• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

CD Review: The Nelons- “Beside Still Waters”

Group Name: The Nelons
Website: www.thenelons.com
Album Title: “Beside Still Waters”
Song Titles:

  1. The Love Of God
  2. Beside Still Waters
  3. Goodbye Valley, Hello Mountaintop
  4. There Is A Way
  5. He Found Me
  6. Settled At The Cross
  7. I’m Going Home With Jesus
  8. My Tribute
  9. Weep
  10. Consider Me
  11. Jesus, What A Wonderful Name
  12. I Choose To Live

The Nelons are one of the most-recognized names in Southern Gospel Music.  Kelly Nelon Clark, her husband Jason Clark, and her daughter Amber Nelon Thompson are carrying on the musical tradition started by the LeFevres and Rex Nelon.

“Beside Still Waters is the group’s most recent album.  It was produced by Wayne Haun and group member Jason Clark.  It contains 12 songs for the listeners’ enjoyment. 

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: THE SONGS!

The album starts off with the up-tempo “The Love Of God”.  This song has a slightly driving arrangement with a bit of banjo in the background.  Amber is featured here, and after a subdued first verse, she lets loose with a powerful soprano vocal that is smooth and strong.  Next up is the title track, “Beside Still Waters”, a song that I first heard recorded by the Mark Trammell Trio.  Each vocalist gets a feature here, and the overall group blend is in the forefront of the arrangement.  The third song is another up-tempo number called “Goodbye Valley, Hello Mountaintop”.  Jason gets the feature here, and he has a solid vocal that blends well with Kelly and Amber.  There are a couple of nice key changes in this song that really show off the range of the vocalists.  This is followed by the album’s first ballad, “There Is A Way”.  Amber takes the lead, and this type of song is most definitely in her “wheelhouse”.  For a young lady, her voice seems much more mature than her years.  In my opinion, she needs to be featured on the lead vocals as often as possible.

The first single from the album is Song #5, “He Found Me”.  This is a mid-tempo number with a blues feel to it.  Jason takes the lead for the first verse and chorus, then Amber takes over the lead vocals for the remainder of the song.  The tempo then slows down again for “Settled At The Cross”, a ballad featuring Kelly.  You can tell that this lady has been singing for years- there is a richness to her tone that only comes from both talent and experience.  The seventh song is an old song that has been given a fresh arrangement by the group.  “I’m Going Home With Jesus” is a traditional Southern Gospel toe-tapper that listeners will thoroughly enjoy.  The intensity kicks up a notch in the second half after Amber takes over the lead vocals- especially when she brings the group back in for the reprise after the first ending.  This leads into a power ballad entitled “My Tribute”.  Each group member is featured throughout the course of the song, and it builds to a powerful ending that the group pulls off very well.

The ninth song, “Weep”, is a softer, mid-to-up-tempo number that once again demonstrates the tight vocal blend that this family has.  Jason once again takes the lead on Song #10, “Consider Me”.  This song has a bit of a different feel to it stylistically than the other songs on the album, and it almost sounds like an afterthought thrown into the middle of the song lineup.  However, the singing is as solid as that on any other song on the album.  The next song is the anthem-like “Jesus, What A Wonderful Name”.  This might be the most-orchestrated song on the album.  Finally, the album ends with the vocal debut of Kelly’s younger daughter, Amber Thompson.  It sounds like this young lady has a bright future ahead of her musically, and her vocals fit in with the rest of the family nicely.  I like the choice of this song to close the album.

I had not heard much from the Nelons until I listened to this album.  However, I have become a fan.  The overall sound of the group is tight and smooth, and they have a rising young star in Amber Thompson.  Overall, I give this album a perfect rating of 9 out of 10 microphones!

Favorites: “The Love Of God”, “There Is A Way”, and “I’m Going Home With Jesus”

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