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Album Reviews



    As soon as the first cut starts with its hard driving intro, you know this project is different for the Oaks and that it would be a ground breaking album for Southern
Gospel music. This is the first LP where the Oaks used their full band for all of the studio recording sessions.

    The opening song sets the mood for this album and then it flows nicely into a classic Willie Wynn lead for the second cut, Mama's Last Amen. They follow this with a great Golden lead on I Should Have Been Crucified only to be followed by a superb Noel Fox lead on Through It All. They close side one with an outstanding arrangement of Jesus Is The Man For The Hour as it really picks up the pace in closing.

    Side two debuts with the best lead singer in any field of music, Duane Allen, as he gives a command performance on These Hands Of Mine. The second cut on this side is a classic Southern Gospel song with a powerful message and quite possibly the best Willie Wynn lead of all time on After Calvary. This is followed by an Oaks band song featuring Mark Ellerbe as once again the Oaks are not afraid to push the limits and expand the boundaries of Southern Gospel by including a rock driven song, It's Jesus That They Need. They move on to the next song with classic Oaks power harmony combined with some great Noel Fox lead lines on It Won't Be Long. The album closes with a Duane Allen lead on The Flowers Kissed The Shoes That Jesus Wore which gave the Oaks a great radio single and was the featured song for this album.

    This album was cutting edge and it broke many barriers that had been in place for Southern Gospel. The Oaks band in the studio created outstanding accompaniment and created a wide range of sounds from Country to Pop to Rock with a little Country Gospel thrown in as the "Nashville sound" certainly came out as an influence on the album. This album paved the way for the Oaks to expand their horizons and appeal to a younger audience driven at the time by the "Jesus movement". In my opinion, this is not only the best Oaks Southern Gospel album of all time but the best Southern Gospel album of all time by any quartet.


                                                                                                                                                                                       ---Rick Hicks