February 8, 2008 7 Comments
This was Brian Free and Assurance’s sophomore release. Group members were Brian Free, Kevin Price and Mike Lefevre. This CD was a bit hard to find at the time. I never found it in a bookstore, my grandparents actually ordered this CD for me from Springside as a Christmas present the year it came out (1995, I think).
- More Love and Compassion – The CD kicks off with a peppy, progressive SG song. Brian sings the verses and does a good job on them. Electric guitars, organ, and a dobro(!) highlight the backing track. This is a good solid song to get the CD started off right. Nothing spectacular here, but just a good song. The lyrics are very good and serve as a reminder of our call to show Christ’s love in our daily lives.
- Have Your Way – Nice tenor ballad. Brian sings the verse, and the chorus features a smooth vocal from the group with tight harmonies. The ballad has that touch of a contemporary edge that the trio manifestation of BF&A was so good at pulling off. A nice touch is the little change of the background harmonies on the last chorus after the key change. It adds enough spice to the song to keep it from becoming too repetitive.
- Things That Last Forever – Nice acoustic guitar and electric piano work here. This is a Gaither classic from the early ’80s. Mike Lefevre sings the verses and really shines on them. He does a great job. Kevin Price takes the lead on the chorus, and the song and arrangement fit his voice very well. Very, very smooth performance. I really like this song.
- There Is A Love – This is a country flavored mid-tempo tune. Mike Lefevre is again featured on the first verse, and keeps the lead on the first chorus. This is probably the most traditional sounding song on the CD. After a key change, Brian sings the second verse and keeps the lead. I really think the group had the best blend when Free had the lead with Price and Lefevre stacked below him. With that harmony voicing, they had the smoothest blend I’ve heard in a long time.
- He Thought Of Me – This was the radio hit from this CD. It is the type of power tenor ballad that Brian Free has made a career of singing. Great lyrics, great performance by Free on the verses and the trio on the choruses. I love the change in the arrangement of the chorus after the key change. The tag features some really soaring high vocals, especially by Brian on his solo line. This song actually wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Gold City’s Pillars Of Faith project. Nothing more to say than just a great song.
- Come To The Waters – Fairly pop sounding mid-tempo tune that features Kevin Price singing. This song probably could have been played on both SG and CCM radio equally well. This was the style that Price could really do well. Good song and a good performance. BF&A could really sing this pop style well. Come to think of it, they STILL do this style really well.
- Emmaus – I just posted this as a hidden gem with “More Of Jesus”, so I won’t beleaguer the point here. Great song. Very contemporary sounding. Smooth vocals and harmony.
- Who Said Life Isn’t Fair – Another peppy tune featuring Kevin Price. Kevin gives a great performance with a fairly soulful vocal on the verses. This is a good song, with an interesting vocal key change that doesn’t sound like it wasn’t exactly easy to pull off. Brian sings the lead after the key change. The tag has some nice background parts. Good solid song.
- More Of Jesus – Again, I just posted this as a hidden gem, so I won’t be repetitious here. This song and “Emmaus” are highlights of the CD.
- I’ve Never Been Out Of His Love – Mid-tempo tune with again just a hint of contemporary stylings. Mike sings the first verse then an interesting key change with the chorus led by Kevin. The key changes again for another verse by Mike. Key change again for the chorus, and a nice change in the harmony on the last line as a tag. Again, nothing really flashy, but solid.
This was a major step up from the trio’s initial self titled release. While the first CD was good, this one really raised the bar for Brian Free and Assurance. This is by far their best project as a trio, and there is a subtle contemporary vein running through the entire project. There are three really outstanding tracks here in “He Thought Of Me”, “Emmaus”, and “More Of Jesus”. Another highlight is “Things That Last Forever”. However, there is not a weak song on the CD. The ensemble has a very smooth sound and great blend that permeates the entire recording. As this is no longer available on the BF&A website, you are stuck with getting a copy from ebay or amazon. Still, it is definitely worth seeking out a copy of this CD, I had honestly forgotten just how good a project this was until I listened to it again a week or so ago.