Prime Cuts: Over the Moon, No One Ever Cared for Me like Jesus, I Thirst
Overall Grade: 4.25/5
It's almost mandatory that every Christian artist these days will record an album of hymns and/or cover songs sometime in their careers. Many have chosen to record a hymns collection while they are in-between projects in order to buy some time and to satisfy the insatiable desire of fans for more new music. Therefore, the merit of such projects depend on how these acts try to breathe new vitality into these old chestnuts. "Vintage" is Masters Voice's attempt. This new record finds this pentad tackling the hymns of the church (including "Jesus Paid It All/There's a Fountain," "Just as I Am," "It's Well," and "In the Garden") and Southern Gospel classics (such as "When God Dips His Love in My Heart," "I Thirst," "Come in the Prayer Room" among others).
Top marks need to be awarded to the team for not offering a wooden karaoke version of Vep B. Ellis' "Over the Moon." Rather, bringing us back to the sepia tone days, the boys have imbued this ode to uniting with Jesus with a retro vibe -- ranging from a scratchy old record ambiance to those delightful doo-wop harmony -- that is sublime. Also, deserving of an A grade is their take of the hymn "No One Ever Cared for Me like Jesus." The sparse production rightly places the spotlight on the team's vocals which exude a platable warmth that is affecting. And when they go accapella on "Jesus Paid It All/There's a Fountain," it's just spine chillingly great.
But not everything sparkles: their straight ahead take of "When God Dips His Love in My Heart" and "Just as I Am" are average, making them sound like any other quartet out there. While "Come On in the Prayer Room" is a bluesy Gospel number that is quite predictable. Much better is their take of the Cathedrals' "I Thirst" which is prided for the showcase of some excellent jazzy piano riffs and bass singer Jeff Pilgrim's lead vocals. There's something charming about their Ronnie Milsap-esque take of "You Must Make Up Your Mind." While the marching tempo and the way the guys trade lines make "The Sweetest Song I Know" a toe-tapping favorite.
As these are songs that have had enriched the worship of the church for years, the majority of them ought to be familiar to most Gospel music fans. So, what makes this album gain notice is in the creative ways Master's Voice have invested in the songs. On the whole, their interpretations are affable, versatile, and relatable.