Audio Review: Various Artists – The Best Hymn Songs Ever!

Audio Review: Various Artists – The Best Hymn Songs Ever!

Click HERE to hear this entire album on YouTube.

Compilations of existing recordings allow record labels to make (or recoup) a few extra bucks from time to time. The Best Hymn Songs Ever! is a 32-track collection of hymns and gospel songs featuring singers you should recognize alongside others whose names may be new to you. A few tracks on this recording were originally recorded for solo artist albums, but the vast majority initially appeared as demonstrations for Daywind’s line of performance tracks.

The most compelling feature of The Best Hymn Songs Ever! is the opportunity it provides to hear popular singers presenting performances you weren’t aware of previously. Well-known artists are usually not credited when they sing performance track demos, but if you click the YouTube link above, you’ll see all the singers credited for this collection. Just under half of the collection is split between former Gaither Vocal Band tenor singer Terry Franklin (nine tracks) and Ronnie Booth (six tracks), so you’ll definitely want to check it out if you’re a fan of either of those singers.┬áMichael English, Paul Lancaster, Marsh Hall, Jim Brady, and Joy Gardner are a few of the other names you should recognize.

The biggest downside of this collection is the inconsistency of equalization settings and at times, volume levels, from one track to the next. Some mixes emphasize high frequencies, and some emphasize lows. Another downside is accessibility generally trumps creativity. Most of these recordings were intended to be demonstration tracks for amateur singers to use as a guide for their own performances, not recordings of singers giving it all they’ve got.

Still, there are some enjoyable moments. My favorites are “Working On A Building” and “Swing Down, Sweet Chariot,” both of which are sung by Ronnie Booth in the style of Elvis Presley. The sheer mass of the collection (33 songs/32 tracks) also makes it a good value.

Label: Daywind Records
Song Titles: Great Is Thy Faithfulness; Come Thou Fount; Blood Will Never Lose Its Power; Amazing Grace; Because He Lives; Working On The Building; Sweet Hour Of Prayer; Holy Holy Holy; The Old Rugged Cross; Where No One Stands Alone; Farther Along; ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus; Leave It There; Nearer My God To Thee; When I Survey The Wondrous Cross; Are You Washed In The Blood/I’ll Fly Away; If We Never Meet Again; Be Thou My Vision; How Great Thou Art; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; In The Garden; Swing Down Sweet Chariot; Bless The Lord (Oh My Soul); Just As I Am; Mansion Over The Hilltop; Take My Hand Precious Lord; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Jesus Paid It All; Without Him; Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; Rock Of Ages; Peace In The Valley
Release Date: November 16, 2018
3 1/2 Stars

Overall rating
3.5 out of 5


3.5 out of 5

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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 and David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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