I purchased this CD the week it came out, but I didn’t review it immediately for a very simple reason: On first listen, I didn’t particularly like it.
Of course, like just about everyone else, I liked the catchy opening tune, “It Means Just What it Says,” from the first time I listened to the album. But my initial view of the rest of the album was that it contained too many slow songs. But over time, the rest of the album grew on me, and I now consider it to be one of Greater Vision’s strongest recent releases.
Some of Greater Vision’s early projects started out with a fairly stripped-down sound, since that was what their budget permitted. After the late 90s, when they started cranking out radio hits and winning Singing News Fan Awards at a faster rate than any other group since the Cathedrals’ retirement, they could afford big orchestration, and several of their recent albums featured that heavy orchestration.
On this project, they returned to the stripped-down sound, and it works well for these songs. The album’s three standout uptempo songs, “It Means Just What it Says,” “God Will Pass By,” and “The First and Last,” just wouldn’t be the same with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The album’s song placement is interesting; three of the album’s four uptemo songs are in the first four songs on the project; from songs five through eleven on the project, there’s only one more uptempo song, “As I Am.”
Among the album’s slower tracks, probably the two best are “Peace Like a River” (by Dianne Wilkinson) and “Too Much to Gain to Lose” (by Dottie Rambo).