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REVIEW: Allison Speer – Abandon

aspeer-abandonProducer:  Gordon Mote
Label:  Song Garden Music
Website:  www.allisonspeer.com

Allison’s professional career began over 30 years ago and she has released some excellent recordings through the years.  What sets this recording apart from every other recording she has done is the song selection and the overall feel and sound of this album.  Allison has picked some excellent tunes that accent her voice and style best and she, along with producer Gordon Mote, created a wonderful bed of music for these songs to rest in.  With a definitive country feel (thanks to Mote), these songs resonate exceptionally well with Allison and she has created what I believe to be her finest recording in her career!

The recording starts out with a kicking rendition of the hymn, “SOLDIER OF THE CROSS”, which should do very well at radio, before the tempo slows down for the honest prayer in song, “IN THE MEANTIME”.  When it seems you can’t go any further, you can lift your head and sing to the Lord, “In the meantime, You’re the lifter of my head, in the lean time, You’re the giver of my bread, Lord Your goodness is too wonderful for me…even in the meantime!”  Penned by Marcia Henry and Allison, it’s a highlight of the recording.  The song is aptly followed by the light and airy feel of, “23RD PSALM”.

The tempo gets kicked back up for the title song, “ABANDON”, penned by a trio of prolific writers, Lee Black, Kenna West and Tony Wood, before slowing back down for the contemporary adaptation to the hymn, “AT THE CROSS”.  Previously recorded by Selah, Allison does a good job with her rendition of this great song.

The tempo picks back up for the Mark Bishop penned, “PICK ME UP AND CARRY ME”, which is a really fun song to listen and sing along with and is a highlight of the recording.  The tempo slows back down for the serious warning in song, “THE WRONG WELL”.  The song reminds us to be aware of what well we are drinking from and who we listen to…”when you’re drinking water from the wrong well, you’re dying of thirst and you can’t tell, and every sip you take leads a little closer to hell, when you’re drinking water from the wrong well”.

The tempo gets kicked back up for the Christian Country classic, “WAKE THE DEAD” and it was great hearing this song revived again, as was the Mac Davis classic, “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES”, both fitting Allison perfectly!

Rachel McCutcheon joins Allison in co-writing “WONDER” before the pace picks up for the rollicking, “OUT OF HERE”, which sounds like Allison had a blast singing.  This is another fun song and the driving beat will make you want to turn up the volume when this song hits!

The emotionally tinged prayer in song, “OPEN”, closes out the recording and you can tell the song is special to Allison as you are taken in by her tender delivery, and it really just kind of leaves you a bit breathless when the song is over.  A definite highlight of the recording and fitting closing.

There is a lot of continuity and consistency with this recording.  The songs are paced perfectly and there is not a point on the recording where it drags at all.  The songs are perfectly suited for Allison, the tracks are expertly done and Allison does some of her finest singing here.  Gordon Mote produced an exceptional recording and I hope he produces her next recording!  Allison definitely has a masterpiece on her hands with this one!

 

Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)

Soldier of the Cross**
In the Meantime**
23rd Psalm
Abandon**
At the Cross
Pick Me Up and Carry Me**
The Wrong Well**
Wake the Dead**
Stop and Smell the Roses**
Wonder
Out of Here**
Open**

[Total: 5    Average: 2.8/5]
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James Hales
Head Reviewer at Absolutely Gospel
James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for AbsolutelyGospel.com since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.

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