2010 in Review: Most Improved CDs

Several other bloggers have done year-end posts with either entirely subjective “favorite CDs of 2010” lists or somewhat more objective lists of the CDs that received a 5-star rating. Seven new CDs and three DVDs received 5 stars; that list is here. The ones that just missed the list, the 4½ star reviews, are here.

So let’s use this space to take a look at the most improved CDs of the year—the ones that were the biggest step up from the group’s previous effort.

  1. Never Walk Alone, Brian Free and Assurance. The over-processing that made the vocals on their previous few projects rather too perfect is not a factor on Never Walk Alone. That, added to the strength of the individual songs and the unity of the overall narrative, left me no choice but to disregard my preferences for less progressive music and give the project 5 stars—and, now, a place at the head of this list.
  2. Declaration, Booth Brothers. This album received critical acclaim as a landmark album for the group and for the genre. Whether you compare it to their previous of new songs (from three years previously), or to several intervening table and special event projects, the song selection and production quality makes it hands-down the best Booth Brothers album yet.
  3. Just Stand, Legacy Five. Legacy Five’s 2008 CD, God’s Been Good, was, frankly, their weakest effort to date. They came back in a big way, teaming up with Lari Goss for their strongest effort to date. Though initially released in 2009 with Frank Seamans, the final version (with new tenor Gus Gaches) did not come out until this year; it’s debatable whether it is eligible for this list, but there were four other obvious choices, and no other entirely-2010 project stood out.
  4. Across the Lands, Revelation. Revelation’s previous projects were table projects of classics and cover songs. This major-label debut / U.S. debut project was a huge step forward for the group.
  5. Songs in the Night, Lauren Talley. Lauren’s first three solo projects showed her diversity of influences—but their very diversity was, to an extent, a weakness. With Songs in the Night, Lauren’s increased confidence and maturity is evident; the narrative—that these were the songs which got her through a severe illness two years before—adds to the project’s appeal.

Are there any others that should make the list?


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134 Letters to the Editor

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  1. If this is meant to be a list of biggest improvements over latest effort, Signature Sound’s Cathedrals tribute leaves Dream On in the dust (easily their weakest to date) but perhaps since it’s a tribute project it shouldn’t be eligible.

    • Well, I could see the comparison if it was two projects of new songs – but here, given that it’s a project of previously recorded songs and the previous project was also of previously recorded songs, I think it would be more fair to compare it to Influenced 2.

      I’m saving a spot on this list next year for the follow-up to their next mainline, though. 🙂

      • Yes, well as long as it’s not Dream On part 2 we shouldn’t worry whether or not it’ll be better. 😀

    • The only thing I’ll say about Dream On is that I really enjoyed “Since Jesus Passed By”. 🙂

      • Ditto. And I’ll take the lullaby song and a couple others… after that, um.

      • Just, “umm” All of it.

        Influenced II was also “umm-ish”.

        I would have put “Tribute” in here, it seems hard done by to omit it as it took probably as much work as any other “new” project, and the Wayne Hawn/Larry Goss orchestrations were excellent – well above a Cathedral’s “re-heat” recording.

        I would slot it in at #4 below L5. IMHO!!

      • I just didn’t think it was fair to compare a project of 100% previously recorded songs to a project of mostly new songs . . .

  2. As for Declaration, fully deserved all the critical acclaim even if it was kind of over-the-top. Looking forward to a better balance in the future that still maintains Michael’s new vision of excellence.

    • Well, I must admit that if a project is off-balanced, but the balance is off in the awesomeness direction, I’ll take an off-balanced project any day. 🙂

      • That’s not what I meant. I meant that musically and even lyrically, it was too heavy-handed. Now there was a lot of good stuff there, but what I’m saying is that you can make an album that’s easier to listen to (better “balanced” in that sense) but is still filled with excellent songs and music.

      • Well, if the big ballads and the lyrics are THAT good, I’ll forgive an off-balance in that direction any day. 🙂

      • That said, who knows but what such an album might not be in the works this very moment…? 😉

  3. I agree with NewSoGoFan wholeheartedly. And I agree that I’m not sure the Tribute should really count, since it’s not a mainline release of new songs.

    The only one I have of your list is Just Stand. I’ve gotta give it and God’s Been Good another listen to see what I think.

    Overall, 2010 was sort of a weaker year for me as far as album releases, so I can’t think of any other album that was an improvement. I’m looking for a huge 2011, with the Kingdom Heirs, Perrys, Gold City, and hopefully MTQ, L5, Greater Vision, and the Collingsworths coming out with new stuff.

    On a related note, I did another “nerdy” thing that you’d probably get a kick out of. I made a list of my favorite albums from every year (1982 to 2010), then used it to come up with a Top 100 list of all-time personal favorite albums. Don’t have any idea what to do with it except look at it. 🙂

  4. Wow, you guys; I look away for a minute and there are already 11 comments.

    I never did get THAT much into Just Stand. Honestly, I enjoyed God’s Been Good more. That doesn’t speak to which is better critically speaking, I guess. I never did get the Gus Gaches one.

    • I liked Just Stand, but I guess I just had trouble seeing what was so toweringly, unbelievably GREAT about it. Solid project with some good songs…

      • Yeah, I think that’s about where I ended up. I was going to let Daniel know if my opinion changed when I made through to 15 listens, but I don’t think I ever quite got there!

      • Song for song . . . a half-dozen 5-star songs instead of maybe one or two.

        Besides, it had Lari Goss’s Midas touch… 🙂

      • Well… Maybe so. But it didn’t, as a whole, have the “listenability” that the other did. And some of the songs that reviewers were worked up about didn’t impress me the same way.

        Looking back at the review, I didn’t even click that much with “Faithful to the Cross.” However, I tend to be slow to get a hold of something. It may randomly come up in my playlist at the right moment this year, and I may suddenly “get it.”

      • I’m predicting that you’ll “get it” sometime . . . I don’t see how it could possibly be one of those songs that you never get. 🙂

      • I didn’t click with that song on first listen too. Now I love it, although I don’t think it’s a Great song. “Find us Faithful” is a great song with a similar theme—this one doesn’t quite measure up. Still well done though.

        I think you may have had trouble getting through the verses, which don’t flow as well as the chorus. I think they work, but the chorus is definitely the song’s strong point.

      • I happen to think the verses and chorus are both top-notch – but this is a discussion we’ve had to absurd detail before (even if not on the site), and there’s probably no point in redoing the whole discussion!

      • Actually I wasn’t even talking about the ungrammatical bit… it’s almost more a musical issue. It’s hard for me to put my finger on it, but that “light bulb” or “click” moment really only comes at the chorus.

      • I will not participate, as I can’t even remember the verses.

        But I did try!

      • Amy is onto something though—what’s the part that really sticks in your head? The chorus. That’s what you can remember even if you can’t quite pull the verses up in your database.

      • That’s what sticks in your head! Every incredible word remains in my head! 🙂

      • :shrugs shoulders:

        The lyrics are all very solid, but like I said, it’s more a musical thing.

        Now of course, I have a really tenacious auditory memory, so I could remember the whole thing too… I was talking about for most people though. 😉

      • I also feel that Just Stand is L5’s strongest effort to date… And IMO “Faithful To The Cross” stands toe to toe with “Find Us Faithful”; But I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinions! 🙂 I am looking forward to their next CD for sure, which I believe will feature their first song written by Joe Habedank. They are considering recording a new Diane Wilkinson song that Gus said is a great song. (she sent him the demo) We will have to see if they record it. Gus also said the only hang up with that song, is that it is not particularly L5’s “style” so we will see… They may also add Liberty Quartets “I’m His” to the CD! Gus would NAIL that song! We should find out around NQC… This is all speculation on my part (pulled from various sources) for anyone interested in L5… 🙂

      • I think we all are, to one extent or another. 🙂

      • There were only two songs that really stood out in a major way on the Seamans issue of _Just Stand_.

        I haven’t heard the Gaches version, though. They may have tweaked it some more.

      • Which two songs stood out to you?

      • New SG Fan,
        The first two…”New Born Feeling” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” They put a lot of extra effort into the arrangements and delivery on those two.

        The remaining tracks are good, but didn’t get the added attention.

      • Okay, I remember liking those two. I really enjoy that rendition of “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

      • Out of curiosity though, why did “Faithful to the Cross” not stand out to you as much?

      • You must be asking David, since I consider that to be among the five best SG songs recorded last decade…

      • Yes Daniel, we all know. I was asking David. 🙂

  5. NSF- Dream on is light-years better than their debut project and definitely better than the three volume table project they did prior to Great Love. What do you dislike about Dream On? Honestly, the song selection is their second strongest new material album, IMO. Love out of bondage and no unknown soldiers. I’m a ballad guy myself and I always judge an album based on it’s strongest ballads. Typically where the meat and blessings really tend to live. On a completely untwisted note, I really wish that EHSS or the Booth bros would bring back the Stamps song, Lord Teach Me How To Pray. The group I used to sing with recorded it on my last album with them and it’s a tremendous song!

    • Everyone’s got his own opinion, but mine is that Dream On was on the whole pretty weak in the song selection department.

      Neither of the two you mentioned connected with me. “Out of Bondage” was a thumb-sucker of a song that took forever to get going before the big climax… at which point I was already asleep. But I honestly did want to like that one, so I tried. And in fairness, it’s certainly better than some of the other songs on that project.

      As for “No Unknown Soldiers,” it was not one of Gloria’s better days, and I’ll leave it at that.

    • I remember “Teach Me How to Pray” “down on my knees, till in your own good time, you answer my pleas” – are we on the same page? The Cathedrals did it on either the “With Strings” or “With Brass” project, featuring George. It would be great for someone to do it again, and Tim would do a great job on the bass.

      • “Your”! “Your!” “Your!”

      • *Clicks tongue*

      • 😛

        Be nice. It may happen to you some day.

      • Yeah. Some day.

        😛

      • Well, at least Daniel’s nice.

      • I don’t edit comments often, but by the time it got to tongue-clicking, I just felt bad for you!

      • Awwwww, I was just kidding around. Didn’t mean nothin’ by it. 😥

      • We all were … but I’ll remember it when your time comes. 🙂

      • Amy – actually, technically, I wasn’t 😥 (crying) – but wow, I love that comeback. 🙂

    • Nick, I personally prefer “Stand By Me” over “Dream On,” but then again, I am also a fan of Garry Jones’ production work. I agree that the song selection wasn’t the greatest, but the overall presentation and sound on that project was well-done.

      • I think one would be hard-pressed to find a Signature Sound album that’s not presented and sung well. Whatever other questions may be in the air when they approach a new project, “Will it sound good?” shouldn’t be one of them.

      • On reflection, there really were only about five or six songs on Dream On that were total thumbs-down flops. The bulk of it seemed to be taken up with material that wasn’t dreadful, just not great either.

      • _Great Love_ remains my favorite Signature Sound CD.

      • I know. You seem to be one of the few people who hasn’t forgotten about it. 🙂

        Interestingly, I think a number of those songs were performed even better live later, e.g. “Climbing Up the Mountain,” “Will the Lord Be With Me,” “This Could Be the Dawning.” All good in the studio, but live… whole new level.

      • Yeah, I enjoyed those songs. That was the last CD of theirs that I really liked, although maybe I should have tried some more. After buying self-titled and being disappointed, I just bought individual songs off of later releases from iTunes.

      • Me, too. I’ve always said that if somebody said “What does Southern Gospel Quartet music sound like?” that I would be comfortable handing them this CD.

      • Your not alone David! It is my favorite by them as well… 🙂

      • I think it’s interesting that the song “What a Way To Go” never went anywhere… I liked it better than the better-known song of the same name. It would be a great live number.

      • ….and this song off that project probably remains my favorite EHSS song of all-time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Wuom8fOkQ

      • That’s a really pretty one—beautiful music and harmonies.

        The only thing I would say is that if somebody asked me why I believe what I believe, I would bring up solid facts and evidence to support the historical truth of what we read in the gospels. I would talk about the wealth of information we have that overwhelmingly demonstrates the glorious truth that God has not left himself without witness.

        Nevertheless, if we are to view the first verse as simply asking “Where is God now?” then the answer in the chorus is perfect.

      • But isn’t it reasonable to assume that the chorus is the answer to the questions/problems/issues raised in the verse? 🙂

      • Yes and no. The scoffer in the chorus is doing more than just asking “Where is God now?” He’s trampling on the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. “He was just a man, Christians are idiots for believing he rose again, etc.”

        Simply replying, “But he DID rise from the dead, and he’s in heaven now, and he lives in my heart” is not sufficient to address those challenges.

        The fact is that one can be any two of these things: reasonable, well-informed, atheistic. But one *cannot* be all three. That’s a tremendously powerful, crushing insight, and songs like this end up sounding like question-begging by comparison.

      • Now where I could see that sentiment fitting in very appropriately would be to comfort a fellow believer in a time of hardship. If somebody says to you, “I just don’t understand why this is happening, God feels so far away and sometimes I wonder where he is…” then this chorus is a strong and gentle reminder that he is with us “even now.”

        But for an arrogant scoffer who says “Show me what you got…” you unload the truck on top of him. 😀

    • By the way, is it just me, or does it seem like Great Love has been sort of forgotten or left out? I thought it had some good stuff on it—definitely a solid project.

      • I agree, Great Love was a strong project but I think Stand By Me still remains the best. As far as Dream On goes…much better then Get Away, Jordan. (IMO, the weakest.)

      • Get Away Jordan was a little awkwardly pieced together, but most of the pieces were good… sort of like a piece of apple pie that’s all crumbly by the time you get it from the pan to your plate… but it’s still apple pie!

      • In which case “Dream On” was like a pizza made from left-overs, and then stuck in the microwave about 1 minute too long…

        It sort of looked OK, but left a funny after-taste and you didn’t want to try that one again :-)!

      • Er… yeah. That’s about right. Especially the video… that was a weird video! Somehow, even though GAJ was louder, it didn’t give me the same odd feeling when I watched it.

      • That was my biggest complaint about GAJ. I thought Dream On was more focused and flowed better and that’s what I look for in an album. I’ll deal with a couple weaker songs in an album that flows over a CD of great songs that were just thrown together.

      • Fair enough, except in the case of Dream On it was more like 5 bad apples, with a bunch more that were just okay… but I can see how GAJ might give you whiplash.

  6. I must say “thank you ” to Daniel for listing Never Walk Alone on this post. Although I do not entirely agree with his view of BF&A’s music, I must say that this album is truly one of my all time favorites now. There is not a song that I skip. The lyrical content is super strong and they back it up with vocals to match. Now that the have the stronger lineup back, I am excited to see many more projects like this in the future. Brian has said many times how much thought and prayer goes into each album’s song selection and I hope this pattern continues. Also, it seems like Ricky Free is beginning to find his niche in the producing aspect and learning more about what people want to hear from one of the most vocally talented groups there is. Thanks again Daniel.

    • Yes, Ricky is finding his niche, and it’s a flat-out good album. 🙂

      • As a matter of fact, I am listening to it right now.

      • Gosh, that’s one album I just had trouble getting into… I really liked several of the songs, but that was about it. It just seemed kinda typical to me—not bad, just not incredible either.

        But then I’m used to being in the minority… 🙂

      • Admittedly I am a BF&A fan and have been. I know that Real Faith and Worth It were not their strongest works… which is why I was super excited about this album. I am a singer too and the vocals on this album are stellar… so yeah, I definitely got into it.

      • “Never Walk Alone” was definitely a great vocal from Brian!

  7. Is it the lyric/concept or structure you can’t connect with? Just curious. Out of bondage is a typical Goss arrangement; slow out the gate, fireworks at end (I’m 99% sure that was one of the ones he produced and arranged, I’ll have to double check). I suppose the concept vs. structure question had more to do with No Unkown Soldiers.

    • The overall idea that there are no unknown soldiers in God’s army could have been turned into something very cool. The problem lies in the execution. Just ponder these lines for a moment…

      “their blood type has established their royal identity”

      “He has our DNA”

      Admit it… that’s wretched poetry, and it carries the analogy to ridiculous lengths. Not to mention the rather unpleasant image it conjures up… so God is searching our decomposing bodies to identify us? No, obviously the lyric talks about the roll being called up yonder, the soldiers marching in, but then that clashes with those two lines’ insistence on expressing the analogy strictly literally.

      • Have you heard “You Can Tell by His Blood”? (Inspirations) I’ve listened to it about one time.

      • Ughhhhhh, I haven’t, but I already know I don’t want to. Virtual handshake? 😀

      • Inspirations or not, it is at least better than “No Unknown Soldier” …

      • I guess every era of technological advances inspires some imaginative attempts that fall flat.

        Now, “Royal Telephone” was not one of those. “Jesus on the Mainline” isn’t as popular now as it used to be, but it’s not bad. But talking about blood and DNA doesn’t inspire any deeply religious emotion in me.

        Of course, we’re wandering around just a hair off-topic today.

      • What’s next—a song about God’s guidance called “GPS of Heaven?” How about “God Answers E-mail?”

      • Or how about “God Answers Knee-mail”? (NOT my idea! I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere like a bumper sticker, although I hope it hasn’t made it into a song yet.)

        I’m sure those songs will be happening soon; I just hope Greater Vision doesn’t pick them up.

      • Oooooh, you’re right, I have seen that. Sh, sh, don’t give anybody ideas!!

      • “Jesus on the Mainline” is indelibly stamped on my memory with a visual freeze-frame of Bill singing into Mark’s boots….

        which probably encapsulates the quality of the lyrical theology :-).

        “Jesus on my I-Phone” or similar, we can surely do without!

      • My memory of it is Jimmy Swaggart; nothing visual – fortunately!

      • I heard it in concert. Martin Cook introduced it by giving a brief lecture on DNA. It was interesting because it showed what one of his science classes must have been like back when Archie and the boys were in his class.

      • I have now heard it and can attest that it is truly, catastrophically awful.

      • But it’s not as bad as “Give it Away.”

        😛

      • Well maybe “Give it Away” makes you squirm/writhe, etc., but that’s my reaction to the song under discussion. Whatever sinks your boat. 😛

      • It somehow made all the way through my iTunes DJ list yesterday and started playing, but I got it off before we got to the chorus.

        We all have our moments.

        NSF, “squirm/writhe” is appropriate. Haven’t heard “Give It Away” that I recall.

      • Have you ever heard Lee Roy Abernathy’s song “Television?”

        “Television
        What a wonderful invention
        If it were not God’s intention
        It would not be so.”

        That’s a forgotten gem best left forgotten! :o)

      • No, haven’t heard it … can’t say I missed it. I guess he was not blessed with a prophet’s foresight.

        (My family has never even had a television.)

      • My family never had one either, at least not one with channels (we did watch movies with a VCR player, but the screen was tied to it). I didn’t miss it. I grew up reading books instead.

  8. Daniel,
    Mark this day down. I haven’t heard Revalation’s CD yet, but I agree that all the other CDs you listed were noticeable improvements over the CDs these groups had released in recent years.

    Of course, I still think you’re overly generous in handing out ten 5-Star ratings in a year, so don’t get to feeling too good about my compliment. :o)

    • That is indeed neat that we agree that the other four were improvements. 🙂

      As to ten 5-star ratings in a year – or, since I tend to think of DVD reviews entirely separately, seven 5-star CD reviews in a year – is defining 5 stars as “one of the best seven CDs in a year” really all that different as defining it as “one of the four best CDs in a year”? 🙂

      • I wouldn’t define it either way.

        You give 5-stars to CDs you consider to be great, as I do. I think where we differ is that I look for something that’s notably rare (not just special) before I’ll give a CD that extra boost from 4 1/2 to 5 stars.

        I’m not saying I’m a better reviewer at all…just that I’m more stingy with the 5-star rating.

        You would give a CD 5 stars if you thought it was the best a group had ever done, for example. I would be more inclined to give a CD 5-stars if it would be virtually impossible for another artist to duplicate given the same budget, tools, and techniques.

      • You know, after probably six or seven years reading your blog now, I think this is the clearest understanding I have of your criteria.

        “…virtually impossible for another artist to duplicate given the same budget, tools, and techniques” is really a fantastic definition.

      • Interesting. So does that mean that you might give 5 stars to an album you didn’t really *like*?

      • Well, I have, so might is somewhat of a moot point!

        (But were you asking me? I know the comment is right under mine, but that doesn’t guarantee anything this deep into a conversation…)

      • No, I was asking David. Sorry.

      • Ah.

      • Yeah, I was asking David, because by that token, he could give 5 stars to a rapper’s album, if he believed the rapper had made the project in a unique way impossible to duplicate by any other artist. 😉

      • Ouch . . . Hip Hoppers, anyone? 🙂

      • New SG Fan,

        Yes.

        Of course, SG is a genre I like by default, so most SG CDs I rate at 5-stars are CDs I also enjoy.

        That being said, a 5-Star CD isn’t necessarily what draws me most when I’m grabbing something to play off the shelf or scrolling through the songs I have loaded on my Zune.

      • Regarding something that’s just different like the Hip Hoppers…
        A CD would have to meet some other standards in addition to being unique. Just being different or difficult to duplicate tends to swing things in the other direction if the overall musical quality is lacking. It’s one thing to do something different and do it well, but something else entirely to do something different and more or less fail.

      • Well, I was thinking of something that might be considered “good” for what it is, like some highly respected heavy metal group.

      • Well, for it’s time, the overall detail and quality that went into Michael Jackson’s _History_ CD was pretty amazing. Does that help?

        I found this post from five years ago where I talk about the 5-Star rating at length.
        [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]

  9. What about going from “Lovin’ Life” to “Greatly Blessed”???

    • Lovin’ Life was a tad better, though neither would be among the GVB’s career strongest.

    • I’ll take Give it Away over either of them. 😮

      • If it wasn’t for the title track, I would, too.

      • Well, I didn’t think the title track was exactly high art, but then neither was “Jesus and John Wayne.” 😉

      • Well, if you reacted the way you did to “Faithful to the Cross,” I figure the grammar in the title track must be about enough to make you want to snap the CD in half.

        😛

      • I think I said there was a bit of grammatical clunkiness in “Faithful” but the main issue was musical… right?

      • Ah, OK.

      • No, the filler cuts you’re looking for there would be either “Love Can Turn the World” or “Eagle Song.” (Why, oh why, out of all the innumerable better songs the Imperials did does THAT bit of tripe have to be what everybody remembers…?)

      • I’m not talking about filler material—I’m talking about petrifyingly bad grammar. 🙂

      • Are you thinking of the second verse? “There’s takers and givers, there’s gripers and complainers?”

        I think it’s a dialect thing, and if you’ll recall I make allowances for dialect. This here’s Southern talk. 😀

      • No, I’m thinking of “if you want more happy than your heart will hold.”

        I almost couldn’t bring myself to type that out!

      • Ah well it’s kinda fluffy but… it’s just a light song. I was too busy clapping and singing along to notice. C’mon and put those hands together. 😀

      • You can tolerate THAT, and yet In Christ Alone bothers you? 😉

      • Look, this is a light song with no pretentions to heaviness or great art. If there’s a line in there that comes off kind of cheesy, I can live with that because it lives up to expectations.

        “In Christ Alone” is supposed to be a heavy, well-crafted piece of theology that hearkens back to the great hymns of the past. So naturally it distracts and annoys me when the writer can’t even sort out his thoughts into coherent sentences! 😮

      • Oh, so poor grammar is OK in uptempo songs?

        It doesn’t make a difference to me.

      • It was obviously tongue-in-cheek and done just be silly/fun.

        And yes, it was more important for something like “In Christ Alone” anyway, plus I’m confident the writer never even realized what was happening, which is worse.

        And it don’t matter to say “it don’t matter” for a southern gospel song where you’re writing with a Southern dialect. 😉

      • Even if you grew up in Indiana . . . or, say, Ohio, or Michigan?

      • Nope. It don’t matter where you grew up. 😉 If you’re going for a certain sound/feel, you write with that dialect.

      • 🙂 🙂 :-)…

        I am laughng at you guys – you read like a blogged version of an “in-car argument” between may wife and me! LOL,

        just to pass the time, you know!

        Seriously, I preferred Give It Away as a listening experience over Loving Life and Better Day, a lot of that material gets “x-ed” off my i-tunes list sadly.

        When you go back and listen to “Best of GVB” Double CD, all the way through, it really hits that the GVB [whoever is in there] has long passed their peak!

        I don’t know if it is edgy or Benjy or maybe Marshy, but sometihng sure muddied the waters lately. Hardly the loss of Guy, as some may claim, but it would sure be good to see the GVB get a No.1 position on this list in 2012, Lord willing, as their finale album.

        Here’s hoping Bill!

      • Well, I’m actually hoping it’s not a finale album, but rather an album that puts them back on top and relaunches them to the point that Bill hires Gene McDonald to take over at such time as he’s ready to step back to emcee. 🙂

      • Nifty cross-comment Daniel,

        BUT, don’t you think Gene Mac’ on bass with the three tenors and the comedian-baritone still does NOT a definitive SG quartet make?

        So how can that side-hung line up produce an GVB Definitive Album? 🙂

        Wes/Ryan/Marsh/Gene – or similar – might,alternatively, produce the “Definitive Gaither Home-Coming Quartet” Debut Album, maybe even in 2011?

      • Well, it might not be a *G*VB definitive CD, but it could certainly be an incredible CD . . .

      • BTW, I truly love Mark…

        I just get the feeling the current GVB is the “Old Friends Quartet” equivalent :-)!

  10. Back to phone songs ,I’m pentecostal and the pentecostal national anthem is Jesus On The Mainline .There’s a rule it must be done in every service or, so it seems.Other interesting phone songs that come to mind ,The Devils In The phone Booth Dialing 911 by Walt Mills and If There’s A Phone In Heaven Put My Mama On The Line by Mike Manuel.

    • God help us all.

  11. I Liked Shine by The Bowlings this year .Terah was a great addition and made their harmonies tighter and i thought the production and arrangements were a step up from their preyious release.