CD Review: 09 (Booth Brothers)
Rating: 4.5 stars (of 5)
Average Song Rating: 4 stars (of 5)
Song List: Love Was in the Room; Sail On; He Came to Me; Oh What a Happy Day; I’m the Lamb; I Have an Anchor; Up There, Somewhere; Tradin’ the Old Cross; This is My Valley; Feeling Fine.
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Over the years, the Booth Brothers have recorded quite a few songs that have found places in listeners’ hearts. 09 brings back some of the best of these, songs they have recorded in the past, but hadn’t performed for years. The album also throws in several new songs and classics they had not previously staged.
- Love Was in the Room. The Booth Brothers originally recorded this song on their 1998 recording Will You Love Jesus More. The song, penned by Mosie Lister and Ken Bible, is a unique look at the Resurrection.
- Sail On. The Booth Brothers prove that this Imperials classic can be done without a bass…and, even more impressively, without the bass’s absence sticking out like a sore thumb.
- He Come to Me. This midtempo song is penned by Squire Parsons and sounded vaguely familiar. After doing some checking around, I found out that I’d heard it on Greater Vision and the Specks did it in a medley on their Celebration at First Baptist Atlanta video. The Kingdom Heirs also recorded it on Series 1 (2005), and the Hoppers recorded a song by the same name on their 1981 project Home is Where the Heart Is. The song is, however, new to the Booth Brothers’ repertoire.
- Oh What a Happy Day. A convention-style piano intro to the song leads the listener to think the track will be arranged the way the song is usually sung, as a traditional quartet number. That impression lasts until the synthesizers and brass kick in, for one of the project’s more progressive and uptempo numbers.
- I’m the Lamb. This song is familiar to any longtime Booth Brothers fan; they recorded it on their 1996 Praise God Anyhow project. It’s definitely a song worth bringing back.
- I Have an Anchor. This is a new uptempo song, penned by Jim Brady. The soundtrack is brass-driven.
- Up There Somewhere. This slow ballad features tenor Michael Booth; it was originally recorded on their 1996 project One of His Own.
- Tradin’ the Old Cross. If you thought you knew this song from the Collingsworth Family’s rendition (God is Faithful, 2005), think again. The Booth Brothers completely redefine the song as a progressive track, with a driving uptempo arrangement. The song lends itself surprisingly well to both interpretations.
- This is My Valley. This Dottie Rambo song features tenor Michael Booth.
- Feeling Fine. The Booth Brothers recorded this Mosie Lister classic on Beyond the Cross (1999). They recorded its sequel, “Still Feelin’ Fine,” on This Stage of Grace (2001). They revisit the original to close out this project.
While two or three of the tracks are more progressive than fans of traditional styles would care for, the project blends traditional and progressive styles seamlessly enough that no song seems out of place. Between the song selection, the vocal arrangements, and the production standards, this project is good enough that it’s easy to forget it is a table project.