The Perrys - Almost Morning
Daywind RecordsWebsite: http://www.perrysministries.com
Is there anything The Perrys can't do? This family group started off as a traditional family group and eventually moved into more progressive territory in the mid-90s thanks to the fantastic vocal stylings of former members like Mike Bowling, Nicole Watts Jenkins, David Hill, and others. The group did a complete 180 when they released what many consider their finest record to date - Changed Forever. Taking on the more traditional sound helped to catapult The Perrys to star status - and they've been sitting in the clouds ever since.
The group has released several recordings since then - but none quite as good as their latest record Almost Morning. The album features a bit more variety than past releases - mostly due to the budding talent of Joseph Habedank as both a lead singer and songwriter and the growing-more-confident-by-the-minute baritone vocalist Troy Peach.
The album kicks off with the barn-burner "The Old Sinner Testifies" before moving into one of the album highlights "If You Knew Him" (a Habedank and Rodney Griffin co-write). "The Old Fashioned Altar" features some great vocal arrangements, and "I Love to Tell of His Love" is a fun convention style song. "Dying Is a Day" is another uptempo tune that features Joseph on a fine lead vocal.
This record has a lot of real stand-out cuts - particularly the much-talked-about "Did I Mention" and "Prior to Prayer." However, the tour-de-force of the record is none other than the title cut and Habedank original "Almost Morning."
"Almost Morning" brings this reviewer to his next point - and that is how impressive Habedank has evolved over the years as a lead vocalist. His understated performance on "Almost Morning" shows a maturity way beyond his years as a vocalist and interpreter of lyrics. "If You Knew Him" could have reached those levels if it hadn't been for some odd pronunciations (particularly "traveled" and "direction") and a real lack of punch at the end of the second verse. In addition, Troy Peach really takes a step forward with this release. (When he sang with First Love and TK & McRae - it felt like Troy was taking a backseat to his wife - Katy. With The Perrys - Troy has really become a force to be reckoned with.)
Overall, Almost Morning stands alongside past Perrys releases like Changed Forever and Come to the Fountain - which were benchmark releases for the group. Almost Morning is hands down one of the best releases of the year.
This Old Sinner Testifies
If You Knew Him
An Old-Fashioned Altar
I Love to Tell of His Love
The One Who Is Unworthy
Dying Is a Day
Prior to a Prayer
You Cannot Improve On the Truth
Did I Mention