REVIEW: The Isaacs – Songs For the Times
Producer: Ben Isaacs
Record Label: Independent Release
Recordings are made for many reasons…earlier this year, during the height of the current pandemic, the Isaacs came together and began work on a recording that has come to be called, Songs for the Times. They chronicled this journey with their fans, and artists and fans alike, both shared in the tears and joys of creating this collective masterpiece. With its appropriate title, this recording brings together tunes that encourage and uplift, and will, no doubt, uphold us in our faith.
The recording starts off with the rollicking classic, “AIN’T NO GRAVE” before Ben and Sonja sing the Andrae Crouch classic, “THROUGH IT ALL”.
Becky steps up next to sing “THE WILDERNESS”, which is one of the highlights of the recording. Written to help increase ones faith, the song very poignantly reminds us, “You might have to wait, you might have to pray more than you usually do, you may be afraid and may have lost your faith…but God won’t leave you…He’ll be with you in the wilderness.” The song perfectly captures the essence of Hebrews 13:5 and Isaiah 43:2.
The tempo picks up a bit as they tackle the bluegrass classic, “JUST OVER YONDER”, before Lily steps up to sing the Bob Dylan classic, “THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING”. Though written back during the turbulent 60s, it’s quite befitting for this day and time as well.
As the tempo slows down, Sonja is featured on, “PEACE IN TRUSTING”, which she wrote along with her husband Jimmy Yeary and sister, Becky. The lyric offers encouragement during these troublesome times…”there’s peace in trusting the Lord, peace when my faith and fear are at war, so I don’t have to worry He knows what’s in store, and there’s peace in trusting the Lord.”
With Becky taking the initial lead, the Isaacs turns in a masterful acapella performance on the hymn, “THE LOVE OF GOD” before the tempo gets kicked back up for the Sonja/Becky penned, “GIVE HIM WHAT YOU GOT”.
One of my favorite moments on this recording is their “MEDLEY OF HYMNS”, which features the classic hymns, “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Softly & Tenderly”, “In the Garden” and “Nearer My God to Thee” (which is one of my personal favorite hymns). Each song is done in that inimitable Isaacs style and it’s a highlight of the recording.
The recording closes with the New Orleans blues feel of “AIN’T GONNA LET NOBODY TURN ME AROUND”. The Isaacs are joined by Jason Crabb and Angela Primm, and it’s a fitting closing song that leaves the listener singing right along and determined to not be turned around, but to keep pushing through!
This is one the best recordings the Isaacs have ever recorded. You can hear and feel the heart and soul that was poured into this recording. These aren’t just songs we have lived, these are songs we are living now, and will no doubt be a part of the soundtrack of our lives. Thank you, Isaacs, for giving us these powerful songs for the times!
(stars denote personal favorites)
Ain’t No Grave**
Thought it All**
Just Over Yonder**
The Times They Are A-Changing
Peace in Trusting**
The Love of God
Give Him What You Got
Medley of Hymns**
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around**