3:1: Let it Be Known (Booth Brothers)

Booth Brothers - Let It Be Known3:1 highlights three strong points of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. What About Now: This song sounds like Michael Booth took a Paul Washer sermon to Jim Brady and asked him to turn it into a song. (It’s plausible .) It challenges the listener to rely on the saving grace of Christ—not on the words of the sinner’s prayer, by themselves. It calls believers to actively live for Christ, so that we have more than just our moment of conversion to site when asked what God is doing in our lives. 

It’s sure to receive criticism, and likely to be one of those rare songs that some venues will specifically ask them not to sing. We all knew that Michael Booth was daring to the point of audacity, but cutting this song took more courage than any stunt or practical joke he’s ever pulled. Bravo!

2. See, What a Morning: This arrangement bursts with vibrant energy. Compare it with the original songwriters’ version to fully appreciate the sheer genius Lari Goss and the Booth Brothers infused into this rendition. The core band, Celtic pipes, and energetic orchestration change rhythm patterns at several different points throughout the song, making the arrangement so unique that it could singlehandedly earn the album its “schizophrenic” stylistic rating (below)! Yet it works so well that it leaves a listener familiar with earlier versions laughing aloud in sheer delight by the closing orchestral flourish. This would easily make a top five list of our genre’s all-time most successfully creative cover arrangements.

3. Acapella Outro: The opening track, “First John,” is performed acapella. After the closing song, the group revisits that opening melody for an acapella outro. It subtly leads the listener to feel that he has just completed a diverse but unified experience—not what would otherwise seem more like eleven wildly disparate individual moments.

:1. One thing I would change: Cover Songs. “He’s So Good to Me” and “Bread Upon the Water” have both been recorded by several artists over the years. Notably and recently, the Talley Trio cut the former in 2009 and the Gaither Vocal Band cut the latter in 2006, both on major-label projects. The new renditions, both a little more progressive, aren’t terrible—we’re talking about the Booth Brothers, after all—but neither brings enough to the table to make the album stronger than it would have been with two new songs in these slots. 

Traditional or Progressive?

Schizophrenic—spans the spectrum from mellow to middle-of-the-road to quite progressive.

SouthernGospelBlog.com’s Radio Single Picks

See, What a Morning; Let it Be Known. Use the third slot to go back and single “God Did it All” from Declaration.

SouthernGospelBlog.com Ratings

Average song rating: 4.1 stars. Overall rating: 4.5 stars.

Credits

Produced by: Lari Goss• Group members: Michael Booth (tenor), Ronnie Booth (lead), Jim Brady (baritone). • Review copy provided.  • Song list: First John (written by Lari Goss); See, What a Morning (written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend); She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name (written by Melody Goodman); He’s So Good to Me (written by Lari Goss); When You Bow at Jesus’ Feet (written by Jim Brady); Since Jesus Came (written by Jim Brady); Masterpiece of Mercy (written by Jim Brady and Rodney Griffin); Let it Be Known (written by Jim Brady, Sue C. Smith, and Barry Weeks); The Master’s Table (written by Rebecca Peck); Bread Upon the Water (written by Bill and Janny Grein); What About Now (written by Jim Brady, Barry Weeks, and Tony Wood).


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13 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Good post, Daniel. The first time I heard “What About Now” I thought it sounded like something that Michael would have asked Jim Brady to write. This cut of “See, What A Morning” is the first version of the song that I’ve really enjoyed. It is incredible.

    I still wish the Booth Brothers would include more (or at least better) uptempo songs.

    BTW, the “Bread Upon The Water” that the Booth Brothers cut here is actually the old Imperials song that the Gaither Vocal Band covered a few years ago. Gold City (and previously, the Greenes) covered the Hemphill song with a similar name.

    • “See, What a Morning” is uptempo, right? 🙂

      As to “Bread Upon the Water” – I had actually corrected that even before your comment, thanks to Wes Burke’s equally sharp eyes and slightly faster fingers. 😀 It was definitely my “duh” moment of the morning; the Gaither Vocal Band rendition was playing in my head even as I typed Gold City. 🙂

      • LOL I do consider “See What A Morning” uptempo, but one great uptempo song on a project isn’t enough.

        The cover songs you pointed out are half of the project’s uptempo songs. What I’m saying is the project would be better if those tracks were replaced with stronger uptempo songs.

        Also, I think the lack of uptempo songs on the Booth Brother’s previous recording also makes the issue seem bigger (for me, anyway) than it actually is.

        I have to admit that one of my pet peeves is having too many slow songs on a CD or in a set list. I have this argument quite often in the local group I run sound for. The argument for more slower songs: “We’re a ministry, not entertainers.” My argument for more fast songs: “You can’t minister if the crowd is asleep after five slow songs in a row.”

        BTW, even though I think the recording would be better with stronger uptempo material, I agree with you that it deserves a 5 star rating.

      • “What I’m saying is the project would be better if those tracks were replaced with stronger uptempo songs.” – In other words, I guess we came to the same conclusion on those two songs!

        “BTW, even though I think the recording would be better with stronger uptempo material, I agree with you that it deserves a 5 star rating.” But isn’t a 5-star album something so good that it couldn’t be improved? 😀

      • LOL I thought about that… but again, we have the same conclusion. You gave it a five star rating. Why didn’t you leave the one thing you would change empty for this project? LOL

        Seriously, we are not ever going to have a perfect recording. Even a five star recording could do one or two things differently and be a little bit better.

      • How on earth did that happen? I gave it a 4.5 star rating! Where did the 4. go? Ah well, it’s back now!

      • I like to buy an album that has slow songs on them. I guess it goes to a person’s taste in music. That is why I am drawn to the Booth’s. The meanings of their message and the tempo of their songs.

      • I like to buy an album that has slow songs on them. I guess it goes to a person’s taste in music. That is why I am drawn to the Booth’s. The meanings of their message and the tempo of their songs. This is my first post.

  2. LOL Okay, so you didn’t give it a 5 star rating. I’d still give it 5 stars (rounded up from 4.75… lol). I have enjoyed this recording much more than I enjoyed “Declaration.”

    • 🙂

      I like this, but it would be an easy choice to go with Declaration!

  3. Great review Daniel, I had the same conclusion when it came to your one thing you would have changed… I am waiting til closer to the “street date” to release my review. 🙂

    • Interesting! Oh, and I’ve held reviews of others till closer to release date, but for the last few, it’s seemed I was consistently last to weigh in. So I decided to not be last this time!

  4. Not being much of a follower of either the Talleys or the GVB, I had the advantage of hearing the Booths’ versions of both “He’s So Good To Me’ and “Bread Upon The Water” from a fresh perspective, and frankly, I liked what I heard…a lot. As for their decision to use cover songs rather than new material in those slots, I remember Michael Booth saying, with reference to “Declaration”, that they had had problems in finding new fast songs that went lyrically in the direction the Booth Brothers were then traveling. It would seem that this might still be a issue.

    However, even if for some listeners the cover material doesn’t quite meet the Booth Brothers’ usual high standards (which for these guys are beginning to assume Jack-and-the-Beanstalk proportions), I believe the original songs more than make up for the inequities. Jim Brady, with and without his collaborators, has stepped up to the plate in fine style, but the contributions from the other writers aren’t exactly hack jobs either. A schizophrenic selection of songs, to be sure, but a selection that tends to grow on you after repeated listenings.

    All in all, a fair review of what I consider to be one of the Booth Brothers’ best recordings…and I think I’d call it that even if I wasn’t prone to wearing my heart on my sleeve!