CD Review: Decade (Legacy Five)
Rating: 4.5 stars (of 5)
Average Song Rating: 4.2 stars (of 5)
Song List: Disc 1: I’m Feeling Fine; Joy; Vessel of Mercy; I Found Grace; The Prettiest Flowers; Strong in the Strength; That’s What Grace is For; Out of My Darkness; Jericho Road; I Know that I Know; What a Friend; Steppin’ Out on the Water; Why Wouldn’t I. Disc 2: I’m Feeling Fine; Joy; Vessel of Mercy; I Found Grace; The Prettiest Flowers; Strong in the Strength; That’s What Grace is For; Out of My Darkness; Jericho Road; Steppin’ Out on the Water.
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To commemorate their tenth anniversary, Legacy Five has gone a whole level above the typical compilation. They re-cut ten of their best-loved songs, with new tracks and vocals, and three new songs.
The song selection focuses on songs from their first few years, perhaps because it helps to have a couple years of perspective to come up with a fresh arrangement. There are four songs from their incredibly strong 1999 debut (Strong in the Strength), one from Heritage Vol. 1, (2000), two from their 2003 Daywind debut (London), and one each from Heritage Vol. 3 (2004), Monuments (2004), and A Little Taste of Heaven (2005).
Overall, the arrangements aren’t all that different from the original. “Joy” has a less orchestrated feel (it does still have orchestration, though more understated), and “Steppin’ Out on the Water” has a somewhat simpler feel, without the prominent saxophone that distinguished the original rendition.
The three new songs are all well selected. “What A Friend” has a fairly slow tempo, but the harmonies are nicely arranged. “I Know that I Know” was cut by the Mark Trammell Trio on Always Have a Song late last year; Legacy Five proves that it makes an excellent quartet song. “Why Wouldn’t I?” was written by Liberty Quartet pianist Doran Ritchey, and originally cut on Liberty’s Amazed (2008, reviewed here). Though the constant cymbals through the chorus are a little distracting, “Why Wouldn’t I?” is a great fit for Scott Fowler’s voice and style.
Showcasing Legacy Five’s current lineup on new arrangements of some of their best songs is an excellent way to commemorate this ten-year milestone.