My Top 10 Albums 2011 Part 2, 5 to 1

Hope everyone had a great weekend, mine was quite busy. On Friday, I posted Part 1 one of My Top 10 Albums of 2011. Here is Parts 2, counting down form #5 to #1!

5. Part Of The Family by the Collingsworth Family

The Collingsworth Family released another album, that many believe is their best to date, and there’s no denying that Part Of The Family is a very strong album. This family has the best harmony of any group, any genre that you will hear.  Not only that, but they, along with Producer Wayne Haun, are masters at picking the right songs & arrangements that fit them. The wow factor on this album is Phil Jr, whose voice has matured to a nice solid baritone. His performance on Tell The Mountain was one of the best songs of the year.

Every song on this cd is enjoyable, my favorites would be God’s Family, Jesus Is All I Need, I Pray, Praise You, The Resurrection Morn, That’s The Place I’m Longing You. My only complaints are the lack of uptempo material, and that theres no Phil Sr. solos till the last 3 songs of the album. But even considering that, this is a wonderful album, and one of the years best, hands down.

4. God Makes No Mistakes by the Inspirations

This album is a complete musical transformation of the Inspirations, thats been about 3 years in the making, since the retirement of longtime tenor & founding member Archie Watkins. The group has changed and its for the better. They now have one of the best vocal lineups in Gospel Music, with Jodi Hosterman at tenor, David Regan at lead, Jon Epley at baritone, and Mike Holcomb anchoring the group at bass.

This project is awesome top to bottom, every song is impressive. The title track is a departure for the group musically, but absolutely beautiful and one of the best songs of the year. Holcomb & Hosterman sing the verses with feeling, and the blend is amazing. More of my favorites are My Lord Is Taking Good Care Of Me, He Got Up, Thats Why We Came Here, Talk About Dying, Living In The Land Of Canaan. They even brought back a popular song from the 80’s, He Made A Way.

The cd closes with a beautiful song, I Choose The Lord. The music & lyrics are different than anything that is considered normal for the group, but they knock it out of the park. If you want a blessing, pick up this cd!

3. We Will Stand Our Ground by The Kingdom Heirs

This album was one of the most anticipated releases of the year, being the first project to feature new tenor, Jerry Martin, and it did not disappoint. This group knows what they’re doing when it comes to recording projects, and selecting the right songs.  Top to bottom, this a great project.

My favorites include Tell Me Why, Heaven Is My Goal, It’s Real, Just Preach Jesus, No Bones About It, and When Heaven’s Gates Swing Open Wide. Two highlights of this recording everyone should hear is are Where’s John? & We Will Stand Our Ground. Jeff Chapman’s performance on this project is just awesome. If you don’t think he is one of the top bass singers in our industry after listening to this project, you’re crazy!

2. Treasures by The Mark Trammell Quartet

It has become quite common practice for groups to cover Cathedrals songs or release tribute projects. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Greater Vision, and Legacy Five have all had a part in reviving some of the Cathedrals classics (Haase & Co. released a tribute album).  Treasures is a tribute album as well, and it is one of the best you will ever hear. Trammell wanted to stay as true to the songs as possible, and the result is phenominal.

My favorites include Echoes From The Burning Bush, That Day At Calvary, Statue Of Liberty, I Thirst, Bloodwashed Band, Wedding Music.  Another great feature are live versions of Gentle Shepherd & An Old Convention Song with Gerald Wolfe providing piano accompaniment. Trammell really did this album right, and it is a classic that everyone should own.

1. Let It Be Known by The Booth Brothers

When it came to my #1 choice, it was tough, but to me this was the best album of the year. This is one of the most versatile albums you will ever hear. The album opens with an acapella number, than an anthemic galloping song with celtic feel and orchestra, then it segues to a gentle acoustic song. The Booth Brothers are one of the most talented groups in Gospel Music. They can sing any style of music, and blow you away.

The album is awesome top to bottom, every song is a winner. My favorites are First John, See What A Morning, When You Bow At Jesus Feet, Masterpiece of Mercy, The Masters Table, & Since Jesus Came. One of the songs you want to make sure you don’t skip over is What About Now, a ballad written by Jim Brady, that took more than 2 years to complete. The song was basically Michael’s heart, written by another writer. This is a powerful, challenging song, that really needs to be heard.

Aside from their great singing, another fact to notice is Jim Brady’s growth as a songwriter. Jim’s not only written great songs for the Booths, he’s also had songs recorded by Legacy Five, Mark Trammell Quartet, Gold City, and others. If you haven’t heard Let It Be Know, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the countdown, and please feel free to post your feedback and your favorites as well!

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