Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Archive for the ‘The Telestials’

CD Review: The Telestials – I Can Call Jesus

February 13, 2009 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, The Telestials

Rating:3.5

Producer: Michael Sykes
Label: New Wine Records
Website: www.telestials.com

1. I Wanna Go There – A strong country sound kicks off the opening track of the project. The featured vocalist’s style fits the sound well. I found myself having to hit the skip button halfway into the first verse. I am sure that whoever wrote this song can come up with something more original than “Howdy” over and over and over again.

2. Everything – The second track is much better than the first. This slow ballad features lead singer Scott Lucas (I’m not completely sure, since I don’t really have a list of who’s featured where). The song keys up at the end for a powerful finish. This track would make a good radio single.

3. One Way Flight – This song has a bit of history behind it; The Telestials got a Dove Award nomination for it in 1977. This re-recording adopts the country sound again. It is a nice rendition, and it makes me wonder how similar it is to the original cut.

4. No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus – One of the female vocalists takes the feature on this hymn. The soft background music makes for a peaceful effect. There’s nothing spectacular about this track, but it is a nice inclusion.

5. Free – The group threw a curveball for me on this one; I did not expect to hear a Contemporary-sounding song on this project. Written by the group’s lead singer, it plays on the group’s strengths well. This is one of the best songs of the album.

6. My Redeemer Is Faithful And True – The group turns in another slow song with a powerful message. The featured vocalist reminds me of Clint Black. Very well-done song. The group seems to pull off songs of this nature very well.

7. Oh What A Savior, What A Friend – The bass singer gets the lead on this medium-tempo song. Nothing really stands out about this cut, but it is an OK song.

8. I Can Call Jesus – The project’s title track is the same song that The Prophets used to open their latest release, I’ll Follow. The Telestials’ arrangement is different enough that it doesn’t sound like just a copy. The group does a nice job on this Brock Speer-penned tune.

9. Through It All – Andrae Crouch’s famous song is sung by the group’s older female vocalist. It is an alright rendition, but it does not top the Gaither Homecoming version.

10. Redeemed – The group jumps once again to a Progressive/Contemporary feel to end the album. This is another of the strongest tunes of the project; It is written by the same team that wrote the earlier track “Free.” Very well written and a great way to close.

Final Thoughts: The Telestials name is one that has quite a bit of history in SG music, especially in the 1970s. I had not heard of them prior to being approached about reviewing the project, but it is nice to see a group that continues to work hard despite having somewhat fallen under the radar.

This project was produced very well by Michael Sykes, and the group sounds better in some styles than others. I would encourage the group to find the style that they get the best results from and work in that vein. The writing team of members Caleb Brown and Scott Lucas should definitely get more chances to shine; they penned two of the best cuts on here. Very good project.