CD Review: Spreading His Word (Mylon Hayes Family)
One staple of many Southern Gospel albums is “prodigal son” songs—songs that discuss how wicked and far from God the narrator was before salvation, often in dramatic and emotional terms. But “prodigal son” songs don’t fit every testimony, especially those of children raised in a Christian family who came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior at an early age. Occasionally, Southern Gospel family groups give their children “prodigal son” songs to sing anyhow, sometimes with a rather incongruous end result.
Spreading His Word, the new release for the Mylon Hayes Family, is strong in many areas. But perhaps its most notable strength is that the themes of its songs are appropriate for the family’s stage in life. The songs focus on the themes of the joys of salvation and the importance of Christians living according to Biblical standards. They avoid dwelling too deeply on adult themes, but they also avoid the other extreme of writing lyrics that are cheesy and almost condescending. (How many times have we seen a song written for a Southern Gospel child singer to sing that include a line like, “I’m know I’m little, but…”?)
The style will be comfortable and familiar to fans of Mylon’s past and ongoing work with his parents and siblings in the Hayes Family. There’s a mixture of convention songs (“Oh, What a Morning” and “The Sweetest Words He Ever Said”), middle-of-the-road orchestrated songs (“There’s Still a Refuge”), new songs, and classics.
Vocally, we’ve known for years how strong of a lead/tenor voice Mylon Hayes has. Wendy’s rich Collingsworth-like alto has been a pleasant surprise. Twins Connor and Bailey’s voices are settling nicely into their adult ranges, and improve with each recording. Youngest daughter Kennedy’s voice sounds as young as she is, and fits well where featured.
Because the Hayes Family still tours some weekends, and Mylon remains on the road with them, the Mylon Hayes Family’s touring schedule is limited schedule. But if their first two recordings are any indication, it would be safe to say that the future of the Hayes clan is in very good hands.
Group Members: Mylon Hayes, Wendy Hayes, Connor Hayes, Bailey Hayes, Kennedy Hayes.
Credits: Produced by Mylon Hayes. Recorded at Crowning Touch Studio, Rushing Winds Studio, and Crossroads Studios. Mixed and Mastered by Van Atkins. Additional post production by Mylon Hayes.
Song List (songwriters in parentheses): Don’t Look Back (Edsel Coates); I’m Depending on God (Rodney Griffin); Glad I Know the Lord (Rebecca Peck, John Robinson); There’s Still a Refuge (Sandy Blythe); More and More Like You (Rodney Griffin); A Name I Highly Treasure (Oscar Eliason); Prayer Meeting (Dianne Wilkinson, Rebecca Peck); Jesus Can Change Your Life (Rebecca Peck); The Sweetest Words He Ever Said (Joel Hemphill); The Well (Mark Hall, Matthew West); Oh, What a Morning (Marty Phillips, Ann Phillips).