New Music Reviews: January 2021 Releases

New Music Reviews: January 2021 Releases

Click HERE to listen to all of these albums.

Artist: Greater Vision
Album Title: The Journey
Song Titles: For All He’s Done; I’ve Got A Love; You’re Not Good Enough; Just One More Soul; Walkin’ On The Water That He Made; I Could Never Praise Him Enough; My Name Is Lazarus; It Pays To Pray; Songs Of Grace; You Are My King; Faces; With All The Many Miracles; Start With Well Done
Release Date: January 1, 2021
Version Rated: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Summary: The Journey consists of five brand new songs plus eight songs freshly recorded from Greater Vision’s past. It may not be a full-length album of new material like we’d want most, but this approach is considerably better than the recent trend of groups releasing EPs that run only 5-7 songs. Now recently converted Greater Vision fans can buy a quality recording that includes the vocals of Jon Epley and Chris Allman on these classic songs. “Walkin’ On The Water That He Made” and “Start With Well Done” are the highlights of the new material. The new material holds up to the classics. The only real piece of constructive criticism I have to offer is that the phrase in the final line of the chorus of “You’re Not Good Enough” that goes “you don’t have to be good enough” would have been a preferable, more encouraging song title.


Artist: Ann Downing
Album Title: Step By Step
Song Titles: Step By Step; I Will Understand; The Called Out Church; Jesus Paid It All; It Matters To Him; It’s My Desire; In Jesus’ Name; I Know That I Know; Your Garden Of Peace; I Love Him Too Much.
Release Date: January 1, 2021
Version Rated: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Summary: Ann Downing traveled with the Speers and her own group the Downings in the 1960s and 1970s. She has been a consistent soloist and speaker for the past 30 years as well as a regular on the Gaither Gospel Series videos. The quality of the songwriting is what really elevates Step By Step including the seven songs co-written by Ann. I particularly enjoyed the title track “Step By Step” (written with Daryl Williams) and “Your Garden Of Peace” (written with Dianne Wilkinson). Ann also gives a nice vocal performance on the classic hymn “Jesus Paid It All.”


Artist: The Beenes
Album Title: Keep Looking Up
Song Titles: Taste And See; Right Here; Unstoppable God; It’s Not Over; How Big; Thank You Lord; Fallen But Forgiven; I Can Do All Things; Because He Lives; Breathe
Release Date: January 15, 2021
Version Rated: YouTube Music
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Summary: The Beenes are a Johnson City, Tennessee-based family trio consisting of husband and wife Brandon & Chrysta Beene and their daughter Savannah. Keep Looking Up approaches a 1990s Christian pop style at times but more often settles into a classic inspirational vein. Savannah’s vocals have the appealing tone of a capable, but still maturing singer. Brandon is the most consistent singer of the three while Chrysta is more versatile. Chrysta is great on upbeat tracks but tends to over embellish slower dynamic tracks like “It’s Not Over.” The lyric on “Thank You Lord” is rather simplistic, but the pop production effects help keep the song interesting.


Artist: Michael English
Album Title: Best Of Michael English
Song Titles: Temporary Home; The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power; Better Day; Daystar; Rasslin’ Jacob; Until I Found The Lord; Lord Feed Your Children; Low Down The Chariot; God Leads Us Along; Give Up; Winds Of This World; I’m Free; Please Forgive Me; These Are They; I Believe In A Hill Called Mt. Calvary; Child Of The King; Where Could I Go; I Bowed On My Knees
Release Date: January 22, 2021
Version Rated: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Summary: This is one of our industry’s most impressive vocalists of all time singing his greatest hits and standards as captured on the Gaither Gospel Series. The most glaring omission is English’s Christian pop hits from the early 1990s which never have been emphasized much on the Gaither videos over the years. Otherwise, this is a great selection of English’s best performances over the past 30 years. There’s not much more to be said that Kyle didn’t already say in his review. Click HERE to check out what he had to say.


Artist: Mercy’s Well
Album Title: There’s A Song For That
Song Titles: So Good So God; Sometimes You Sing; Take It To The Cross; There’s A Savior For That; Trusting; Another Hallelujah Chorus; Chapter Two; Your Heart Isn’t Far From A Song; Bless The Waves; Hallowed Ground; That’ll Preach
Release Date: January 29, 2021
Version Rated: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Summary: Mercy’s Well remains one of our industry’s best-kept secrets. Despite consistently producing top quality studio recordings for the past 20 years, they generally aren’t found on most major concert events and rarely make it to the Top 40 half of the radio charts. Their excellent work continues on There’s A Song For That with great songs. I particularly appreciated “Take It To The Cross” and “Bless The Waves.” I also enjoyed the retro style of “Your Heart Isn’t Far From A Song” and the quirky setting of “Another Hallelujah Chorus.”

Greater Vision
4 out of 5
Ann Downing
4 out of 5
The Beenes
3.5 out of 5
Michael English
4.5 out of 5
Mercy's Well
4.5 out of 5
Overall

Average rating of all five albums.

4.1

Good
4.1 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 SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

MusicScribe Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Reply February 13, 18:55 #1 Joshua

    My wife and I love Mercys Well. They are fantastic guys and they should get more attention.

  2. Reply February 15, 19:55 #2 Daniel h

    Love the greater vision album so much I almost offered to write the review myself. Missing the first few years of their hits I listened not being 100% sure which were hits and which were new. I could’ve swore “Well Done” and “Walking On The Water” were hits. Also, glad to finally have caught wind of “With All the Many Miracles.”


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