The Sons of Wonder

Out of The Storm

With the merging of the Voyage and E&J record label it would only be fitting to take a look at one of these labels stellar quartet group's.  Though this group has been on the battlefield since 1969  a few years ago the quartet industry was hit with the slick sounds of The Sons of Wonder and their 2000 release "Out of The Storm".  Though this CD was released in 2000 it's popularity has really started to pick up steam in the last two years giving the group national recognition that continues to grow.  Lead by the dynamic duo of Earl & Raymond Myles the Sons are one of the most exciting groups to hear "Live" and in recorded format.  From the start of this 11 selection project you will cry and shout for Joy as the group moves through a series of original and traditional selections. 

The project begins with Raymond Myles setting the pace for the entire album.  From the smooth gallop like pace of "Glory Glory" the listener knows that you're  in for a great experience.  While the song only lasts for about 3 minutes it is more than enough to introduce the sound of the Sons of Wonder.  Their sound is nothing short of perfect balance vocally and instrumentally.  At no time throughout this recording does the music overwhelm the vocalists.  Though Raymond Myles handles lead vocals on most of the selections his brother Earl shows why he is still able to put out hit recordings with great lead vocal precision.  For those that don't remember, Earl was one of the lead vocalists with another Memphis group the Memphis Harmonizers.  In fact Memphis Harmonizer hits like "The Best Thing In Life Is Free", "Blessings Coming Your Way" which is revived on this release, and "It was You" were all lead by Earl Myles.  On this particular project Earl leads among others, the mid-tempo warning in song "Don't Let It Be Said".  With the smooth lead vocals of Earl out front and the whisper like backgrounds of the Sons of Wonder this song is definitely another hit. 

Though many long time readers of these reviews may get tired of hearing that all the songs on a given album could be mentioned as stand out selections this is definitely the case with this CD.  Following Earl Myles reading of "Don't Let It Be Said" Raymond returns to the lead vocal duties.  The beautifully rendered "How Long" is nothing short of musical perfection.  The spirit filled lead vocals and flawless production have helped to make this song a favorite request at Gloryland Gospel Quartet radio and radio stations all over the country.  This story in song tells of Ray's conversation with an unsaved man who questioned the return of Jesus.  While the Sons of Wonder are definitely one of the smoothest groups on the road today in terms of slow ballads they are also a force to be reckoned with on quartet drive songs. 

It must be pointed out though that the Sons of Wonder obviously realize that their bread and butter is slow ballads.  Unlike many recording artists today the Sons pay more attention to their strengths by only having 2 real drive songs.  "You've Got To Move" places the smooth lead vocals of Raymond Myles out front of the hard driving yet still slick background voices of the Sons of Wonder.  Though the song sounds great on CD this is a definite house wrecker for the group in "Live" situations.  The other drive song entitled "Walking In The Light" is nothing short of innovative.  During Earl Myles verses the listener can't help but notice the cool guitar licks and extremely tight sound of the Sons of Wonder's band.  It is with this track that you really realize that these guys are really smooth vocally and instrumentally.

As was mentioned earlier The Sons of Wonder are definitely one of the smoothest groups when it comes to slow heart wrenching ballads.  Like their Memphis friends George Dean & The Gospel Four the Sons of Wonder show that it's possible to take a simple hymn and make a hit of it.  Anyone that has seen the Gospel Four "Live" knows that "Father Alone" is a house wrecker.  The Sons of Wonder have taken a simple yet impassioned reading of  one of my favorite hymns "The Cross" aka "Near The Cross" and made it their own. Raymond's lead on this song is nothing short of soul stirring and is sure to be a tear jerker for true born saints of God.  If you don't shout "You better sang that song!!" at least five times during this cut then something is wrong.

In closing, I would be remised to leave out another favorites on this recording entitled "On Time".  In this selection Raymond testifies to the timely delivering power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Surely in each of our lives we can remember times that the Lord has made ways out of no way.  During this selection Raymond tells of the deliverance of his first born child from certain death and his deliverance from stomach Cancer.  While listening to this song it becomes evident that the reason these songs are so good is the true spirit and realness of the lead singers. In fact I am reminded of the late Willie Neal Johnson who's sincerity literally leapt from everything he recorded.  It's a blessing to hear Christian's speak of their love, adoration, and sincere praise towards our heavenly father.

On the whole this release from The Sons of Wonder is a flawless collection of quartet selections.  You will love this recording more and more every time you listen to it. I give The Sons of Wonder "Out of The Storm" a perfect 10 out of 10.  This project is available for purchase on-line through Amazon.com or at your local gospel record store.  It is release through Mid-South gospel so if further information is needed visit their website at www.msgospel.com

 

 

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