Music Review: All Creatures by The Rock Music

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Updated January 31, 2018
Music Review: All Creatures by The Rock Music
Amazing Grace by The Porter Band

Basic Details

Release Date
Digital Price
£3.99 (amazon)

Album Details

Track Listing

Amazing Grace
All Creatures Of Our God And King
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Victory In Jesus
’Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
Blessed Assurance

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All Creatures: A Collection of Hymns is a unique addition to The Rock Music's catalog. The Porter Family Band brings a folksy approach to songs that have been sung by the church for generations. Soaring harmonies are brought to life by an ensemble that includes the banjo, cello, acoustic guitar, upright bass, harmonica, and melodica, creating a powerful sonic foundation for these innovative arrangements of classic tunes. The hope is that the timeless truths expressed by traditional hymns, combined with homespun harmonies and front porch grooves, will draw the listener closer to Jesus.

Editor review

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All Creatures by The Rock Music
Overall rating 
Personal Rating 
The Rock Music is a collective of different bands, with different styles, releasing their music through this label. Despite the different styles, from what I can see - and I could be wrong, it seems that whatever group of musicians perform, they are all classed as The Rock Music. This band is called The Porter Band (not to be confused with the Porter Family Band!) and the collective style is very much homespun Americana.

Immediately as they start off with the classic Hymn "Amazing Grace" you can hear the country / bluegrass tones to the banjos, but also the vocals. The female lead singer has an almost nasal vocal, but yet it sounds very distinctive and very pleasant. The whole ensemble here, and throughout the album, reminds me of a folksy American Rend Collective - maybe there's not quite the creativity that the collective have found, but then these are very familiar hymns, you can't do too much with them. With "Amazing Grace" they have added a vocal melody between the verses to space things out a bit.

The same vocal takes the lead for the first verse on "All Creatures Of Our God And King", there is some great blending of female vocals, the same is repeated for the male vocals on the second verse. The dominant male voice with the backing male and female vocal in the chorus and the third verse works really well. This is a hymn that I associate with School assemblies in the UK, or something from Songs of Praise, normally with resounding organ backing, so it is a little different to my ears to have this song on such a folky and quirky album. It definitely doesn't sound like a musty song that it often comes across as, not with this collection of instruments and vocalists.

"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" is more comfortable territory for this album and they know exactly what they are doing with this track, again good vocal blending just keeps the ears locked on the lyrics. "Victory in Jesus" sounds like a track that would be very welcome on the Gaither circuit and the Southern Gospel tradition with the country-style guitar and banjos sitting prominently in the mix. They also lead off the intro of "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" which manages to make the instrument prominent with just a strum in each line of the lyrics, before swooping back in for an interlude.

"Blessed Assurance" is one of my favourite hymns of all times, and sadly often neglected in the top Hymns, however I am confident that this track and it's handling will probably win you over, if you like this style. The additional vocal chorus which brings to mind "The Frog Song" really adds an element into this track, I couldn't see it sung quite like that in Church! I just closed my eyes and sang along with it!

Although the female vocal won't be to everyone's taste, certainly not at the beginning, it has a distinctive quality and it blends so well with others, whilst giving a definition at all times because it stands out. It is in this blending that this album really wins. Yes the collective, multiple traditional instruments, extra choruses are good, but I could listen to this blend of voices sing hymns all day, and I would be right there with them, probably completely out of tune, but having a great time praising Jesus to classic, tried and tested words of worship!

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