Must Buy Or Not: Nelons – Stronger Together & Family Harmony

bothProducer/Arranger: Jason Clark
Label:
Daywind Records
Stronger Together Song Titles:
 My Father’s House; One Little Word; Family Chain; Then Came The Morning; Gate Of Heaven; You Can’t Make Old Friends; The Awakening; I Think I’ll Read It Again; Angels Hover Near You
Family Harmony Song Titles: I Just Can’t Make It By Myself; Greater Things; Days of Jericho; Imagine Alleluia; Suppertime; When Grandpa Sang Amazing Grace; Don’t Give Up On Me; Songs That Answer Questions; We Shall Behold Him

Tune-O-Meter: Medium

Daywind Records released a 6-song CD titled Stronger Together: Limited Edition EP by the Nelons in April. This set the stage for two 9-song CDs titled Stronger Together and Family Harmony, which were released just recently. The six songs from the EP are split equally; three appear on Stronger Together and three appear on Family Harmony.

Kyle and David will point out some highlights and dislikes below, then conclude this article with their recommendation.

Is Stronger Together a “Must Buy?”

Is Family Harmony a “Must Buy?”

Will Kyle and David reach the same conclusion?

Read on and find out.

DAVID BRUCE MURRAY

  • My ears perked up most often when I heard an easy-going Country song. These include “Father’s House,” “Family Chain,” “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” and “Angels Hover Near You” sprinkled throughout Stronger Together as well as “Suppertime,” “When Grandpa Sang Amazing Grace,” “Don’t Give Up On Me,” and “Songs That Answer Questions” nicely grouped together on tracks 5-8 on Family Harmony.
  • The more aggressive tracks on these CDs would also sound at home on a traditional Country radio station. Among these, Stronger Together features a good remake of Gold City’s “I Think I’ll Read It Again” while Family Harmony adds a remake of the Cathedral Quartet’s “I Just Can’t Make It By Myself.” I like “Days Of Jericho” from Family Harmony as well.
  • When it comes to the slower tracks, Stronger Together’s “One Little Word” stands out along with Family Harmony’s “Greater Things” and “Imagine Alleluia.”

KYLE BOREING

  • The original songs here are among the strongest.
  • I found myself greatly enjoying “Don’t Give Up On Me,” with its laid-back ballad feel. Job well done to Jason Clark on this composition.
  • In fact, across the two albums, I enjoyed the more mellow songs best.

DAVID BRUCE MURRAY

  • Each CD offers only nine songs, one short of the 10-song minimum most fans expect in a full-length release.
  • “We Shall Behold Him,” “Then Came The Morning” and “The Awakening” are all excellent performances, but don’t fit the overall stylistic tone of these two CDs.

KYLE BOREING

  • As mentioned previously, I would’ve left Stronger Together alone as a stand-alone EP with 6 songs, then take the remaining 12 songs and release them as a separate album altogether. As it stands, we’re getting a little short-changed by recycling songs and releasing two albums with less than 10 tracks.
  • The cover songs on Family Harmony don’t really have much to offer in terms of bringing something new to the table. “Just Can’t Make It,” for example, can’t seem to decide if it wants to remain faithful to the Cathedrals version or stand out on its own.
  • The tuning in some places actually became a distraction for me at times.

DAVID BRUCE MURRAY

  • YES to Family Harmony; NO to Stronger Together – Offering only nine songs each, both CDs came into this review process with one strike already against them. Family Harmony is the best of the two overall with 8 out of 9 songs that landed among my favorites, so I’d consider it a Must Buy. Stronger Together offers a little more variety, but as a result has less of a focus in terms of overall style. I found myself hitting the Repeat button on 6 songs out of the 9 offered. For that reason, plus the lack of a tenth track, Stronger Together is not a Must Buy.

KYLE BOREING

  • NO to Family Harmony; YES to Stronger Together – Unlike DBM, I found myself enjoying the latter more, partly due to the more laid-back tunes. The uptempo numbers, in my opinion, tend to sound forced at times, and Family Harmony had more of these than Stronger Together. Oddly enough, had they released Family Harmony as a 12-song stand-alone album, it would’ve been the higher-rated of the two, so maybe they knew what they were doing by splitting it up.

 

David's overall rating for Stronger Together
3.5 out of 5
David's overall rating for Family Harmony
4.5 out of 5
Kyle's overall rating for Stronger Together
4 out of 5
Kyle's overall rating for Family Harmony
2.5 out of 5

3.63

Average
3.63 out of 5

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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