Prime Cuts: I'll Trust You with My Tomorrow, Heaven Just Got Sweeter For You, Just Another Mile
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
As orotund as the titular may suggest, "The Last Big Thing" is indeed a big record. Its hugeness is manifested in at least two areas. First, producers Jeff Collins and Arthur Rice have gone all out to provide top-notched backings appropriate for each of the song. On some of the songs, you will hear the grand and lush string orchestrated sounds that used to package those classic Disney movies. Then on other songs, the team have decided to keep things simple, rustic and down home. Jeff Collins and Arthur Rice cannot be faulted for being lethargic. They have gone out of their way to make sure the sound of each song is appropriate and impacting. Second, instead of relying on recyclables like many of their peers do, these 10 songs are all brand new. We have a huge buffet of 10 brand new offerings coming from some of the biggest scribes in the genre such as Rebecca J. Peck, Gerald Crabb, Kyla Rowland, Dianne Wilkinson and others.
Album opener "Plenty of Singing" certainly sets the record on the right foot. Upbeat, bouncy, and wrapped with lots of old-fashioned layered harmonies, "Plenty of Singing" is proleptic of what is to come. Rebecca J. Peck & Dianne Wilkinson-penned "Victory" is the reason why The Kingdom Heirs are still around after over 35 years. Their songs are not just entertaining, they are interwoven with God's Scriptural truths. Tracing the victory of God via Moses, Joshua and Jesus, the quartet on "Victory" remind us of our victory in Christ in a song soaked in Bibline. Similarly, Gerald Crabb's "Heroes of Faith" finds Hebrews 11 coming alive with a refreshing vividness.
Not sure why but two "heaven" songs are clustered together in the mid-section of the record. One of them "Heaven Just Got Sweeter for You" is an absolutely must-hear gem. A piano ballad with lyrics, which speaks of the joy of our blessed home, packs a punch to the heart. In fact, it is so tear-inducing that you may even want to keep a box of Kleenex nearby when it's time for this track's spin. The other "heaven" song is a creative re-telling of the Good Friday/Easter story from the perspective of Satan and the angels. "Heaven is Counting to Three" may not have the perfect melody but it definitely scores highly for creativity. "Just Another Mile" is the album's most melodically superior cut with a 90s country backing that George Strait would covet in his prime.
Album closer "I'll Trust You with My Tomorrow" is worthy of mention. Endowed with an absolutely gorgeous string orchestration, "I'll Trust You" gives this album a grand and moving close. Though many of the songs here are first class, a few like "Telling the Story" and the title cut "The Last Big Thing" are quite standard fare. Nevertheless, this is strong effort with the team investing big time and effort into it.