Prime Cuts: Love Isn't Any Good, Always There, You're Never Alone
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
As soon as the first note of this new record strikes, the Walkers have a way of capturing our attention. From the lush and jazzy intro of "Love Isn't Any Good" to the traditional layered-harmonies of "Living on Holy Ground" to the two-stepping country waltz of "When I Need Jesus," the Walkers have combined all the elements that make Southern Gospel such a blessing on this record. No two songs on this album are alike. Rather, the Walkers have dressed up each of these 12 entries that they bear their own identity. Each of these entries has a special contribution to the "legacy" of this Southern Gospel septet. Such a composite beauty is what makes "Legacy" such a compelling record. Thus, the Walkers have stayed clear away from those CDs that monotonously drift from one song to another making you feel like you are hearing a never ending song.
The Walkers is a family group of seven (if we go by the number of people presented on the album's cover) or three (if we go by their website's bio). Hailed from Dothan, Alabama, the Walkers started full ministry on the road in 1991. Starting off with concerts in Florida and South Georgia, they have now their singing territories to most of the US. In 2011, Oklahoma City based Tate Music Group offered The Walkers a recording deal. After the release of their debut TMG album "Twenty," Nashville based promotional firm Higgins Music Group signed The Walkers to a deal where their music would be promoted in the Christian Country Industry. The results have been outstanding. The Walkers have had 3 Top 40 songs on the Inspirational Country Music charts with 2 entering the Top 10.
"Legacy," apparently, is the Walkers' sophomore record. They have definitely bypassed the sophomore slum based on the excellence of the songs here. If you like the free flowing jazzy horns accompaniments of say the Legacy 5, you will be delighted to hear the ultra-catchy "Love Isn't Any Good." Then they put on their country boots for the rustic sounding "When I Need You," which is essentially a song filled with love for Jesus. Then prepare for some fiddle-picking fun with "God of Promises" where God's faithfulness is celebrated with a Cathedrals-styled full-layered harmonies.
Talk about gorgeous, Geneva Walker offers a soul-stirring rendition of "Always There." Those who have keening ears for fine sonic craftsmanship would adore the delight use of the harmonica here. More of Jesus-centric themes come with the piano-led ballad "He Called My Name." The beatinest interchange between solo and family harmonies works so effectively that you feel like they offer different vignettes to the Lord's calling on our lives. If you are into good story songs sung with great emotions, don't miss the tear-inducing "You're Never Alone."
So, why isn't this a 5/5 review? One fault that chips what is otherwise a fine record is the production of the record. Maybe because it was released on an independent label without the auspices of a more seasoned producer with a better ear: there were some moments where the harmony singing could be improved so that they don't sound off. Moreover, there's a demo feel to some of the songs that cries out for a more polished touch. Other than that, this is a very fine album that takes the best of what we love about Gospel music and making them shine on these 12 songs.