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    Common Thread continues the constant stream of new Oak Ridge Boys music fans have been treated to the past few years, and that's a very good thing. This CD contains ten newly recorded songs, and two songs that were on the Oaks previous release, The Journey.  The reason for the inclusion of these two track is a mystery.  But they don't hurt the flow of this album in anyway.

    Here within the ten new songs we have a collection of newly recorded old gospel classics, and three new songs (despite the fact that the liner notes state there are four new songs). The crown jewel of this release is the newly recorded version of "Jesus Is Coming Soon".  This song has NEVER sounded better, regardless of who recorded it.  The production here is fantastic, the vocals are crisp and clean, and this song just sounds wonderful all the way around.  All four members shine in their respective parts and bring this song to life like never before.

    The same cannot be said, however, of the newly recorded version of "I Know".  The 70s version of this song, despite the inferior recording equipment, had emotion, charisma and heart; three qualities missing from this 2005 version.  Here we have just "plain vanilla" with no real dynamics, no real bass coming through, and it just kinda trods along leaving you feeling.....well, not much of anything.

    On the other hand, Duane breathes new life into his old classic "He Did It All For Me".  Other songs like "This Little Light Of Mine", "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" are done beautifully with modern arrangements and splendid harmonies.  "I Saw The Light" on this CD is FAR superior to the previous version on Revival.  It's nice to hear this song be done so well. 

    Overall, this is a quality effort by the Boys.  The superior production and performance on a song like "Jesus Is Coming Soon" makes this reviewer almost fall on his knees and beg to hear newly recorded versions of songs like "King Jesus", "The Flowers Kissed The Shoes", "Jesus Christ, What A Man" and "Less Of Me", as well as many others.  I can only imagine how fantastic they would sound with 21st century recording equipment.

Outstanding Cuts:
Jesus Is Coming Soon, This Little Light Of Mine
Cut Outs: I Know, Keep Our World Safe

                                                                                                          ---Edward Wille