Prime Cuts: Under the Sea, This is the Grace I Know, I've Got the Son in My Eyes
Overall Grade: 5/5
Two factors work to accentuate Endless Highway's new album to greatness. First, kudos are in order to producer Jeff Collins. Never resorting to package each song with a factory-made wrapping, Collins has had spent time to ruminate and understand each track before dressing each of them in its unique tailor-fitted sound. This means you won't hear a "same-ness" across the record. But working in concert with the flawless voices of Endless Highway, the songs sound fresh, exquisite and simply gorgeous. Second, the credit of any album is always dependent on the song choices. Happy to say, the majority of the songs demonstrate a great mix of memorable tunes and thought provoking lyrics.
Formerly known as the Joylanders, Endless Highway is a three generational family group. Comprising of Perry & Nell Wimberley are the first generation, their daughter, Vanessa, and her husband Jason Griggs as the 2nd generation, and Jay and Allison Griggs as the third, the team seeks to reach fans of all ages. This is reflected in the wide range of musical genres they encompass throughout the record, including broadway, country, bluegrass, full-orchestrated sounds, and traditional southern Gospel.
Hands down, the best track on the list has to be "This Grace I Know." Featuring a wistful orchestrated sound like those you would hear out of a Disney movie, "This Grace I Know" is a pure delight to the ears with words that will capture our hearts in the sweetness of Jesus' grace. Ballad fans will simply swoon with "Under the Sea." A touching treatise of the depth and width of Christ's forgiveness, this song is a tug to the heart. And those who like to experience the full force of the big orchestrated sound will adore "The Richest Crowns."
Though lead single "It's His Story" is by no means ropey, it's not the best track on the album to showcase this record on radio. A jaunty country-rockabilly number, the song has a chorus that eerily harkens back Collin Raye's hit "That's My Story" from the 90s. Jason Griggs' co-write "I've Got the Son in My Eyes" would have served the group.better. Featuring the excellent use of the pun "son," the song is to be applauded for its many quotable and memorable lines. Also, worthy of many repeated listenings is the gentle "Unbroken Promise." This song is a balm to those of us wrestling with pains and unanswered prayers.
More attuned to the younger generation would be the progressive "Beautiful Scars of Love," a song that has the potential to open greater doors for the team. All in all, there's not a soporific moment on this record. Compassing a wide array of sounds with lyrics that minister to us in all circumstances of life, this album indeed is a must-hear.
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