CD Reviews17th AVENUE REVIVAL
ATTENTION! The 1950's called and they want their sound back! The sensational Oak Ridge Boys have somehow captured the old time gospel sound in this release, despite modern technology.
Here we have a 28 minute, 9 song CD (disgustingly short). This album is pure joy from
beginning to end, and leaves you begging for more. For you rock and roll CD
collectors out there...you may find yourself wishing for a Japanese version of this disc that might include a bonus track or two.
While this CD has upbeat songs and some slow songs, which some may consider a bit "sleepy," the order in which the CD is tracked, is nothing short of genius. This album takes you from an upbeat song praising The Lord, immediately to a slow song, worshipping The Lord, without a hitch. It flows beautifully.
The one song that Richard sings exclusive lead on, "Walk In
Jerusalem," truly has that old sound to it. For those of you who are Oak
nostalgia buffs, you can almost
close your eyes and see Herman Harper, Smitty Gatlin, Willy Winn and Ronnie Page sing this song. It really does have THAT sound!!! My only complaint is that on this song
and the entire album, Richard's bass harmonies are WAY too low in the mix. The entire album would have benefited by the bass volume being slid up a notch or two.
As far as the songs go, we have a plethora of gems. Duane
Allen's voice truly shines on the absolutely beautiful "There Will Be Light."
His voice also shines in the song "Where He
Leads Me I Will Follow." Joe delivers with, possibly the most upbeat song on the album, "God's Got It." As usual in Joe's case, it is a very fun song. He continues the trend
on the humorous, yet, close-to-home, "Pray To Jesus." The title sounds like a potential worship song, however, when you take your first listen, this song goes in a different direction
than you might expect! The first song on the CD, "Brand New Star" is a great opener. It's upbeat and catchy, with lead vocals being handled by William Lee Golden. You find
yourself, quickly, wanting to sing along. Golden also provides lead vocals on two other songs on the album, and his voice on both of these is truly, uh, golden. Pardon the pun.
William Lee truly steals the CD with the stellar vocal performances in "I'd Rather Have Jesus" and "If I Die." His voice is in top shape and completely draws you in to the
message of each song.
The final song is called "Let It Shine On Me." This song
incorporates lead vocals from various members and is just a great foot-stompin'
closer. As the song is ending,
it kicks in to a bit of a "Pentecostal jam," if you will. Once again, capturing the old-school gospel feel.
17th Avenue Revival is a great, fun CD...period. Despite
many fans (and your reviewer), clamoring for a new, full-length, country
release, which the Boys excel at so
beautifully...this CD is nothing to scoff at. It is fun, worshipful, and contains harmonies that only the Oak Ridge Boys can give.
I'd Rather Have Jesus, If I Die, There Will Be Light, Brand New Star
Cut Outs: Where He Leads Me I Will Follow