Expanded Thoughts: Prophets – I’ll Follow

A few weeks ago, I participated in a mega-review of the Prophets’ CD I’ll Follow.  As Daniel Mount did recently with his review and rating of the Kingsmen’s latest CD, I also feel that I need to expand upon and revise my review and rating of the Prophets CD.  Though I originally gave the disc 3.5 stars, after having been able to listen to the CD for a while now, I’m actually going to raise this rating to a full 4 stars.  This has proven to be a disc that has grown on me with repeated listens.  Here was the summary I wrote for the mega review:

This is a solid CD for the Prophets’ return to gospel music, but I, too, am a bit disappointed in that I think it could have been better. There are a couple of songs that really don’t fit the group’s strength, but as I mentioned above, kudos to them for having the guts to try some different things. It is a case of sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. There is defintitely real potential for this group. They have a good sound, especially on the uptempo and power songs. I’d like to hear more from Allen and Baize especially. Paul Jackson is a good lead singer, and his voice fits with the others very well, but with voices like Baize and Allen in the group, they could definitely be featured on more than one song apiece. I think if this group continues more in the vein of “Love Like The Sun”, “How I Want You To Know”, or “One Thing The Father Forgets”, their subsequent recordings will be that much stronger. It’s a good CD, enjoyable and well worth purchasing, but it left me more with a hopefulness and optimism for future recordings rather than blowing me away on its own.

Much of that review is still valid and the whole of it truly reflected my thoughts at the time, but my disappointment with the disc has dissipated with time.  I really think that the long buildup to the release of the disc served to create some unreasonable expectations.  This is a very good CD, and my disappointment was primarily with a couple of songs that I didn’t particularly like.  One of the songs that I was not impressed with initially was “Golden Streets”, as I felt it really didn’t fit the quartet that well.  This song in particular has grown on me over the past few weeks.  It still isn’t one of my favorites on the project, but I definitely like it much better now.  It’s assuredly an atypical quartet song, but the harmony is very smooth, and Paul Jackson delivers the song well.  The other song that has really grown on me is the last cut, “Mercy”, though in the initial review I praised this song.  As has been the case with several others, songs that I liked before I have really started to love, and none more so than this powerful ballad.  Another interesting thing is that listening online via SGN, the choir seemed to be a bit heavy in the mix, but listening to the actual CD, that ceases (at least to my ears) to be the case.  At any rate, this is a GREAT song.  I’m still not sold on “Jesus Wept”, but there is an interesting tidbit to this song, as it is not a remake of an old Prophets song, but a song that, to the best of the Prophets’ knowledge, has never been recorded before.

In summary, one thing that I hinted at, but did not directly say in the mega review is this:  I for one am VERY glad to see the Prophets doing fresh music and arrangements.  What I didn’t want to see was a “Prophets Tribute” type group.  If my memory serves me correctly, JD Sumner once said that the problem with the Masters V was that they were content to rest on their past accomplishments, and didn’t look to stay current.  I’m glad the Prophets are not falling into that temptation.  So grab a copy of the recording, you won’t be sorry!

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

3 Responses to Expanded Thoughts: Prophets – I’ll Follow

  1. John C says:

    “I for one am VERY glad to see the Prophets doing fresh music and arrangements. What I didn’t want to see was a “Prophets Tribute” type group. ”

    If that’s the case, then why should they use the name “Prophets”? Unless they recall the rich heritage of the Prophets, perhaps they should use a generic name for the quartet. A few “fresh” songs are OK, but I think they should have included some songs that are readily identifiable with the Prophets of days gone by.

    Yeah, I know at some point in time the Prophets recorded “I Can Call Jesus” and “Love Like the Sun”, but they were never known as big Prophets hits.

    Guess we can agree to disagree here.

  2. burkesbrainwork says:

    John, I think they can honor the heritage of the Prophets without becoming a tribute group. I don’t have a problem with them throwing some vintage Prophets cuts in their set. I actually suggested that they cut “Neither Do I Condemn Thee” in the original mega review, and still think that would be a good cut for them to bring back. The Prophets, from what I’ve learned from friends like you, were known for high harmonies and innovative arrangements. I think the current Prophets can honor the heritage of the previous group by continuing in that attention to their arrangements with their new material.

  3. quartet-man says:

    I listened to the CD, and enjoyed it. However, it sounds closer to a Stamps release at least some of the time than it does a Prophets one. Now, I liked the Stamps and really, I am not sure it is possible to duplicate the Prophets sound with Big Lew. Bill Baize is one of my all-time favorite tenors (on the short list of three or so) and I am thrilled he is singing. It is a different sound, but all of the voices are different (even Ed’s is different than it was back then. :-))

Have something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: