Most fans thought it would never happen. The return of William Lee Golden to the Oak Ridge Boys seemed like a pipe dream for years. Well, thankfully it did happen, and then there was news of a new CD coming. Commercials began to show on television for an Oak Ridge Boys double CD of traditional gospel hymns and songs....just like the old days. Of course this was nothing new for the Oaks, especially with William Lee back in the fold. The ultimate Oak Ridge Boys line up, plus doing traditional gospel music....it was a can't miss venture, or was it?
While 'Revival' was a wonderful gift, a CD with the beloved four together again, there was something missing from this CD. The entire project sounds very "processed". While the songs are done well, and the boys sound great together, the music and overall finished product seems to lack the heart of most Oak Ridge Boys releases. The synthesizer, as opposed to a real piano, and the drum machine give this CD a very robotic sound. Despite the Boys singing their hearts out and harmonizing wonderfully once again, even that cannot overcome the machinelike sound of these recordings.
The interesting things about these songs is that many of them were performed on The Nashville Network after the CD was released, with a full live band behind them, and the songs sound absolutely amazing! Those performances are some of the best I've ever seen by the Oaks. The songs were vibrant and full of life....."anointed", if you will. All four guys were very energetic and obviously having a great time. If they could have captured the energy and instrumental sound of these performances in the studio, this CD would have been completely different, as would have been this review.
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jerico, I'm Feelin' Mighty Fine,
Have A Little Talk With Jesus
Cut Outs: no song in particular, just the sound, lack of bass, and poor production
--- Edward Wille
This album was recorded and released in 1997, one year after the return of William Lee Golden. The idea was to record a two-CD set to be marketed via television commercials and their website. 25 Gospel Greatest Hits was the subtitle to this collection, and with production by country/rock legend Leon Russell, I'm sure everything looked good on paper.
--- Kyle Boreing