Must Buy Or Not: Poet Voices – Extraordinary

Must Buy Or Not: Poet Voices – Extraordinary

Poet Voices recently returned to a quartet format with the addition of bass singer Brandon Barry. Their self-produced CD Extraordinary includes a mixture of new songs as well as a few the group has recorded over the past 15 years or so as a trio. They’ve also re-cut “Pourin’ Rain,” which was originally recorded by Mitchell Jon.

Must Buy Or Not reviews ask at least two of MusicScribe’s writers to decide if a particular CD is one they’d really want to purchase. Does Extraordinary qualify as a Must Buy? David Bruce Murray and Kyle Boreing are about to find out. Read on for their overall star ratings, highlights, dislikes, and final decisions on whether Extraordinary qualifies as a Must Buy!

Producers: Phil Cross and Donny Henderson
Song Titles: Extraordinary; Come On Children; 100 Years From Now; Hold On A Little Longer; We Say Yes; Victory Belongs To Jesus; Steppin’ Stones; You Cheer Me On; Love Is Alive Forever; Dear God; Pourin’ Rain; Trust In You
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (David); 3 Stars (Kyle)

Highlights

David Bruce Murray: 

  • The title song, “Extraordinary,” has all the characteristics you’d expect in a song written by Phil Cross. The internal rhymes, upbeat tempo, and four-part harmonies make it a great opener for the CD.
  • I enjoyed “Hold On A Little Longer” when Poet Voices recorded it as a trio in 2004, but I like it even more with a bass singer of Barry’s caliber taking the melody.
  • The remake of Todd Dulaney’s “Victory Belongs To Jesus” is a nice translation of a contemporary worship song to a male quartet format. It’s Henderson’s best vocal performance on Extraordinary, and somehow, I don’t even mind that it runs rather long at 5 minutes and 46 seconds.

Kyle Boreing:

  • I really enjoyed the retro Fender Rhodes sound on “Pourin’ Rain,” which had a nice, laid-back feel.
  • I’ve had “Come On Children” playing at random in my head. It’s not the greatest track on the album, but it’s fun, catchy, and memorable.
  • Brandon Barry is an able bass singer, but he really shines on “Love Is Alive Forever,” where he gets to show off his baritone range.

Dislikes

David Bruce Murray:

  • I’m disappointed any time songwriters and musicians are not acknowledged in a CD’s packaging. When a prominent songwriter owns the group, it’s even more baffling that this choice was made.
  • To my ear, the high frequencies on the percussion could use a slight boost. The cymbals don’t sizzle, at least not on some songs.
  • Both Nic Holland and Phil Cross have too much strain in their tone for my taste.

Kyle Boreing:

  • Unlike DBM, I was not a fan of “Victory Belongs To Jesus.” It just felt too repetitive for my liking.
  • Using older tracks on some titles meant that production quality differed between songs. It’s most noticeable on “Hundred Years From Now.”
  • Despite the vocals being auto-tuned (rather obviously at times), there are spots where there are some over-shot notes. I’m all for natural (if somewhat imperfect) vocals, but when some are over-tuned and others are missed entirely, it’s inconsistent.

Must Buy

David Bruce Murray: No. I’d buy “Extraordinary,” “Hold On A Little Longer” and “Victory Belongs To Jesus” for sure as singles, but I can’t see myself listening to the entire CD often enough to justify buying the whole thing.

Kyle Boreing: No. Like DBM, I’d purchase a few songs ala carte, but there’s not enough solid material here for me to recommend purchasing it. I am going to add an addendum, however, that I would add most of the album to my gospel music streaming playlist.

David's Rating
3.5 out of 5
Kyle's Rating
3 out of 5

3.25

Average
3.25 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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