Prime Cuts: The Power of an Empty Tomb, Glorious Amazing God, A Million Storms
Overall Grade: 5/5
Three times the charm. "Watch and See" is the third StowTown release for these siblings and it's arguably their best. Ever since their debut for the imprint, each album finds the quartet moving closer and closer to sublimity. This album is truly an awe-inspiring demonstration of versatility. Within the expanse of these 9 songs, the Erwins traverses through the rustic bluegrass hills (with the title track) to the lofty heights of choral symphonic ("In the House of the Lord") to the youthful progressive terrains ("The Right Thing to Do"). Moreover, all the songs are packed with well-developed melodies, the types that hook you in at first listening and won't let you go until your foot taps along and until you start humming along.
The Erwins comprises of a quartet of four siblings. They started singing as soon as they were each able to talk. Appearing over 270 dates a year with their mother and father, who have been in full-time evangelism for 40 years, they have been traveling full-time their entire life singing in concerts, revivals, and conferences all across the country. "Watch and See," as aforementioned, follows on the heels of 2016's "Only Faith Can See" and 2015's "Ready to Sail."
The old adage that you can't run out of great songs when you sing about the cross rings true with "The Power of an Empty Tomb." From the somnolent intro piano tinkles to the driving chorus equipped with some delightful brassy sounds, this song ranks up there as one of your go-to songs on the resurrection of Jesus. The siblings step into worship territory with "Glorious Amazing God." Rather than merely singing about God, this is a sincere and heartfelt worship piece directed to God. Not too many songs can articulate a theology of joy in the midst of sufferings; in this regard, the ultra-catchy "A Million Storms" is a theological (as well as heartfelt) gem.
The title cut "Watch and See" proves that the Erwins can transcend musical bounds. With the banjo flourishes over gorgeous piano arpeggios, "Watch & See" speaks about the eye-opening power of Jesus done in the key of bluegrass. Then they take a 180 degree turn with lush orchestrated "In the House of the Lord." The guys unite on what is an intense power ballad about the second coming of Jesus Christ, "Hallelujahs Never End."
There's not a soporific moment on this record. Despite having only 9 tracks, the Erwins have made the listening experience varied, engaging, and most importantly worshipful. In fact, some of the songs are so good (e.g., "Glorious Amazing God" and "In the House of the Lord") worship leaders and choir directors ought to consider including them in their set lists.