Music Review: Stronger Together by The Nelons

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Updated March 08, 2017
Music Review: Stronger Together by The Nelons
The Nelons - My Father's House

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Track Listing

My Father's House
One Little Word
Family Chain
Then Came the Morning
Gate of Heaven
You Can't Make Old Friends
The Awakening
I Think I'll Read It Again
Angels Hover Near You

The Nelons have been bridging the traditional sounds of Southern Gospel with contemporary influences that inspires listeners of all ages. The group, who has enjoyed much success as a part of the prestigious Gaither Homecoming Tour and Video Series, continues to cross generational gaps, presenting rich harmonies that have been embraced by audiences from all walks of life.

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Stronger Together
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Personal Rating 
"Stronger Together" is the other album that was released by The Nelons together with "Family Harmony" which I reviewed yesterday. This album features another 9 tracks of Southern Gospel and Country tunes which feature this tuneful family vocal group.

Where "Family Harmony" took off straight away, this album features four tracks that are slow tempo one after another. Kicking off with "My Father's House" which uses the idea of Jesus words that "in my Father's house are many mansions" and this imagines what this looks and feels like, and conveys this with lashings of emotional pulls about the bounty available there. Kelly takes the lead on "One Little Word" which is about the healing name of Jesus. While this track should be greatly inspirational I found it a little slow. "Family Chain" has a little more life to it as they re-imagine an old song from The Isaacs repertoire. There are some lovely violins on this track as they consider those people from the family who have passed on to glory and considers our own mortality, it sounds better than I have probably described it! The last of this quartet of tracks is a Gaither song "Then Came The Morning". I think it's fair to say that the first half of this album is a fairly sombre affair, although there is hope mixed in too, especially as "Then Came The Morning" comes to it's conclusion.

The tempo suddenly jumps as they head to "Gate Of Heaven" which has a rockabilly sound and just completely changes the nature of this album. There is some great piano and instrumental and brings a much needed lightness to this collection of songs. It does slow back down again as we hit "You Can't Make Old Friends" which is a simple acoustic guitar, piano and vocal track and carries an interesting idea that fits well with the style.

"The Awakening" is the biggest departure from tradition for The Nelons that they have tried. It's a very grand and theatrical production which when listening through the first time I thought someone else's track had been inserted into the digital collection. However it is definitely the family singing. The production values are great and vocally the track is very strong, but this is at cost to the impact of the lyrics. If The Nelons were to do musical theatre then they definitely could pull it off if this track is one to judge by.

Next to last is the upbeat but rather vacuous "I Think I'll Read It Again" which for me didn't work. In fact my step-son and I were listening to it while I was cooking tea and he just turned to me and said "I think she's going to read it again" in deadpan style which about summed it up. The final track is a beautiful rendition of "Angels Hover Near You" which, although it is a slower track, works very well and the harmonies are fantastic, along with the soft violin which accompanies them (amongst other strings). The only problem is it's another very slow track which rounds out an album of largely slow songs.

I love the fact that there are different styles and the theatrical song is brilliant from an arrangement point of view. I love the Rockabilly style because it's a welcome change to the rest of the album. On balance this, I feel, is the weaker of the two albums because of the pacing mainly, but also some tracks that probably could have been left out. I do feel that there are weak tracks on both albums and the group could have combined these two releases into one and they would have indeed been "Stronger Together".

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