Produced by Wayne Haun, Gordon Mote
Format: CD & Digital
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Format Reviewed: Spotify
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
SONG TITLES: Going There (Lee Black/Scott Inman) / Even Me (Jason Cox/Jeff Bumgardner/Kenna Turner West) / Eye Of The Storm (Bryan Fowler/Ryan Stevenson) / Yes (Nathan Woodard/Scott Inman) / What He’s Done For Me (Lee Black/Scott Inman) / Give You All The Glory (Lee Black/Sue C. Smith/Scott Inman) / Joy (Lee Black/Tony Wood/Scott Inman) / A Little Bit (Kenna Turner West/Tony Wood/Scott Inman) / All Things Good (Joel Lindsey/Scott Inman) /Only God Knows (Kevin Wright) / We Believe (Matthew Hooper/Richie Fike/Travis Ryan)
Triumphant is one of southern gospel’s most consistent quartets, and for good reason – the vocal lineup of David Sutton, Clayton Inman, Scotty Inman, and Eric Bennett has remained unchanged for the entirety of the group’s nearly two-decade existence. That alone is enough to set this group apart among the SG industry.
Yet, this group continues to evolve and grow. With their latest release from StowTown Records, Yes, Triumphant pushes the boundaries of what SG quartet music can be, and does so without abandoning their quartet roots.
Right off the bat, the group kicks up the high-energy with “Going There,” a driving country rhythm with strong group vocals throughout. Likewise, songs like the bouncy (and twangy) title cut and “A Little Bit” keep the energy going.
As far as ballads, “Even Me,” is an interesting take on what is arguably one of the most well-known Bible verses, and does so with the same energy. This was a good choice for a lead-off single. Bass singer Eric Bennett gets a fine lead on the mid-tempo “What He’s Done For Me,” which would likewise be a good choice for a single to radio.
Triumphant continues their recent habit of adapting CCM hits for a SG audience (quite successfully, I might add), and this time, they picked not one, but two prime cuts to do so. “Eye Of The Storm” stays close to the original version by Ryan Stevenson, but adds the harmonies that the original lacked. “We Believe,” originally released by the Newsboys, gets a full orchestration treatment with lead vocals traded off and harmonies built throughout. Being a fan of the original version (and having played it quite a few years at church), I have to say that I really like what Triumphant has done with this.
One of my favorite cuts on the album is “Joy,” which combines a driving drum beat with Motown/doo-wop influences. It’s definitely not your typical SG quartet number, but all four vocalists get something fun to do. It reminds me of something The Oak Ridge Boys might have done in the early 70’s, and shows that Triumphant is not afraid to think outside of the box (but without going too far or doing something different just for the sake of being different).
If you read DBM’s review of their last album, Thankful, you’ll note that it suffered at times from some pacing issues. Yes has easily fixed those issues. The uptempo numbers balance the ballads just right, and the energy is not lost. Being as this was produced by Gordon Mote and Wayne Haun, you’d be hard pressed to tell who did what (and that’s a compliment!) – the album as a whole feels like a comprehensive whole.
It should be noted that one of Triumphant’s greatest assets in recent years is baritone Scotty Inman. Not only are his vocals superb throughout (especially on the touching “Only God Knows”), but he shares co-writing credit on 7 of the album’s 11 tracks.
If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know that I’m very much against overly-compressed, louder-than-necessary mastering. While the album does have that modern “loud” sound to it, it’s not overbearing, and dare I say it, there are actually dynamics to be found. The auto-tuning also is kept under control with only one really noticeable instance that I could detect (and believe me, I was listening!).
Frequent readers know that I can be incredibly picky (most would say “nit-picky”) with my reviews. With Yes, I honestly can’t find a single thing to nit pick. At the risk of coming across hyperbolic, Triumphant has released what I believe to be their best album to date.