Album Title: “Turn It Up!”
1. The Hand Of The Lord
2. Come Fly With Me
3. Living In Canaan
5. Walls Come Down
6. When The Power Of God Came Down
7. Put On A Crown
8. Sweet Beulah Land
10. Turn It Up
Brothers Redeemed has been singing together since November, 2001. Current group members include Rusty Townsend (tenor/manager), Cameron Woods (lead), Keith Hendrix (baritone), and Doyle Hopper (bass).
“Turn It Up” is the latest Brothers Redeemed album. It contains 10 songs, most of which are old Southern Gospel favorites. However, there are a couple of songs on there that I had never heard before. The style of the album ranges from traditional to slightly progressive.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: THE SONGS!
The first song is the first radio single from the album. “The Hand Of The Lord” is a slow-to-medium-tempo number that features some nice blending in the group’s vocals. There are also some nice pickups in the chorus by bass vocalist Doyle Hopper. Song #2 is one that I first heard done by the Stutzman Family. “Come Fly With Me” is an up-tempo song that I think listeners will enjoy. I can’t help but compare it to the Stutzman Family’s version though, and it admittedly falls just a bit short. The rhythm of the last part of the chorus sounds just a little bit forced instead of flowing as smoothly as it should. Next up is an old standard- “Living In Canaan”. This up-tempo toe-tapper is one that should be considered for the next release to radio. The arrangement is nice, and it’s a fun song both to sing and to hear. My only complaint was that tenor vocalist Rusty Townsend was a bit hot in the mix, which affected the blend somewhat. The fourth song is a medium-tempo number called “Crossroad”. I enjoyed the message in this song very much. However, there is still some work to be done on the vocal arrangement. There were a few spots where I heard another part doubling the lead vocal.
Song #5, “Walls Come Down”, is a medium tempo number that features bass vocalist Doyle Hopper. This is an excellent song that I enjoyed very much, but it also illustrates one of my personal pet peeves- bass vocalists not staying within their normal range. The lower Hopper sings, the quieter he gets. This is indicative of not singing with a full voice, which means that when the rest of the group comes in, it sounds a bit louder and can be a shock to the ear. Hopper has a good bass vocal as long as he’s within his normal range, and I would have liked to hear the arrangement changed a bit or the key changed a bit to allow him to stay in that normal range. Next up is another up-tempo song, “When The Power Of God Came Down”. The vocal blend here is very good- it reminds me of the first song. This is truly one of the better songs on the album. The tempo stays the same for another old Southern Gospel favorite, “Put On A Crown”. This is another well-done song- simple and clear.
The tempo then slows down a bit for a song that I’ve sung many times myself- “Sweet Beulah Land”. Overall, this is a solid rendition of a popular song. Next is medium-tempo song that I first heard done by the Liberty Quartet- “There’s A Testimony”. Brothers Redeemed uses a nice arrangement with lots of brass and piano, and it has a slightly swing feel that I think listeners will like. I also like the simple, no-frills ending. Finally the album ends with the album’s title track. “Turn It Up” is a medium-to-up-tempo song that closes out the album nicely. However, it sounds like tenor vocalist Rusty Townsend is very much in a falsetto range on some of his pickups, and the tone doesn’t quite fit with the full-voice tones of the rest of the group. Again, maybe the vocal arrangement needs to be edited slightly.
This is, when it’s all said and done, a solid album. Brothers Redeemed still has some growing to do vocally, but a number of the songs on this album suggest that they’re on the right track. Arranging the songs so that all the vocalists stay within their normal range the majority of the time will be a big help. The low growling bass notes or the high falsetto tenor notes are fine as accents here and there, but the bulk of the singing should be done in full voice with a focus on a strong blend- much in the vein of “The Hand Of The Lord” and “When The Power Of God Came Down”. These guys have potential, and I look forward to seeing the progress they make towards realizing that potential. Overall, I give this album a rating of 7 out of 10 microphones!
Favorites: “The Hand Of The Lord”, “When The Power Of God Came Down”, and “Put On A Crown”