3:1 CD Review: Now (The Browns)

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. “My Child is Coming Home”: This is a great song and a great performance. A few years have done wonders for Nick Trammell’s voice; his increased vocal richness and maturity call to mind a mid-1980s Mark Trammell (his father). He’s well on his way to being Jimmy Blackwood to his father’s James Blackwood. But even more impressive than the vocal delivery is the song, which Nick co-wrote with his father: If he’d written this when he was with the Perrys, this song would have been nominated for “Song of the Year.” It’s the best song the Browns have recorded to date.

2. “Worth of It All”: This song about the events leading up to and following the Crucifixion fuses a Classical-influenced track with a soaring 6/8 melody that bursts with the energy of a Keith & Kristyn Getty Celtic song. Michaela Brown delivers the chorus with vocal runs reminiscent of yodeling. The song, co-written by Nick and Jessica Trammell, joins “My Child is Coming Home” as stronger than any previous song the Browns have recorded.

3. Nick Trammell as a songwriter: Before I saw songwriter credits, I listened through the project and noted the six strongest songs: “Now and Forevermore” (written by Michaela Brown and Nick Trammell), “Good Enough” (Nick Trammell), “My Child is Coming Home” (Nick & Mark Trammell); “Silent for Me” (Michaela Brown, Dianne Wilkinson); “Worth of It All” (Nick & Jessica Trammell); “Still My Child” (Nick Trammell). With one exception, each of these songs have a common thread: Nick Trammell as a co-writer. His writing is taking the Browns to the next level.

:1. One thing I would change: Length. If the set list had been whittled down to the ten strongest songs (there are fourteen), this would have been a five-star recording. But even as it is, this is not just the Browns’ strongest project yet—it’s one of the ten strongest Southern Gospel CDs of 2011. If you enjoy great songs and family harmonies, add this album to your must-buy list.

Traditional or Progressive

Middle-of-the-road, more so than their last one.

Radio Single Picks

“My Child is Coming Home,” “Worth of it All,” “Still My Child.”

Album Rating: 4.5 Stars


Producer: Tim James, The Browns. • Group members: Nick Trammell, Jessica Brown Trammell, Shelly Brown, Adam Brown, Michaela Brown, Andrew Brown. • Review copy provided.  • Song list: Now and Forevermore; Good Enough; Nothing is Impossible; My Child is Coming Home; Everywhere I Go; Beautiful Day; Silent For Me; Joyful Medley (instrumental); When Grace Became Amazing; Rained Out; God of a Second Chance; Worth of it All; Put Your Hand in the Hand; Still My Child.

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23 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Interest piqued. I’ll look into getting at least some of those top songs.

    • I’m confident that you’ll like at least a few of them.

  2. Weird, I got the comments feed from this post before the main post feed.

    • That is weird!

    • I’m just quick like that. I commented before RSS even knew what hit ’em.

      • 🙂

  3. You biased Trammell fan, you.

    Hey, clean, crisp album cover. Another chapter of Trammell legacy, It’s a modern 1981 “Colors of His Love” emulation…with a brand new paved road.

    • Biased Nick Trammell fan?

      I’m sure I said something nice about Nick when I reviewed the Perrys’ Look No Further, his only project with them, but I wasn’t saying about his vocal ability what I am saying now!

      • Oh, and good catch on the album cover. Interesting comparison!

      • I was joking. Love those Trammells too.

      • Ah! 🙂

  4. Just a point of curiosity, how do four songs too long take half a star from the rating? Are the four additional songs that weak? I’m sorry, but I am just not following your logic, though I am sure you have some as this isn’t your first 3:1. 🙂

    I would imagine some of the more value minded SG purchasers would appreciate the longer album.

    • It’s not the number or the length of the songs. If you have fourteen possible songs, the logic is simple: Pick the ten best, and the average song quality will be higher. 🙂

      • Hmmmm, I think I would rather have a 14 song 4.5 star rating CD than a 10 song 5 star rating under those terms, especially since my 10 best songs may not be the same as your 10 best songs! 🙂

      • Phil, this is the logic that I had in my head, but of course Daniel is the reviewer, not I. Perhaps the Browns could not whittle their personal preference down to 10 from 14. I’d say that’s a good problem to have! Leave the selection to Solomon.

  5. Yeah, I think I would rather have a longer album as well. 🙂

    I thought the Browns were an instrumental group. I’ll have to see if I can find some of their songs…

  6. I just heard them on the radio station a little bit ago, and I thought I’d like to have the song. Imagine logging on, hearing about them, and then finding the song. 🙂 They’re good!

  7. I side with Daniel on this one. Take Gold City’s Pillars of Faith…had that album had three or four OK songs added in , the album probably wouldn’t be the landmark album that it is. Song selection is a talent…Garry Jones has that.

  8. For me, a key criteria when deciding whether to term an album a five-star album is this question: Are there any songs I always skip? And how many songs do I occasionally or frequently skip?

    I’m speaking hypothetically here: Suppose one album has eight songs I rank four or five star, and two I sometimes skip. Suppose another album has eight songs I rank four or five star, and six I sometimes skip. It’s the former album that is in the running to get five stars here!

    • I agree. It will generally weaken the quality of the CD as a whole, even though the consumer is technically getting “more for their money.”

      The difference between my approach and yours is that I don’t based my CD ratings on what songs I would personally skip. Now, if it’s a “must buy or not” review, those are purely my personal taste, but if it’s one of my regular CD reviews where I assign a rating, that’s based on my perception of the CD’s quality…whether I personally like it or not.

      • Well, I don’t base CD ratings on that, either. Factors like strength of songwriting, production quality etc. are the primary factors. I think there was a misunderstanding here; the number of songs I routinely skip only comes into play when it’s a decision between a 4.5 star CD and a 5 star CD.

  9. could I get you schedule for this year.