CD Review: Soulace 2 (Soul’d Out Quartet)
Last August, Soul’d Out bass singer Matt Fouch left to join Legacy Five; in October, Soul’d Out announced that his replacement would be Ian Owens, who had recently left Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. The group introduces Owens to their fans with a reissue their most recent mainline release with Owens’ vocals added, and with this table project.
Losing a bass singer of Fouch’s caliber would be a blow to any group, but Soulace 2 shows that they’re as strong as ever. Signature Sound fans who were hoping that Ian Owens would be the next Tim Duncan were disappointed, but Owens is no disappointment here. He fits Soul’d Out’s sound and style.
The project is filled with highlight performances. Among the fast songs, “I Can Tell You Now the Time” gives Owens a chance to shine, while “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before” spotlights lead singer Bryan Hutson. Hutson, lead/baritone Matt Rankin, and tenor Dusty Barrett shine on “I Stand Amazed (My Savior’s Love).” Bryan Hutson’s years on the Kingsmen bus help towards a solid rendition of the forgotten Kingsmen gem “Say a Prayer.” But perhaps the strongest track of all is the tender closer, “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus).”
Soulace 2 avoids over-done songs; it strikes a solid balance between classics familiar to casual fans and forgotten gems that deserve another turn in the spotlight. It’s one of the strongest Southern Gospel table projects of 2013.
Group Members: Dusty Barrett (tenor), Bryan Hutson (lead/baritone), Matt Rankin (lead/baritone), Ian Owens (bass), Michael Hayes (pianist).
Credits: Producer: None credited. Musicians: None credited. Engineer: None credited. Mixed and Mastered by: None credited.
Song List: Old Gospel Ship; I Stand Amazed; Say a Prayer; I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before; I’d Rather Have Jesus; I Can Tell You The Time; Standing On The Solid Rock; I Will Serve Thee; Jesus is Coming Soon; Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus).
Song Selection Creativity Meter: 90%. In place of radio single picks and an album rating, table projects 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.