CD Review: Moment of Truth (Gold City)
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Average Song Rating: 2.9 (of 5)
Producer: Michael Sykes & Daniel Riley
Songlist: Don’t Get Me Started; What Children Believe; I Cast My Bread Upon the Water; For the Sake of My Heart; Walkin’ and Talkin’ With My Lord; I Love This Land; I’ll Walk On; When Jesus Saves; By Your Grace, For Your Glory; Turn Your Back.
Gold City has had two golden eras. Their First Golden Era was in the late 80s and early 90s, with Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Tim Riley, and Garry Jones being that era’s most recognizable names. After some major personnel turnover, their Second Golden Era was in the late 90s and early 00s, with Jay Parrack, Jonathan Wilburn, Mark Trammell, Tim Riley, and the Band of Gold.
Jonathan Wilburn’s departure several months ago removed the group’s last link to that era. Moment of Truth is Bruce Taliaferro’s first project with Gold City, as well as the group’s first project with no personnel from either of their first two golden eras.
The jury is still out as to whether this lineup will be another golden era for the group. Of course, part of the answer will depend on how long this lineup stays together; it has been several years since the group released two consecutive albums with the same lineup.
For the last few years, Gold City has been experimenting with different styles while keeping several tracks on each CD in traditional Gold City styles. This project continues that. It has its traditional quartet numbers (“Turn Your Back,” “Walkin’ and Talkin’ With My Lord”), a big ballad (“For the Sake of My Heart”), and a brass-led arrangement (“Don’t Get Me Started.”)
But it also pushes the edge on several numbers. “When Jesus Saves” has a progressive arrangement and a somewhat repetitive chorus. “What Children Believe,” which, as Brandon Coomer notes, is a cover of a 2000 song by the country group Shenendoah, does not have an explicitly Christian lyric. But, as Kyle Boering suggests, the song’s positive message might do well on country radio.
Previous reviewers have suggested that the project’s lone big ballad, “For the Sake of My Heart,” is good but not the greatest Gold City has ever released. Compared to the likes of “Midnight Cry” and “There Rose a Lamb,” I would agree–but this is still a powerful track worthy of taking a place in Gold City’s strong catalog of ballads.
Steve Ladd was introduced to Gold City fans as a Brian Free-style tenor (which he is, and a good one). On Revival and now Moment of Truth, he has been moving towards a power tenor style. Kyle Boering compared him to Danny Funderburk. A fairly accurate picture of the direction Gold City’s arrangements seem to be taking Ladd would be to picture Brian Free emulating Danny Funderburk.
Fans of progressive Southern Gospel will find this project one of the highlights of the year’s releases. But the CD has something for everyone. Even fans whose tastes lean more towards the traditional end will find themselves returning to several of the tracks time and again.