Label: Daywind Roots
Producers: Trey Ivey and Scott Godsey
Songs: New Beginnings; A Day In The Life Of Jesus; The Sermon; Garden Of Grace; Too Fast; When God Speaks
Rating: 4 Stars
Misty Freeman’s Turn The Page is a 22-minute collection of six new songs. The EP (extended play single) format has been common for a while in other genres, but it’s only been in recent years that I’ve noticed traditionally Southern Gospel companies promoting it. (I’ll be reviewing Steve Ladd’s new EP in a few days as well.)
Misty Freeman regularly records and performs with her family group, The Freemans, but it’s been ten years since she last recorded a solo CD (2007’s What If I’m Right). Turn The Page begins with the appropriately titled “New Beginnings.” This arrangement features a gradually accelerated tempo change in the intro, which is a rarely employed element in popular music these days. What appears to be a rather slow song in the first few seconds turns out be moderately up-tempo after the first 35 seconds.
“A Day In The Life Of Jesus” features the strongest lyric of the six songs. Credit is due to songwriters Jason Cox, Lee Black, and Dustin James for a job well done. Freeman’s plaintive vocal is most compelling on this track as well. I hope it’s the first radio single.
Everyone loves a tear-jerker, especially if it has the potential to become a popular funeral song. “The Sermon” fits that particular profile nicely. “Garden Of Grace” gives Freeman a platform to stretch vocally, and she does to an extent. She’s certainly capable of going there, but chooses to hold back a bit. This sort of musical setting is begging for more sass.
Don’t let the title fool you. “Too Fast” actually isn’t fast at all. It’s a sweet song about a parent watching their child grow up more quickly than they’d like. Turn The Page concludes with “When God Speaks,” a bit of a tongue-twister on the verses. Freeman’s vocal tone here reminds me a bit of Sarah Masen.
With a total of just six songs, an EP’s star rating could seriously suffer if just one song is a clunker. I’m pleased to report there are no duds on Turn The Page. Each song lyric is engaging, Freeman’s vocals make me want to hear more, the arrangements are generally creative, and the overall production quality/mix meets expected standards.