Prime Cuts: Feeling at Home, The Source of my Song, God Lead Us Along
Overall Grade: 5/5
It's a challenge to say anything depreciative about a Greater Vision album. Over the last 28 years, the trio but now a quartet has perfected their signature sound. Not only are they seamless in their harmonies, they also exude individuality when they each tackle their parts. Heightening the strength of their sound are also their well-chosen songs. Often strong in their melodic structures, they are always lyrically rich in their treatments of the salient truths of the Gospel. Such glorious attributes are in full display with Greater Vision's brand new album for Daywind Records. "Life is a Song," may have been quietly released without much fanfare, but it would be a crime if the album would go unnoticed. This record ranks loftily as far as the hierarchy of great Southern Gospel albums are concerned.
The first thing to take note is that none of the songs here bear a 2017 or 2018 copyright, so one assumes that these 10 cuts are mostly covers or at least songs that have been sitting around for a wee bit. Album opener "Feeling at Home," for instance, is an old Gaither song coming from the 70s. With the emphasis on "home," Greater Vision has adorned this classic with the a fireplace coziness brought about by some lovely harmonica and piano riffs. "The Source of My Song" has been recorded by Greater Vision a couple of times in the past. This brand new version doesn't deviate much from their former permutations. It's one of those songs that could easily be an anthem for the group as it details how Jesus is their sui genesis.
Few songs express the gracious generosity of Jesus with such poetic and scriptural nuances as "He Gave the Well." This is no wonder why this ballad has become almost a staple, recorded by the who's who of Southern Gospel music. If you like old fashioned gospel music with those delightful call-and-response, "My Labors will Be O'er" is a definite go-to. More militant and a tad more predictable is the charging "Paid in Full." One is pleasantly surprised to encounter the quartet's cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me." While the country veteran's original had a jaunty ruggedness, Greater Vision has refined it to bear their own stamp of identification.
Saving the best for last, the moving string-laden ballad "God Lead Us Along" is a gem. Cascading towards a huge crescendo with their tight harmonies, God's providence has never been so gloriously and thankfully depicted. Frankly, there's not a dud in this 11 song collection. Gorgeously executed by the quartet's warm harmonies over songs that you want to hear over and over again, life is so much more enjoyable when it is a song this good.