CD Review: Joseph Habedank – Resurrection
Producer: Wayne Haun
Label: Daywind Records
Songs: Here He Comes; Jailbreak; Just When You Thought; I Believe In The Resurrections; Middle Man; Devil Can’t Dance; I Love You (From An Old Rugged Cross); Dead Things; Say The Name; Long Live The King
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Resurrection is Joseph Habedank’s third CD since joining Daywind Records in 2014. All ten songs in this collection were co-written by Habedank.
“Here He Comes” is preceded by an epic orchestrated prologue that could just as easily be from a major action movie soundtrack. A rhythm guitar bit enters after the excitement builds for 55 seconds, ultimately leading to a driving beat that defines the rest of the song. “Jailbreak” is another attention-grabbing track, but for different reasons. “Here He Comes” was all about big chords and forward motion, but “Jailbreak” uses a constantly swirling guitar arpeggio to set a soulful scene for Habedank’s vocals. You can hear the influence of co-writer Gerald Crabb in the way Habedank delivers the lyric as much as the words themselves.
“Just When You Thought” is a gospel ballad with string orchestra and background vocals thick enough to qualify as a choir. Somewhat predictably, it ramps up to a big finish. “I Believe In The Resurrection” features a comfortable soul gospel groove, which works well after “Just When You Thought.” Nice pacing!
The two songs at the center of Resurrection are the most light-hearted pieces on the CD. The quirky production of “Middle Man” might come across as too flippant for a chorus that ultimately refers to Christ dying on the cross, but Habedank’s creative vocal licks on “Devil Can’t Dance” are perfect for the “we-win-in-the-end” lyric.
“I Love You (From An Old Rugged Cross)” is written from Christ’s perspective and offers us a soft contrast to the songs that lead up to it. The amps are cranked up again for “Dead Things,” with a touch of banjo in the mix just to keep it interesting for those listeners who pay attention to little details like that.
The lyric for “Say The Name” lends itself to an introspective vulnerable vocal. Instead, the production goes for another big ending. This would have been a good song to showcase the softer side of Habedank’s vocal ability. The celebratory “Long Live The King” provides a solid finish to Resurrection.
Resurrection accomplishes what many modern CDs try but ultimately fail to do. Each arrangement demands your attention from the very start. Even in a couple of cases where I would have liked to see the production go a different way, I was at least curious to see where it might go from the beginning. The opening action movie orchestration was a great way to start. I’m sorry they didn’t follow through with a contrasting piece to bookend the CD.
That being said, Resurrection succeeds, not only because the songs are good when considered individually, but also because there are enough connecting themes to make these songs work great together in the same package.
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.