CD Review: Satisfied (Josh Cobb)

Josh Cobb - Satisfied (CD Cover)Satisfied is a challenging project to review.

The background: It was recorded by former Legacy Five tenor Josh Cobb, with his wife Beth playing piano, over the course of the last year or two (before Josh joined Gold City).

The basics: This album has a light jazz, easy-listening feel. Most of the songs are hymns, though Cobb offers his take on “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary,” “How Big is God,” and “He Looked Beyond my Faults” from Southern Gospel, and “Calvary’s Love” and “More than You’ll Ever Know” from Inspirational music.

Several factors make this project difficult to peg. For one, Southern Gospel groups tend to throw in one or two light jazz-styled number on table projects just to change the pace. Those songs tend to be among the weaker, more frequently skipped tracks—and ones rarely heard in concert. So when an artist known for knocking out the roof on power ballads tries his hand at a full easy-listening album, it raises the question of whether the artist is trying to do something different just for a change of pace, just to try the style on and see how it fits.

But something about Satisfied just rings true. Beth Cobb might not be able to pull off a ninety-second 180-tempo convention song piano solo (but than again, she might!) Yet her piano stylings here come across as authentic. You cannot help but feel that this is her home style, a style she has played long enough to master and deliver confidently.

Josh Cobb’s vocals also seem to fit the music. The songs keyed lower seem to be keyed where they are because it’s the best voice placement to communicate the lyric effectively, not just to give his voice a break between those songs where he amps up the power (“I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary,” “Satisfied,” “He Looked Beyond My Fault.”)

The song selection is remarkably diverse, and the arrangements are consistently creative. “Calvary’s Love” is an old Steve Green song so perfect for a Southern Gospel treatment that it’s a wonder it hasn’t been done before. “The Broken Vessel” is rendered convincingly enough to come across as autobiographical. “Satisfied / The Crystal Fountain” shows a raw power in Cobb’s voice which was just starting to develop ten years ago. Yet Cobb doesn’t use that power on every song just because he can; “It is Well with my Soul” is given a slow, meditative treatment that brings out elements of the lyric not always noticed in bigger and faster arrangements.

Cobb brings something new to every song. And the changes don’t seem to be the all-too-frequent change for the sake of change; they seem to be the result of careful song selection and arranging. They fit Cobb’s voice.

I was tempted to do what I suspect many Southern Gospel fans will do, dismiss it on first listen and give it a rating of two or three stars. There isn’t really a fast song or a power ballad on the whole project, and those are the two must-haves for most Southern Gospel projects. The song that comes the closest, “Satisfied / The Cleansing Fountain,” wouldn’t quite feel at home on Southern Gospel radio, even if it is frequently the moment people talk about after a Gold City concert.

So it would be all too easy to dismiss this project and not give it a second listen. But even though it breaks the mold, it does so with remarkable creativity and convincing authenticity. So I am going to do something that I virtually never do for solo projects, or for piano / bass / light percussion table projects. Satisfied gets five stars.

Produced by: Joshua and Beth Cobb. • Available from: Artist, apparently on concert tables only. Review copy provided. • Song list: It is Well; Calvary’s Love More Than You’ll Ever Know; I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary; Satisfied / The Crystal Fountain; The Solid Rock / I Go to the Rock; The Broken Vessel; How Big is God; He Looked Beyond My Faults; Eternal Life. • Average song rating: 4.1 stars. CD rating: 5 stars.


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25 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Excellent review Daniel, I really like this CD however I have been considering whether or not to review this one but I just might now!

    • I’d be interested to see what you said.

  2. Well it’s nice to see he’s ditched the rock sound anyway…

    • This is about as far as you can go from Rock.

      Short of Gregorian Chants, that is.

      • Where can I hear samples of this?

      • Nowhere, I think.

      • Maybe he should put a couple songs from it on his myspace…?

      • “His” myspace – the one with the controversial statements – is apparently one that someone he knew did, word has it as a practical joke on him. He doesn’t have access to it.

      • I know. I’d gathered that somebody was slandering him with a fake account. Doesn’t Josh have a “real” myspace though?

      • Don’t know. Actually, someone created a fake account, pretending to be him, bashing Scott & Roger.

      • Yeah that’s what I meant—I would consider putting false words in somebody else’s mouth to be a form of slander.

  3. Does he sell this CD at Gold City concerts?

  4. Awesome review! I agree with your 5 star rating. The project isn’t my normal style, but you cannot listen to it and deny the beauty and quality found here.

  5. I’m planning to see Gold City Saturday night in Jackson TN. This will be my first chance to see Josh with them and I am really excited about it. Thanks to this review, I am also looking forward to purchasing this CD.

  6. Thank you so much for the review. I am humbled. What an honor. Thank you all so much for your kind words and warmth. Life has thrown me a couple of curve balls over the past decade, but I feel like I am becoming who I am intended to be. I am selling the cd on the table at Gold City’s concerts. I am not offering it over the internet. I want to have some kind of personal exchange with anyone who buys it. So, if you can’t come to an upcoming Gold City concert you can email me at joshcobbcd@aol.com and I can get anyone who wants one a copy. Thanks.

    • looking forward to seeing you in November

  7. You have talked me into giving this CD a second chance. It was just such a contrast to his work with Gold City that I could really not accept it. I will try it again. He does great work with Gold City!!!

    • Great – because that’s precisely what I hoped to achieve!

  8. We bought this cd at the Washington Court House concert and listened to it on the way home. Both my husband and I thought it was one of the best cds we have heard. A real gem that shows just how wonderful a voice Joshua Cobb has. There are not too many with the vocal control and expression he has.

    • That’s the same concert where I got it! Did we talk there?

  9. Hello, I am Gabriel from Argentina, alone I mean that ten years ago behind listens a different voice that moved my heart that era Josh Cobb’s voice, their work in the disk premiere with L5 it was excellent, mainly the song I stand redeemed”, definitively moving, (in fact we make a version in Spanish with my quartet), today I am happy presently and future of Josh, a talent in hands of Dios,y a relating one as tenor for my as singer. Bless !!!

  10. I’d really like to have “The Crystal Fountain.” I sing that song, but I’ve never heard a recording of it.

  11. I heard Josh for the first time in person in May.I absolutely love his singing.Got to talk to him at their product table and he is such a nice person.So looking forward to seeing and hearing him again in November for my birthday.

  12. I purchased the CD tonight at a GC cocert. It was awesome, I believe GC is coming back with a great sound of the past. Josh fit in perfectly. He belted out the title cut tonight and it is a powerful sound and song. Frankly, I’d lost interest Josh when he went rock, but after hearing him tonight I look forward to seeing him for a long time with GC.