Classic CD Review: A Wonderful Love (Melody Boys Quartet)
Rating: 4 stars (of 5)
Average Song Rating: 3.8 stars (of 5)
Members: Mike Franklin (tenor), Ryan Seaton (lead), Jeremy Raines (baritone), Gerald Williams (bass).
Song List: Forty Days and Forty Nights; Oh But It’s Wonderful Being a Child of the King; He Bought My Soul at Calvary; My Journey to the Sky; A Wonderful Love; Lead Me in the Everlasting Way; I Call it Home; I’ve Got that Feeling; Celebration; Still One Nation Under God.
Available From: Artist. (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed)
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Ernie Haase & Signature Sound has maintained the same vocal lineup for six years. The last change to their lineup was in 2003,when Ryan Seaton left the Melody Boys to join them. Seaton was with the Melody Boys Quartet for less than a year before getting the opportunity to sing with his hero, Ernie Haase, but during that time he did appear on one Melody Boys Quartet CD, A Wonderful Love.
A Wonderful Love features the classic arrangements and tight harmonies that distinguish the Melody Boys sound. Ryan Seaton fit the sound well, both in the quartet harmony parts of the project and on his solos, “Lead Me in the Everlasting Way” and “I Just Call it Home.” The latter song is the same one the Prophets cut on their re-debut project last year; even though the song’s writer, Paul Jackson, sang it on the Prophets project, Seaton’s rendition here seems to fit the song better. The simple piano-led arrangement fits the lyric well.
Of course, Seaton’s features weren’t the only highlights of the project. (Before any MBQs fans complain about the first two paragraphs being devoted to a lead singer who stayed less than a year, let me just mention that knowing that one of Southern Gospel’s most popular lead singers had been with the MBQ was one of the first things that interested me in the group.)
Group manager and bass singer Gerald Williams delivers a particularly pleasant rendition of “He Bought My Soul at Calvary.” Other project highlights include “Celebration” and an original Dianne Wilkinson song, “Oh But It’s Wonderful, Being a Child of the King.”
Fans of classic Southern Gospel—and fans of Ryan Seaton’s later work—will find much to like in this pleasant collection of new and old songs with the Melody Boys’ classic tight harmony male quartet sound.