Album Review: Part of the Family by The Collingsworth Family

I first learned of the Collingsworth Family about 4 years ago. I had never of them, when a family from my church took my parents to see them and that prompted me to check them out. I bought the “We Still Believe” project, and since then I have been  following them.  Part of the Family is the 4th mainline release for the family, and it will be released September 6th. Theres two statements I have to make before giving my  review.

1. If you’ve listened to the Collingsworth’s body of work, one thing you know is that these folks know what they’re doing when it comes to arranging music and putting an album together. The song choices seem to always fit like a glove, and live Phil Sr. is truly a wonderful emcee that knows how to set a song up and has his finger on the pulse of the audience. So Phil & Kim, plus Wayne Haun should be commended for a great body of work.

2. The older these kids get, the better they sound. Brooklyn is a great talent, Courtney & Olivia continue to grow & mature in voice & quality, but Phil Jr. sounds fantastic on this. He’s taking some big steps, and your hearing a very nice, light baritone, voice that has drawn comparisons to Doug Anderson. While there are some similarities, I think Phil Jr has a real pleasant tone and he’s a treat to listen to, as is his entire family.

So heres the review.

1. God’s Family – The recording starts with this Lanny Wolfe penned tune. I loved their rendition of “Jesus Is Still The Answer”, and this song is just great family harmony.  A great pick to start the album off.

2. Tell The Mountain – I may be mistaken, but I believe this song will be the first single. Phil Jr. is featured here, and does a fantastic job. The harmony is splendid, and the lyrics remind us that whenever we face a mountain or trial tries, we need to let that mountain know how big our God is. You’ll love this song!

3. Joy Unspeakable – A fun family song, that talks about the unspeakable joy that fills the heart of a Christian. I enjoyed the arrangement of this song.

4.  Jesus Is All I Need – This album is full of slower paced material, but its enjoyable to listen to. Mom Kim is featured on this one, and they tie in the old chorus “He’s All I Need” on the end. Great song, and a great reminder Jesus is truly all we need.

5. Nothing’s Worrying Me – This one is a jazzy number, featuring Brooklyn. What a voice this young lady has. I believe she is one of top, young female voices out there.  I love the vocal arrangements on the chorus, and this is a fun song to listen to.

6. I Pray – This one features the youngest Collingsworth, Olivia  13, who is still developing into quite a singer. She does a great job on this song, and I would encourage you to listen to the lyrics. Beautiful song.

7. At Calvary – A favorite hymn of mine, what an arrangement the Collingsworth’s do on this. The song builds verse by verse with a key change, I enjoyed hearing the sibling trio on the 3rd verse with Phil Jr taking the lead, just another sign of how he’s developing.

8. I Found It All – A beautiful song featuring Courtney, who continues to develop into a fine singer. Its a beautiful arrangement, and they do a great job. The lyrics are what got me on this song, “I found it all when I lost everything, and gave my life to serve a risen King. I found the truth that I’ve been searching for, I found it all when I found the Lord“.

9. Just Another Rainy Day – This tune was originally covered back in 2000 by both the Nelons & LordSong, but this a radically different arrangement, and I love the spin they put on it. Phil Jr takes the first verse, Courtney the second, and Brooklyn takes the lead on the chorus. This sibling trio is sounds tremendous on everything they do, and they’re only gonna get better.

10. Praise You –  This is one of 2 older Gaither penned tunes. Brooklyn takes the lead on the first verse with the ladies trio coming in at the end of the verse. Then Dad Phil Sr. takes the 2nd verse for his first feature of the project. Now as much as I enjoyed this project and the kids, I love Phil Sr. Even though the Collingsworths don’t have a bass singer, Phil Sr is the bottom end of the group, and he really does a fantastic job. Great arrangement and beautiful job on the song.

11. Thats The Place I’m Longing To Go – A great song about Heaven,the entire family is featured on this tune. The harmony is once again wonderful on this song.

12. The Resurrection Morn – Another Gaither composition, this is one I have never heard previously. It builds quite nicely with both Kim & Phil Sr featured on the 2nd & 3rd verses. Arranged suberbly.

Closing Thoughts – My only complaint about this album would be the lacking of up tempo numbers. Other than that, this is a wonderful disc. I don’t think anyone can beat the harmony that this family possesses. They are on top of their game, and once again they know how to choose and arrange their material. Part of the Family needs to be part of your music library.

Special thanks to The Collingsworth Family for providing a review copy.

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