Posted by: coomercove | April 7, 2008

CD Review: Ricky Atkinson & Compassion: Encore

Ricky Atkinson & CompassionEncore: Songs From Our Past

Encore

This is the first release from the retooled lineup that includes former Perrys lead singer Loren Harris and former Florida Boys/Tony Gore & Majesty tenor Greg Cook. As I said when the lineup was announced, Loren and Greg are two of my favorite singers, so I expected great things from this project. Does it deliver? Yes and no. It doesn’t sound like a high budget release, and I was hoping for more than cover songs, but almost everything found on the CD is very good. A few songs have more of a country feel to them than what I was expecting, but it isn’t a negative approach.

  1. Until The Day **** – I believe this song was on the Perrys’ last project before Loren replaced David Hill. Ricky and Loren split both verses, Ricky singing the first half, Loren the second.
  2. I Call On Jesus **** – This has a bit of a country fell to it and features Ricky. The kick off is very reminiscent of the Crabb Family’s song, “Trail Of Tears”.
  3. When He Was On The Cross *** – An all-time great song. However, it sounds just like every other recording Greg has made of it. Very unoriginal.
  4. I Wish I Could Have Been There ** – First, I will admit that I’m not a big fan of this song in the first place (I like “Damascus Road” from the Perrys’ This Is The Day much more). Loren seems to have developed Michael English-itis on this cut. It sounds to me as if he is trying to show off instead of singing the song. It reminds me of what Joseph Habedank sounded like the first few months he took over the lead vocal position with the Perrys.
  5. Jesus Can ***** – I love this song. This was on Compassion’s debut project. Ricky sings the verses, but Greg picks up the solo lines in the chorus and tag. A very simple, but powerful message.
  6. Unclouded Day **** – Very fun song. This is pretty much a Greg Cook solo, as anyone could have been backing him up on this. The track showcases a lead guitar and drives the song. I’m not sure, but I’d almost call it rockabilly sounding.
  7. Calvary Answers For Me **** – Another of Loren’s features from the Perrys. Loren is much better on this song, as he actually sings the song with the track and the other vocalists. Sounds a lot like the Perrys’ version.
  8. Resting Place **** – This song was the title cut from Ricky and Loren’s final Wilburns’ project. The song was also the groups first #1 song. A beautiful song featuring Ricky. This may even be the Wilburn’s original sound track.
  9. When Jesus Comes In The Clouds ***** – This is similar to “Unclouded Day” in that it almost seems like it could show up on a solo project. This one features Loren. I love this song, and love the track they’ve made for it. I like arrangements of the song that raises the key and lets the tenor take the lead for the final chorus of two, but this one is different. It is still my favorite song on the project.
  10. In Jesus Name *** – The closing track is a soft ballad that features Greg. A pretty song, but nothing spectacular.

Looks like a total of 38 stars for a 3.8 star average. I’ll bump it up and call it a 4 star project. There is nothing here that makes it a must have project, but for fans of any of the three vocalists, it is worth picking up.

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Responses

  1. I was a little disappointed with this album. I think my expectations were a little too high, but I couldn’t help but get my hopes up.

    I completely agree with “I Wish I Coulda Been There”. I detest this version and think Loren should’ve have done more singing and much, much less of the vocal acrobatics.

    I still want to see this trio in a live setting and hopefully their future project(s) will have a little more time put into the production room.

    Good review!

  2. English-itis. Thanks for coining this phrase Brandon, I love it!
    Very original term, but oh so true. Also a good way to describe how Loren handled the lead on “Shoutin Sounds” (from the Perry’s Happy Goodman tribute project)
    I’ve never really cared for Harris’ vocals because of this tendancy of his. But when he delivers a more reserved lead, it’s very good.
    Personally, “English-itis” is why I don’t care for the majority of what is called “southern gospel” these days. So many vocallist “overdo” a song.
    Not that I’m directing the above comment against Loren or RA&C, but this is more of a generall observation of trends today.

  3. Thank you, Adam and Quaid.

    I’ve not noticed Loren suffering from English-itis all that much, but that may be due that he is a “local guy” and one of my favorites. I’ll have to listen and “watch” for it.

    I don’t know if “English-itis” is something I came up with or something I borrowed from someone. I know I’ve been using the term mentally, if not verbally, for many years.

  4. Loren Harris is the best lead singer in Gospel Music.

  5. Well I think you guys are CRAZY Loren Harris has a GREAT voice he’s my favorite singer. By the way does anyone know how I can listen to I Wish I Could Have Been There? I have hear him sing it with The Perrys and I LOVE it. I just wanna hear how it sounds when he sings it with Ricky Atkinson and Compassion. Thanks


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