CD Review: Worth It (Brian Free & Assurance)
Rating: 4 stars (of 5)
Average Song Rating: 3.6 stars (of 5)
Song List: There is a Kingdom Coming; Go Tell the World; Die Another Day; You Must Have Met Him; Preaching to the Choir; Worth It; Nothing Takes You By Surprise; Not One; I Am Redeemed; A New Thing; When the Mountains Will Not Move.
Available From: Artist.
* * *
Worth It is Brian Free & Assurance’s second project with the lineup of Brian Free, Bill Shivers, Derrick Selph, and Jeremy Lile. It is Lile’s second project with the group; since the group’s previous bass, Keith Plott, left during the recording process of Real Faith, this is the first project where the group had the chance to arrange songs for his voice.
Speaking of arranging songs for Jeremy Lile’s voice, Lile is featured on the title track, “Worth It.” Most fans of traditional and middle-of-the-road Southern Gospel styles will view this as the project’s standout track. Lile has the solos on the verses, and Brian Free carries the melody on the choruses. The Dills also cut this on their most recent release, Story of a Lifetime (reviewed here). Though I believe the Dills’ project came out earlier in the year, the two cuts were more or less concurrently released, in a situation something like when Gold City, Legacy Five, and the Talley Trio all cut “Truth is Marching On” several years ago.
Fans of traditional and middle-of-the-road Southern Gospel will also enjoy the project’s opening acapella track, the stunningly beautiful “There is a Kingdom Coming,” and “I Am Redeemed,” a big ballad featuring Brian Free.
“Die Another Day” was a great pick for the project’s first single. The song features Brian Free and has a memorable lyric and a great hook.
The project continues in the vein of It’s So God and Real Faith, two projects that have helped redefine the group’s sound. But the project has something for everyone, not just fans of the progressive part of the genre. And yet the project does this while maintaining consistency between tracks—no small accomplishment.