Producer: Les Butler
Record Label: Butler Music Group
I first became acquainted with the music of the Williamsons about 3 or 4 years ago. I had heard a couple of their songs, (namely “Shout”) but really got tuned into their music with their 2018 release, “Give Them Jesus”. I was absolutely blown away by that recording and their big sound. With the exit of lead singer, Karl Rice (who is a phenomenal vocalist), their sound changed, as he was a big part of that sound. While their sound is not as big and boisterous as before, consisting of Donnie and Lisa Williamson along with their children Sadie and Olivia, Lisa’s brother Bo, and long-time bass singer, Darin Hebert, the group has emerged with an identifiable sound and a very strong recording that has been 4 years in the making.
The recording kicks off with the medium tempo, “READ IT AGAIN”, and is the first single release from this recording. Written by and featuring Lisa, the song is a highlight of the recording, as it touches on themes most Christians hold dear and should resonate well with their audiences.
The tempo picks up a bit for the country infused, “IN THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF THE LAMB”, which features Bo and written by Daryl Williams. This is my first time getting really hear Bo sing and it’s amazing how much he and Lisa’s tones are very similar. While Bo is a different type of singer than Karl was, he brings a unique dynamic to the group’s sound.
The medium tempo, “OUT OF HARM’S WAY”, is one of my favorite Kyla Rowland tunes. The Williamsons do an excellent job with their rendition of the song and this version has become my favorite. Also, they finally add the ending I have been hearing in my head since the first time I heard the song. Thank you for that note at the end…it completes the song for me!
The tempo slows down for the title track, “ABOVE EVERYTHING” which features Sadie, before the tempo picks up for the infectious, “YOU MADE THE MOUNTAIN”. Written by and featuring Lisa, this upbeat song is filled with nice fiddle and guitar accents and is one of the highlights of the recording.
Gerald Crabb penned “JESUS LEADING HIS CHILDREN HOME”, which features Donnie, and the song has a nice country feel to it. Featuring the steel guitar and fiddle throughout the song, it has a distinct Goodman feel to it and is one of my favorites from this recording.
Bo steps up to sing the declarative and simple feel of, “WHAT A PRIVILEGE”, reminding us “what a privilege is ours to go before the Lord in prayer” before the big regal feel of the power ballad, “THE KING ETERNAL”, which features Lisa.
The tempo picks up for the soulful, “TAKE THAT MOUNTAIN BY FAITH” written by Nathan Woodard and Kenna West, before Darin takes the lead on the song, “GREATER THAN THE PAIN”. Darin is also featured on the second verse of the fiddle infused, “MESSAGE TO THE WORLD”, which kicks things into high gear with its catchy tune.
Lisa does a great job on “THE STORY”, which was written by songwriter extraordinaire, Dave Clark. The song also features Lisa and Donnie’s children, Sadie and Olivia, as well as Darin’s daughter, Emaleigh, and is a highlight of the recording.
Sadie steps up once more for the country feel of, “CAUGHT AWAY”, which is a highly enjoyable number, before Lisa closes things out with one last song entitled, “ONE MORE”, reminding us Jesus’ arms are extended and that there is always room for more!
I will admit, it took a few listens for this recording to grow on me, as I still had their last recording engrained in my mind. But the more I listened, the more I was really liking and enjoying what I was hearing! This recording is an excellent effort by the Williamsons. Lisa has proven that she is an excellent songwriter, and this recording features 5 great new songs penned by her. The Williamsons, despite changes in their vocal line-up, have put together an excellent recording filled with powerful songs that will definitely make an impact to the listener. Les Butler did his usual excellent job as producer and brought out the best in the group. Also worth mentioning is that while most groups are releasing 6 or 8 song recordings these days, it was refreshing hearing a recording with 14 songs on it, and each song making a strong statement both musically and lyrically; definitely one of the best so far for 2022!