The Christian Brothers
For those that have read quartet reviews on Gloryland Gospel for the past 6 years you already know that what is taking place this month is something that is very rare. It is very seldom that one particular group is featured more than once in the monthly quartet review section. As a Gloryland audience we were first introduced to The Christian Brothers of Cleveland Ohio in 2001 with their independent release "Heal The Land". Well, 2 years have passed and the Christian Brothers now hold the distinction of FTM records recording artists and The nation's Favorite New Quartet Artist as voted by the American Gospel Quartet Convention members 2003.
If I had to make one comment about this group I would have to say that their name speaks for them. While the quartet industry has been tagged with many negativities these brothers show what it means to sing about Christ and live the life they sing about. With that said, let's look for a moment at a few of the songs of note on this awesome new release from the Christian Brothers. Many will remember from my comments on the group's previous project that these guys are geniuses when it comes to producing a CD. So you can probably imagine what this CD sounds like now that they are under the umbrella of a record label. If you can't imagine, let me tell you the sound quality and mixing is awesome. In fact a lot of major record labels and producers can take lessons from this project.
Making use of their new found national notoriety the brothers pull heavily from their previous release in terms of song selections. So for the faithful some of the songs have become the group's trademark selections. Don't get me wrong though, they didn't just take songs from the previous project. The Brothers have literally put together a newly recorded greatest hits and more project. In fact the song presentation on this project gives a much better picture into what these guys sound like "Live". New arrangements and even tighter instrumental accompaniment makes for a great listening experience. From the beautiful opening cut "Friend In Need" to one of my favorites "Drippin' N' Droppin" the fellas are simply havin' church! If you don't find yourself clappin' and rockin' on numbers like "Meeting" and "Work It Out" you either are dead or the most conservative listener in history. While numbers like "New Home", "Never Let Me Fall", and "Need of Prayer" make a return to CD this project features some great new Christian Brothers material worthy of note.
In fact the title cut is a new song for the brothers entitled "Dear Lord". Once again songs like this really showcase the amazing mixing on this CD. It is very seldom that you listen to a quartet release and can actually hear real voices singing in harmony and not stacked vocals and voice duplication. Each song is true to this practice on this release and for that reason alone it is truly representative of Quartet Gospel. Interesting enough, this particular song has enjoyed slight success with other groups like Eternal Light out of Arkansas on their "New Thang" release for Aleho. The other major new hit on this project is the awesome call to worship "Come On In". As the name implies, this beautiful ballad calls everything that has breath to the house of the Lord. Nothing can be said except I dare you to only listen to this number once. You'll find yourself wearing your CD player's repeat button out.
Well friends there really is no reason to mention every song because this is what I would call a perfect 10 project. Very seldom does this happen but I also give this project a Stamp of Guaranteed Approval from Minister Donnie Addison. The production is great, with a traditional tone. The Christian Brothers even manage to pull take a stab at the world of remixes. Another interesting difference on this project is the great switch lead work with Rev. Lesure and Rev. Lyneal Nash. These brothers sound like they were born to sing together. As we close this review, all that can really be said about this one is you need to hear these guys in your city but most of all pick your copy up of "Dear Lord" by contacting Rev. Esqulaira Lesure at (216) 731-4561 or by e-mail at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The project will be available on-line soon at CDbaby.com so you might also want to keep an eye out for that outlet. Click on the title to hear "Come On In".