Oh, the dreaded re-release and "deluxe edition." For many diehard fans, it's a bittersweet thing. For one, you've probably already purchased the album when it originally released, and secondly, the extended new versions often just feel like thoughtless, beefed up money grabs with just a bunch of stuff tacked on in order to increase album sales (since re-release numbers go toward the overall, original album sales).
Thankfully, Deluxe Editions still come around that warrant looking into, and Plumb's Need You Now is one of them. Furthermore, the new content actually fits into the theme of the album and musically feels a part of the original experience. It's rare when the added tracks enhance the album's journey, and the Need You Now Deluxe actually does. While it's got the expected "radio remix" thrown into the bonus tracks, what is unexpected is the inclusion of not one, or even two, but four brand new songs. They're mostly upbeat and right at home with the rest of the pop goodness on the original Need You Now, and they all actually lyrically fit in with the romantic and spiritual trials Plumb has gone through in recent years.
The dancy "Starting Over" and "Fall Back In" address her previously troubled marriage with the hope of a new start and falling in love with each other again, while "Faithful" and "Lord I'm Ready Now" serve as kind of prayerful musings (with the former being more worshipful and even having a hint of a "Where You Belong/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" feel from Newsboys' Not Ashamed album). The radio remix of "Don't Deserve You," a song she wrote for her son Solomon, adds a steady, prominent beat and electric guitar to flesh the song out a bit more, making it more fitting for radio play. It's tough to say if it's an improvement over the original, but it's a fine addition here if fans prefer one over the other. Finally, a "Worship Version" of the title track takes a softer approach, making it more of a ballad, but it feels a bit neutered, losing some of the urgency of the truly memorable original. A prayerful adlib appears near the end of the song, however, making it a little more intimate. The desperate adlib also lends special merit to its inclusion here; it'll make a fine addition to anyone's personal worship time playlist.
All in all, if you've yet to pick up Need You Now, definitely grab this version. If you already have it and maybe feel a little miffed that this is a re-release, you'll be able to grab just the new songs that interest you a la carte on iTunes (or another digital retailer). But, this Deluxe version is also going to be the first ever Plumb album to release on vinyl, and that alone will make it worth the double dip. It's nice to see a Deluxe Edition done right for a change.- Preview Review date: 8/21/14 Review date: 9/14/14, written by John DiBiase of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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