REVIEW: The Sound – Past to Present

Producer: The Sound, Tony Griffith
Label:  Independent Release

[yasr_overall_rating size=”medium”]

I’ve said it numerous times in my reviews that there isn’t much going on in music that excites me anymore these days.  Everything sounds the same anymore, so when new groups pop up, I generally don’t pay attention to them.  Such as the case with The Sound.  I hadn’t paid them any attention until I renewed my Singing News subscription and got my “Just Call it Southern” CD in the mail and happened upon these guys.  I hit the repeat button several times on the song they included in that CD set, and I liked what I heard.  Then I went to finding out what they were all about and I am loving this new CD by the group.  Without going into a lot of history, The Sound was a popular group during the 80s and early 90s.  The most popular version of the group included lead singer, Pat Hoffmaster and tenor, Rick Strickland and their classic album, “The World Needs to Hear”, released in 1986 is still heralded as one of the greatest albums ever recorded in our genre.  Over the course of time, the group experienced a lot of changes and a gentleman named Rob Mills eventually passed through the ranks in the group before they eventually ended as a group.  Fast forward to 2018, and Rob Mills obtained rights to the name and his family group changed their name to The Sound which now features himself, along with his two sons, Levi and Jacob.  This recording introduces us to the new group as a transition from the past to the present.

With a peppy fiddle/guitar intro, the up-tempo “GOD’S BIGGER THAN THAT” gets things started and the guys do a good job with their rendition of this former hit for The Sound (and also a former #1 song for the Whisnants) before electric guitars kick things off for another up-tempo tune, “CAN’T THINK OF A BETTER WAY”, which was co-written by Rob Mills and features a hot, country sound.

The first time I listened to “HERE COMES THE BRIDE”, it was with baited breath because the original version by The Sound in 1986 is the golden standard.  While this new rendition doesn’t quite compare, the guys really did a great job making the song their own with their distinct country sound.

The tempo picks back up for another remake, “THE WALLS OF JERICHO”, before the tempo slows down for another Rob Mills penned tune, “HE IS ABLE”, which is a wonderful song of encouragement reminding us that “He is able…demons tremble, when we call upon the Lord, and if we will seek His face, humble ourselves and pray, He will carry us through…He is able!”

The tempo picks back up for one of my favorite songs from the 80’s, “WE SHALL REIGN”, and they guys do a great job reviving this song before slowing down for another re-make with “I TURN TO HIM”.

The happy feel of “GOOD NEWS” is the song that introduced me the “new” iteration of The Sound and it’s is my favorite song on the recording.  It’s fun and energetic and highly contagious!

The acapella “HE IS FAITHFUL TO ME” seems out of place sandwiched between two vigorously up-tempo tunes and though it’s a good song, it doesn’t seem to fit on this recording.

The upbeat “I’M GOING TO HEAVEN” closes out the recording on a high note and wraps up a very nice recording.  When you think it’s over and done, wait…the final hidden track is an invitation given by Rob Mills for those who don’t know Christ, to get to know Him in a personal way.  Way to go guys…that is what it’s all about!

Understandably, some dyed in the wool purists may not fully appreciate the “new” version of The Sound, as most do not associate the classy sound of original group with the country styles found here (myself included), but these guys make some GREAT music.  I really enjoyed the remakes of former songs by The Sound, as they really tried to put their own spin on them and not just copy-cat the original versions.  If they do anymore remakes, I would love to hear former hits such as “Mender of Broken Wings”, “Bought by the King” and “Up in Chicago”. The new tunes are really great as well and are fresh and original.  All the tracks are excellently done and the vocals are superb as well.  I would call this a very upbeat and happy recording as I find myself enjoying the overall feel of the recording.  Great job by The Sound and I look forward to hearing lots more from these guys very soon!

Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)

God’s Bigger Than That**
Can’t Think of a Better Way
Here Comes the Bride**
The Walls of Jericho**
He is Able**
We Shall Reign**
I Turn to Him
Good News**
He is Faithful to Me
I’m Going to Heaven


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James Hales

James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.
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