CD Review: “Hope” (The Browns)
The Browns, a family group based in LeMars, Iowa, have been quietly but steadily building a fan base and becoming one of Southern Gospel’s favorite family groups.
Roger Talley produced this project; Donna Beauvais (from Hope’s Call at the time the project was recorded) is listed as the vocal producer for “Out of This World,” “I’m Out of Here,” “Livin’ Askin’ Walkin’,” and “He Said My Name,” four of the best songs on the project.
“Outta This World” is a standout track on this project and was an obvious pick for a radio single. I would have predicted that it would do better than it did; it just missed breaking into the Singing News top 40, peaking at #43 on the October 2007 chart [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]. It did stay on the chart for five months, through the January 2008 chart.
Andrew Brown, the youngest Brown, is featured on “Come.” While I’ve enjoyed his novelty songs on previous projects, this song shows a greater artistic depth, a more serious side. Only a slightly awkward transition from a bridge (in G) to the final chorus (in D) keeps this song from being the best on the project.
The project closes with a cover of Dennis Jernigan’s “When I Get Home.” On first listen, this quiet, relaxed track might not stand out. But after listening through the project several times, this track became my favorite from the project. The arrangement is richly textured; I didn’t even notice the mandolin part until I had listened to the song ten or twelve times. Though the song was written as a praise song (and fits that genre well) the lyrics about Heaven and melody blend seamlessly into this Southern Gospel project.