Prime Cuts: Shout to the Lord/How Great Thou Art, Jesus What a Friend for Sinners. Oh Glorious Love
Overall Grade: 4/5
Many hymns don't have expiration dates because the melodies are so memorable. The words are not only theological supple but the poetry is simply synoptically intricate. The Talleys know this; this is why in most of their albums, they have had always include a hymn or two. "Hymns of Faith" is a "best of" collection, where 12 of their most beloved hymns have been gathered from their previously released records. Two factors are attributive in making this album rise above average: first, the family harmonies are seamless. And when they sing with a ccapella, they give us a foretaste of heaven. Second, the hymns are well-chosen ranging from tried and true evergreens like "Pass Me Not," "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" to newer and lesser known choices such as "Shout to the Lord," "Jesus What a Friend for Sinners" and "Oh Glorious Love."
The Talleys began in 1984 and enjoyed many years of success, including a Dove Award and numerous Singing News Fan Awards. Following a three-year hiatus, the Talleys began performing together in 1996 with the current lineup of Roger, wife Debra and daughter Lauren, and today the Talleys remain a mainstay of Christian music. The album begins with Rowland Pritchard's "Jesus What a Friend for Sinners." The warm acoustic guitar strums contrasted with the soaring strings perfectly bring out the intimacy as well as the majesty of Jesus in heartfelt and elegant proportions.
The trio deliver what is a thoughtfully emotive reading of Darlene Zschech's "Shout to the Lord" before exploding into a thunderous rendition of a snippet of "How Great Thou Art." Thriving on creativity, the Talleys offer a slow bossa nova version of "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" that is enchanting. Then they offer a cappella takes of 5 hymns. Best of which is the doo-wop Manhattan Transfer-like makeover of "I Will Sing of My Redeemer."
But the major factor that discounts this album from a 5-star review is that a slew of slow balladry hymns are all stringed together midway through the record. This creates situations for a couple of yawns. Moreover, "Amazing Grace" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" have amassed so many frequent flyer points that it's hard not to feel a sense of freshness. "Hymns" is indeed a gorgeous album, but it is also a tad on the safe (and predictable) side.