CD Review: Breakthrough (Ball Brothers)
Several years ago, the Ball Brothers released their debut self-titled project and went on tour with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. At the time, they had a fairly straight-ahead trio sound. Three table projects and a second baritone later, this foursome is far harder to classify.
One almost feels that their three table projects—Vocalized, Simplified, and Christmas—though each good on their own merits, were largely interim projects while they settled on what musical direction they wanted to take the group. With Breakthrough, they’ve hit on a consistent and unique sound. It’s not really a quartet sound; it’s more a trio-based sound, with the ability to do more complex arrangements than just three parts can handle.
A casual fan of Southern Gospel would think that this was a project of new songs. It certainly does have the feel of a project with new songs, but in point of fact, eight or nine of the songs have been previously recorded.
- Everyday, Every Hour: Cathedrals
- I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven: Singing Americans
- It’s About the Cross: Go Fish, also known as the group that introduced “Christmas With a Capital C,” covered by Legacy Five
- Glimpse Of Your Glory: Original, to the best I can determine
- Tell It Like It Is: Scott Krippayne
- Sometimes He Calms the Storm: Scott Krippayne
- Forgiven: Dave Williford Band (on A King’s Ransom, 2007)
- Keep Me on the Wheel: Gold City
- He Did What I Couldn’t Do: NewSong
- I’ll Do Anything: Also recorded by Christian country singer Wess Adams; however, it’s not clear whether Adams’ or the Ball Brothers’ version came out first
The album has quite a bit of material for fans of the progressive side of the genre; fans of the traditional side of the genre will point to “I’ll Do Anything,” a soft ballad featuring tenor Andrew Ball, and “Keep Me On the Wheel,” featuring a guest vocal by co-producer Darren Rust, as favorites.
Going with a sound this different and unique in a genre that loves the predictable is a risk. But the Ball Brothers are young enough and new enough on the scene that they can try something different if this doesn’t work for them—and if it does work, their unique sound will make them instantly identifiable on the radio and help them carve out their own niche in the genre.
Rating: 4 stars. ♦ Group members: Andrew Ball (tenor), Daniel Ball (lead), Stephen Ball (baritone), Josh Ball (second baritone). ♦ Produced by: Darren Rust, Jason Webb. ♦ Available from: Group. Review copy provided. ♦ Song list: Everyday, Every Hour; I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven; It’s About the Cross; Glimpse Of Your Glory; Tell It Like It Is; Sometimes He Calms the Storm; Forgiven; Keep Me on the Wheel; He Did What I Couldn’t Do; I’ll Do Anything.