CD Review: A New Day (Browns)
Average Song Rating: 3.9 stars (of 5)
Producer: Bubba Smith.
Song List: A New Day; It’s a God Thing; I Can’t Forget the Blood; Get On the Boat; Don’t Doubt in the Darkness; You’re My Friend; Running To The Rock; My Heart Has Found a Home; Something Like the Likes of You; He/He Touched Me/He is Lord.
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The Browns’ previous projects were produced by Roger Talley; on A New Day, they use a new producer, Bubba Smith. Smith, a multi-Grammy and Dove-winning producer, is best known for his production efforts in black Gospel and CCM, producing artists as diverse as Shirley Caesar, Helen Baylor, Bruce Carroll, Sandi Patty, Petra, and Point of Grace. He has also produced projects for Karen Peck & New River (Journey of Joy), the McRaes (Perfect Love), and the Crabb Family (Blur the Lines).
Not surprisingly, bringing in someone with a background like Smith’s gives the project a sound quite different than on their previous Talley-produced projects. While the project is still Southern Gospel, certain tracks bring Point of Grace to mind. Smith’s influence is most evident in the little things, like the vocal introduction to “Get on the Boat.” It’s not the sort of thing a typical Southern Gospel producer would do, but it’s a nice touch that just works. And it’s hard to argue with success.
Since their last project, the Browns have not only grown as vocalists, they have also grown as songwriters. Though they have written a few songs for previous projects, they wrote or co-wrote over half the songs on the project—including the project’s three most memorable songs, “Don’t Doubt in the Darkness,” “Running to the Rock,” and “I Can’t Forget the Blood.” Mom Shelly Brown co-wrote the first with Marty Funderburk, Adam Brown, the older of the two boys, co-wrote the other two, also with Marty Funderburk. Michaela Brown and Rebecca Peck contribute “You’re My Friend.”
Jessica Brown and her fianceé Nick Trammell co-wrote two of the tracks: “It’s a God Thing,” the CD’s first single, and a song they sing as a duet, “My Heart Has Found a Home.” Their voices complement each other’s voice nicely, and it’s not hard to imagine the two of them performing together down the road.
With every successive project since hitting the national scene, the Browns have matured vocally and stylistically. A New Day is no exception.