Producer: Dony McGuire & Darrell Freeman
Record Label: GoldenVine Records
About every 3-4 years, I get really excited because usually the Freemans have a new recording coming out. Whereas most groups release one every year or every other year, the Freemans typically release new music every 3-4 years; and right on que, 4 years after the release of “Tower of Song”, the Freemans release their latest titled, “Till the End”. Not many groups get me excited about new music these days, but I literally count down the days when the Freemans have new music coming out. While I am disappointed at the number of songs presented here, I do realize the pandemic probably played a role, and the fact that artists are not releasing 10 song recordings like they used to. I am old school, so I am usually a few years behind the current trend. The Freemans have historically released new recordings with 9 songs, and while 8 are listed on this recording, only 6 are truly “new” recordings. But with that said, there are no weak songs found within these new songs, as the Freemans have recorded some of their strongest songs ever here.
The recording starts off with the title song, “TILL THE END”, which features Chris on the verses. This medium tempo song has a strong country feel to it, and it fits the Freemans like a glove. It’s a highlight of the recording and is one of my personal favorites from the recording.
The tempo picks up for the snappy “GOD WALKS IN”, before things slows down for the thought provoking, “WHEN THEY SEE ME, THEY SEE YOU”, which features both Darrell and Chris. In what should be the prayer of every believer, the song says, “Let Your hand rest on my shoulder, let my heart be tried and true, let Your face shine down upon me, let my voice sound like Your voice Lord, let me love the way You do, like a child looks like his father, when they see me, they see You.” I hope to see this song make it to radio, as it is a fantastic song!
The tempo picks back up as they cover the Casting Crowns hit, “NOBODY”, which features Darrell, Chris and Joe, before slowing back down as the group brings back my all-time favorite Freemans song, “CHILDREN OF THE DUST”. While this new version doesn’t have quite the same punch as the original from 22 years ago, it’s an admirable performance and I’m glad to see the song revived.
“THE GLORY” is the last of the new recordings here. Featuring Darrell, it’s a powerful song for the church of today. You can’t help but feel the conviction in the lyric…“You can’t have the glory with sin in the camp, you can’t have the fire with no oil in your lamp, if we can’t tell the difference, we’re blind and can’t see, the glory is not there like it used to be”. The Freemans have never shied away from recording songs with piercing lyrics, and this one preaches and reaches to the core!
Rounding out the recording are two “album extras” which are songs from the Freemans distant and not so distant past. The first, “I’LL FLY” was originally recorded by the Freemans back in 1997 and the second, “LITTLE DAVID”, was originally recorded back in 1985, but the version included here is from their 1988 live recording, “The Freemans Have Arrived..Live”. Unlike “Children of the Dust”, these are not new recordings of these songs, but they are re-releases. It was great re-living these songs again as they’re important pieces of the Freemans legacy, but I would have loved to have heard a few more new songs.
There is not a filler song found here, as any of these new songs can be a radio hit. I have been a fan of the Freemans since I first started hearing their music back in the mid-late 1980’s and they have consistently released great music, and this latest release is no different. It appears that I have only a handful of great new songs to get me through the next 3-4 years until they record again! Maybe they won’t go as long before recording some new material again, as I can’t get enough of their music anyway! I am a Freeman’s fan…till the end!
(stars denote personal favorites)
Till the End**
God Walks In
When They See Me, They See You**
Children of the Dust