Scooby wrote:Well after hearing the entire new album all I can say is HOLY COW!!!!! Seriously this is by far the very best remix/remake/revamp (whatever you want to call it) album that Sony has ever released on Elvis! The musical backing and arrangements are as modern as you can get. It sounds like new age gospel. Here's my unbiased review track by track.
*I've Got Confidence - very urban, black gospel sound, just like Elvis grew up hearing only with a modern feel. Great track to open the album with.
*Where No One Stands Alone - very beautiful and moving. Sounds much better and dynamic on CD than online file.
*Saved - also sounds much better on CD. Very powerful beats and sound. Elvis sounds much clearer too.
*Crying In The Chapel - always a beautiful song but the new version brings more out of it. New drums are strong but not overpowering the lyrics. Love it!
*So High - very energetic remake with added music break to extend the originally short song. Backup singers sound much better on this new version.
*Stand By Me - love the original but this new version is much better and less operatic.
*Bosom Of Abraham - another energetic track, never before heard outtake that I know of. Elvis sings more soulful and bluesy. Cissy Houston sings on it.
*How Great Thou Art - love this new version! Arranged in the form of his live version. Heavy drums on the then sings my soul part.
*I, John - one of my favorites on this album. Extended and has female vocals instead of the male vocals on the original. Very funky.
*You'll Never Walk Alone - the original is a classic but this new version deserves recognition too. Very beautifully arranged.
*He Touched Me - never been a fan of this song but the new version and take is stunning. Very powerful lyrics and message.
*In The Garden - another beautifully arranged track. Nothing more to say.
*He Is My Everything - another song I never cared for but this version is way better. No high backing vocals singing alongside Elvis. Very contemporary.
*Amazing Grace - this take used is new to me. Very bluesy like the outtake already released but better vocally. Loved this and a great track to end this amazing album!
Overall I give it an A+++
The fans will always be able to hear the originals but for me this is my new go-to for Elvis gospel now. If this album is any indication of what's yet to come in the near future concerning new Elvis albums then we're in for some fun times!
Thank you Lisa Marie, Andy Childs and Joel Weinshanker!
Nice review, Scooby.
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~ I saw 5 copies of the new CD at my local Walmart. The price was listed as $11.88 (+tax) but I went to the customer service desk and they were willing to meet the Walmart.com price of $9.98 (+tax). I agree with Scooby that this is by far the very best remix/remake/revamp (whatever you want to call it) album that Sony has ever released on Elvis! The musical and vocal backings are done in a very tasteful and professional manner.
Elvis' singing sounds new and refreshing on most of the tracks.
I would've had the running order of the CD as follows (but it's all about personal choice)...
1 - I've Got Confidence
2 - Where No One Stands Alone
3 - Crying In The Chapel
4 - Saved
5 - He Touched Me
6 - So High
7 - How Great Thou Art
8 - Bosom of Abraham
9 - Stand By Me
10 - I, John
11 - You'll Never Walk Alone
12 - In The Garden
13 - He Is My Everything
14 - Amazing Grace
My rating for each song is 1 -thru- 5 ...
5 = Excellent (near perfection)
4 = Very Good
3 = Good/Average
2 = Average/Mediocre
1 = Poor
I've Got Confidence = 3.5
Not the best vocal performance from Elvis, but it sounds a little bit clearer now than on the 1972 He Touched Me album.
I loved the new female voices that were added. A fun track to start the CD with.
Where No One Stands Alone = 4
I don't think it could've been done much better. It was an ideal track for Lisa Marie because it wasn't too demanding on her vocally.
Saved = 5
I love it! The inclusion of the organ and piano sound great, as does the new female vocal backing. The bluesy ending is a knockout punch!
Crying In The Chapel = 5
I have nothing against the Jordanaires, but this track sounds much better without them (for a change). The new vocal backing is minimal and really draws attention to Elvis' fabulous 1960 voice!
So High = 4.5
Elvis left a lot for the backup singers to cover on this song. The new music is great, and the new voices sound really good as I could distinctly hear the Imperials. Elvis' voice is clearer and more upfront than what was released in 1967.
Stand By Me = 4
My thoughts are opposite on this one from "Crying In The Chapel". This time I missed the original vocal backup singers, but Elvis' isolated singing was very good, just not as great as it was in 1960.
Bosom of Abraham = 4.5
A very fine updated sound to this song. The new male vocal accompaniment is fantastic and the part from 1:17 to 1:31 has Elvis' voice sounding ghostly with a slight echo. What a great idea that was!
How Great Thou Art = 5
Elvis' voice is distinctly clear, and the female choir sounds very clear (My goodness, they sound like angels... if you can imagine what angels might sound like singing). The ending is fabulous and gave me goosebumps!
I, John = 3.25
This was a little bit of a letdown following the excellent "How Great Thou Art". However, I liked the new addition of the rhythm clapping.
I actually like and appreciate Elvis' original a little more.
You'll Never Walk Alone = 5
This one falls in line with "How Great Thou Art", but Elvis' voice seems stronger on this one. The new music is excellent.
He Touched Me = 4
Elvis' voice is heard more distinctly on this new track than what was originally released in '72. This one has a great ending!
In The Garden = 3.5
Perhaps one of the least exciting tracks on the CD, but there is a beautiful gentleness to Elvis' unique singing style on this one.
He Is My Everything = 3.5
This one seems to be an improvement over the original because there's more Elvis, less overpowering vocal backup. However, Elvis' singing isn't as loud and clear as I would've preferred on the part where he sings, "He is the King of all kings".
Amazing Grace = 3.5
Elvis' vocals are more distinct here than the version released in '72, and it is an over-all improvement. However, I found that the huge choir was too loud and overbearing from the 1:30 mark to 2:15. Unless someone already knows the words to the song, it's difficult to understand what they are singing during that 45-second time frame.
~ This CD left me wanting more,
and I'm already looking forward to what the next Gospel volume will have to offer!