The title clearly reflects the aim of this album. Gathered here are songs about being in the muck of life (the valley), but carrying hope for heaven (the golden shore). We hear songs celebrating our union with Christ and communion with other believers ("Oh, How Good to Be Together," "Where I Belong"). Most of the songs, understandably, focus on Jesus' presence with us through life ("Never Shakes, Never Will," "Holding Fast to Me," "All Will Be Well," "Tender and Mighty"). Some of these rightly point to Christ's sacrificial work as being the basis for His kindness towards us ("Grace Will Prevail" and "Bountifully With Me"). "I See a King" stands out as a particular pandemic-inspired track, looking forward to our time with Jesus in heaven but clearly pointing to certain issues in our day that will be fixed when that happens. Overall, the lyrics are strong and contain plenty of depth.
The goal behind these songs was to create sacred music for the church to sing. As such, the musical styling they went with reflects that. This reviewer would designate it as folk pop gospel, which may seem like an odd mash-up, but The Wood Drake Sessions pull it off in a uniform way. That said, though, the music tends to keep the songs from really standing out. When you're using well-used patterns of church music, it may be recognizable to the listener, but it also may be too recognizable. Bringing in guest vocalists like Sandra McCracken or Liz Vice help tracks stand out from each other, but the overall effect of the music tends to be either cliché or forgettable. Perhaps a little more risk-taking would have benefited the record.
The weakness of the music aside, this is a fitting album for our time. Acknowledging the ways we may feel isolated or disconnected, yet firmly pointing us to Christ and His Kingdom, is a needed message. It will be interesting to see if The Wood Drake Sessions continue. Their debut is promising, but it would be nice to see a more adventurous follow-up. Still, what we have in From the Valley to the Golden Shore is an encouraging album for those, like Ranheim and Sauers, who are processing our current age.- Review date: 5/4/22, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
|Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors Celebrate Togetherness on New Studio Album|
Wed, 08 Feb 2023 17:25:00 EST
|Elio Alcindor Releases A Hit New Single Premised On The Love For God|
Wed, 08 Feb 2023 17:20:00 EST
|New Version Of Steven Curtis Chapman's "Don't Lose Heart" Feat. Mitchell Tenpenny Releases Feb. 17|
Wed, 08 Feb 2023 16:20:00 EST
|KJ-52 Releases New Single, "No Bad Days (feat. PEABOD)" To Radio|
Wed, 08 Feb 2023 15:50:00 EST
|Dolly Parton and Dionne Warwick Team for Gospel Duet "Peace Like a River"|
Tue, 07 Feb 2023 16:50:00 EST
|Cochren and Co.'s New Album RUNNING HOME Available Now|
Tue, 07 Feb 2023 14:00:00 EST