3:1 CD Review: Everlasting Truth (Michael Booth)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
1. “Sweet Will of God”: This forgotten gem is the standout track. The song’s author, Leila Naylor Morris, wrote over 1,000 hymns. She lived from 1862-1929 in Ohio and, at the end of her life, New York, and was active in Methodist camp-meetings. Her most remembered hymn, at least in Southern Gospel circles, is “The Stranger of Galilee.” Naturally, some of those other 999 deserve to be remembered, and this was certainly one of them.
2. “Near to the Heart of God”: Though more familiar than “Sweet Will of God,” this one is another that’s far from overdone. It’s a great fit for Booth’s voice.
3. Arrangements: This album is easy-listening at its best. It’s perfect for playing at the end of a stressful day. Don’t necessarily couple the next statement with the previous one, as there is not necessarily an intended correlation, but I’ve already played this one more than the group’s latest mainline, Let it Be Known. Yes, Let it Be Known has the new songs, and the creativity, but Everlasting Truth hits that sweet spot that so few current mainline or table projects hit.
4 (bonus): The title: Perfect title for a hymns project—or, at least, one recorded by Michael Booth!
:1. One thing I would change: Song Selection: But then, I’m not the average buyer. A hymns album this good, with ten forgotten gems of the caliber of “Sweet Will of God,” would easily get a five-star rating here. But it would probably sell half as many copies as one that included “There is a Fountain” and “Are You Washed in the Blood.”
Traditional or Progressive
Song Selection Creativity Meter: 60%
In place of radio single picks and an album rating, table projects featured in a 3:1 review are measured by a different metric—what percent of the songs on the album are pulled from outside of the 200 Most Frequently Recorded Southern Gospel songs.
Group members: Michael Booth. • Review copy provided. • Song list: Are You Washed in the Blood; Praise Him Praise Him; Sweet Will of God; At Calvary; Near to the Heart of God; There is a Fountain; Showers of Blessing; Jesus is Coming Again / What a Day That Will Be; Morning Has Broken.