I realize that this project has been out a while, but since I just started this blog, and this project has just been re-released by Canaan Records, I feel it is relevant and applicable for a review. My copy of the CD is on the Hoppers custom label, which included the DVD, but I will only review the CD.
- Freedom Band – Great opening song. Christy’s comment was that this is the only “Hoppers-style” song on this CD. I don’t know if I would say the only trademark Hoppers song, but it is the most archetypal Hoppers cut. 8/10
- The Dove – Good medium tempo song in 3/4 time. I refer to this as an “oom-pow-pow” song. The song drags at the beginning, and seems to be even longer than the 5 minutes and change, but it picks up nicely with Kim’s last verse through the end of the song. 7/10
- Yahweh – Very similar to “Jerusalem”. It has the same basic percussive feel. It’s an interesting lyric that describes the very basic events of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and return. On the whole, I like this song better than “Jerusalem”, though the snippet of “The Holy City” in “Jerusalem ” is priceless. This song is very powerful live. 9/10
- The Applause – Strong lyrics that pay tribute to unsung spiritual heroes in our lives. There’s no real power musically, this is just a soft, sweet, smooth ballad that fits Connie’s voice very well. 8/10
- My Only Option – Dean Hopper turns in a great performance on this song. In fact, I may not have enjoyed this song as much if someone else had performed it. The song itself is decent, but there are stronger songs on the project. 7/10
- God Already Knew – Medium tempo song with almost a bluegrass feel. Karlye Hopper sings a verse on this song, and her family has taught her well, she does a fine job. Touching lyric about what we may view as mistakes, God already knew and planned for in advance. The arrangement is fairly plain, and really makes this one of the weaker songs on the disc, despite the great lyric. 6/10
- Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin – The first power ballad of the CD, and one of the strongest songs on the project. Kim absolutely nails this song, a great arrangement, and you just have to love it when a great song meets a great arrangement in a great performance. Absolutely magnificent. 10/10
- Let The Redeemed Say So – Updated version of the Nelons classic. This is the other “Hoppers-esque” fast song on this CD. Strong performance, and a nice arrangement by Lari Goss. 9/10
- He Erased It – Another power ballad, that was the first single from the project, and saw great chart success. This was for good reason. This is another pick of the project. Flawless vocals and a fabulous arrangement by Goss make for a fantastic song. Dean turns in a marvelous performance, and is a very underrated and overlooked vocalist. The Hoppers are really at home with this type of song. 10/10
- Try A Little Kindness/Less of Me – Claude is definitely not the most talented vocalist in the group, but turns in a more than serviceable performance of these classic songs. Fairly straight ahead arrangement with little surprise here. 6/10
- Haven Called Heaven – This song is similar in style to “The Applause”. A nice showcase of group blend on this song. 8/10
- I’m Just Waiting On My Ride – The current single from the project. It’s definitely a unique lyric from Ronnie Hinson, and he does a fine job on his guest vocalist spot. The background vocals from the Hoppers on Ronnie’s verse are fantastic. Just a good, solid uptempo song. This song should do well on radio (and has actually debuted at #28, according to the November SN chart). 10/10
- That’s Him – This may be the most powerful song on the project. This starts with some soft, sweet verses by Connie, then Kim takes the song to an entirely different level. This is my favorite song on the project, and will have you hitting the repeat button. A very strong, powerful ballad is a perfect close to the CD. 10/10
Overall: 9.5 With 13 songs, you definitely get your money’s worth on this CD. This is a very consistent project that should make The Hoppers very proud. The weaker songs on this project would probably be among the stronger songs on any other CD. This is a real testament to the strength of the material on this project. I almost gave this an overall 10. Quite simply, one of the strongest CDs from top to bottom that I’ve heard in a long time.