Continuing our reviews of some of the latest cds to be released, In The Hands of A Carpenter is the latest release from Legacy Five on the Daywind label, the first mainline release with new tenor vocalist Josh Feemster, who replaced the groups former tenor Gus Gaches last year. It was produced by Wayne Haun and the group’s pianist, Trey Ivey.
The cd kicks off with “Deep In My Heart“, a fun group song that features each group member. Next up is the title track, “In The Hands Of A Carpenter“. I was quite surprised to hear the featured vocalist in the title cut was pianist Trey Ivey, but this is nothing new as singing pianists have been a trend with the group. Both Roger Bennett and Tim Parton recorded songs on the groups projects. Scott Fowler takes his first feature on “I Trust The Cross“, a big orchestrated ballad that has become his trademark. The pace picks up a bit with Dianne Wilkinson & Rebecca Peck’s, “What All The Shoutin’s About” that features both Fowler and tenor singer Josh Feemster. The first half of the project comes to a close with another orchestrated song featuring Fowler, “Still“.
Bass vocalist Matt Fouch is featured on “Who Knew“, a slow, orchestrated crooner style song that’s a bit different from what I expected from Matt. Feemster steps up to take the feature on “Soul Pilot“. Josh was a lead singer during his time with Mercy’s Mark and N’Harmony. Although the verses are pretty low for a tenor feature, the blend is pretty good on this song. This is one of my favorite songs on the project. Baritone Scott Howard is featured on “Lost In God’s Grace“. Other than Fowler, Howard is the only remaining original member. He’s one of the most solid and underrated baritone singers on the road today. Fowler once again is featured on another ballad, “Grace Will Find You“. The album comes to a close with a huge arrangement of “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross“, that features all the members of the group on step out lines.
I saw a lot of posts on Facebook prior to this album’s release from folks in the industry, about how this was L5’s finest project in several years. Unfortunately, I couldn’t disagree more. At first listen, I wasn’t very impressed by what I heard. L5 has truly become one of the most predictable groups around in terms of their song selection. Too many huge orchestrated ballads (all featuring Fowler). As I continued to listen to this album, I realized that the second half of the project was much stronger than the first half.
There are some bright moments on this one; the uptempo songs are done well, and Lost In God’s Grace and When I Survey are good. But the huge orchestrations overwhelm this cd. 7 of the 10 songs on this project are ballads/slower songs, 4 of them almost reach the 5 minute mark. You can only bore a listener so much. Projects like In The Hands of A Carpenter are proof that too many ballads on a project lose a listener. Although I’m sure Legacy Five fans will enjoy this project, I’m rating this one 3 out of 5 stars.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Favorite songs: Deep In My Heart, What All The Shoutin’s About, Soul Pilot, Lost In God’s Grace
Review copy provided by Daywind Records.