Chosen Revival – All In
Producer: Chosen Revival / Mark Coleman
Label: TenTop Music Group
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Back in the early 80’s, Milton Ostrander (aka Big Mo) formed an outstanding group by the name of Chosen. Armed with his songs and a strong sense of ministry, the group made an impact during the ’80s and into the ’90s with such songs as “Bloodline”, “Sailing on Home”, “Only Sleeping”, “When Your Back is to the Wall” and “Calvary Stands for Satan’s Fall”. Eventually, Big Mo transitioned into a solo singing and preaching ministry and has enjoyed immense success in that arena with such songs as “The Funeral of Jesus”, “Interview with a Demon”, “Hold Fast”, “Still the Cross” and others. As an extension of his current ministry, Big Mo decided to put a new group together called Chosen Revival to travel and sing on select dates. Consisting of Big Mo along with Craig Pippin and Michael Senn, they have released a new recording filled with excellent new songs along with a few classic tunes. These guys have a big sound that is unique and exciting, setting them apart from every other group out there.
With the familiar strikes of the fiddle and steel guitar, the recording kicks off with the medium tempo, Southern Gospel feel of “BEYOND THE GRAVE”, which was written by Big Mo, before the tempo kicks up for the title song, “I’M ALL IN”. Written by Ronny Hinson and Big Mo, filled with guitars and fiddles, the song has a strong country feel to it before the tempo slows as Craig sings, “OH WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE”. Written by Craig, he does a superb job delivering the goods on this great song filled with emotion and anticipation for our first day in Heaven. It’s a highlight and one of my personal favorites from the recording.
The tempo picks back up for the banjo, steel guitar, and fiddle-infested tune, “PETER AND PAUL”, which was written by Michael Senn and Big Mo. With Michael and Craig sharing lead responsibilities, I love the challenge in the song as they sing, “I’d like to preach like Peter and write like Paul, tell the world about Jesus…He’s the only way to real joy, but you got to heed His call…”. The song is a highlight of the recording and would be a great single release to radio as well.
Recalling a couple of popular Chosen songs from the early ’80s, the guys do a great job with the Jean Canter penned classic, “I KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD” and “THE CHURCH WILL CARRY ON” before Big Mo slows the pace back down as he steps up to sing his self-penned tune entitled, “UNCHANGING LOVE”.
Craig steps up next to sing the upbeat, country-driven tune, “IT’S NOT IN THE WATER”. This song does a great job reminding us of a pivotal truth about salvation that “It’s not in the water, it’s all in the blood, it’s not in the river, but in the crimson flood…it takes faith in the Son of God to save your soul”.
Michael is featured next on one of my favorite songs from the ’80s, “WHEN THE SUN STARTS TO RISE”. Recorded by Chosen back in the 80s, I grew up listening to the Sego Brothers & Naomi’s version back when I was a kid. The song has always been one of my favorites and I was thrilled to see it revived for this recording.
With its electric guitar and mandolin-infused track, Craig is featured once again on the song, “IF SALVATION WAS LEFT UP TO ME” before the group closes out the recording with a nice rendition of the classic, “HOW GREAT THOU ART”, featuring Big Mo and Craig.
This is an excellent recording and probably one of my favorite releases for 2023 so far! I love the overall feel of the recording and it’s paced perfectly, not allowing it to get boring or stagnant. My only criticism is that the drums sound hollow like they are in a barrel. The drums are well played, but I’m not sure if they are electronic drums or not, but it sounds like they are, which I’m not a fan of. Outside of that minor detail, this is an excellent recording that I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to. There isn’t a lot in gospel music today that truly excites me anymore, but this is exciting music filled with great singing, and great songs, and has a bit of Pentecostal fervor that I really enjoy as well. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from Chosen Revival and hope this will be a continuing thing and not just a one-time deal!
Personal favorites include “Beyond the Grave”, “Oh What a Day That Will Be”, “Peter and Paul”, “When the Sun Starts to Rise” and “If Salvation Was Left Up to Me”.