Producer: Cody McVey
Label: Independent Release
I’ve only recently discovered the music of the Wilbanks. I’ve heard and seen their name but have never taken the time to check them out until earlier last year. Consisting of husband/wife team, Terry and Rene’ Wilbanks along with their daughter, Monica and her husband Jason Mathews, the group has a big sound, firmly rooted in the Pentecostal sound. Their sound is kind of a mix between the McGruders, Hoskins Family, Rambos and McFalls (remember them?). They do a lot of staccato and syncopation type of singing, and at the heart of their sound is Monica who is a mix of Dottie Rambo, Reba McEntire and Angie Hoskins, but she definitely has a style all her own. She is also an excellent songwriter, as she wrote or co-wrote all but one on this recording.
The recording starts off with the funk feel of “THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SAY COME” before slowing down for the anthem, “YOU WERE NEVER MEANT TO STAY BROKEN”, which is the triumph of the recording. I love the message in the song and hope the song makes it to radio. Monica does a phenomenal job interpreting the powerful message in the song as she reminds us, “He does beautiful things with broken pieces, when others abandon, He mends and restores, wait ‘til you see what He can do with hopeless…you were never meant to stay broken”.
Terry does a great job with the upbeat, “GOTTA SAY THANK YOU” before Monica steps back up for the worshipful, “THAT NAME”. Both songs have an Andrae Crouch vibe that fits well with their style.
The title song, “MY NAME IS VICTORY” is one of the highlights of the recording. The banjo infused track makes this one of the more Southern Gospel sounding songs, before the tempo slows down for the worship feel of “GLORIOUS CROSS”.
The tempo picks up for the country feel of “YOU ARE GOD AND I AM NOT”, which features Monica, before the tempo slows down for the rhythm and blues feel of “ALL CONFIDENCE”, which is a wonderful song reiterating what I John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heard us”.
Sonya Isaacs-Yeary joins Monica on the song, “FAITHFUL IN THESE TIMES”, which they wrote together, and it’s a highlight of the recording, as is Jason’s performance on the acoustic, “YOUR WAYS”.
“IMPOSSIBLE THINGS” has a definitive country feel and they are joined by Sheri Easter on the song, and it’s a highlight of the recording.
Terry takes the lead on “WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE PRAY” before the recording closes out with a most unusual song, “PSALM 23”. Written by Eddie James, it’s a highlight of the recording and the Wilbanks do a phenomenal job on the song. This isn’t an easy song to sing, and it is flawlessly executed by the Wilbanks.
This is an excellent recording, and even though it is an independent release, the overall quality of the recording is as good as what any record company could do. Kudos to producer, Cody McVey for a job well done! I will admit, their style isn’t for everybody. The Wilbanks have a very progressive sound, and fans of traditional quartet music may not enjoy their music. Their style is very different from the norm in Southern Gospel music, but they definitely have a place here and I look forward to hearing much more from this family!
One last side note, prior to submitting this review for posting, it was learned that Monica and Jason lost their house in a fire and escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Please keep them in your prayers as they try to recoup from this devastating loss. A Go Fund Me page has been created by Matt Linton on their behalf, so please see the following link to help: https://gofund.me/be2ef92f.