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Freemans- Eyes on the Prize

Producer: Darrell Freeman/Joyce Martin-Sanders
Label: Golden Vine Productions

The Freemans have one of the most recognizable sounds in the SG industry. Not many groups can say that. The Freemans are the best at what they do, singing Southern Gospel with a strong country influence. If you taste leans more into the country side of music, then you will definitely enjoy this latest offering from the Freemans.

The distinctive country stylings of the lead off song, "HE CHOSE ME" sets the stage for the recording before moving on to "CAST IN THE SEA" which features Darrell along with Chris. This is one of the strongest songs on the recording and is one that I think would make a great radio single.

After two medium tempo songs, the pace finally picks up as Chris confidently sings the Gerald Crabb penned, "PUT ME IN THAT CROWD" before slowing the pace back down a bit for "THREE RUGGED CROSSES", which features Darrell.

And basically so it goes for the remainder of the recording as the features tend to alternate between Chris and Darrell, until we come to the final two songs, "RICH AS I CAN BE" (a great fun song that features Darrell along with Joe and Caylon) and the title song, "EYES ON THE PRIZE" which features Chris along with a host of other singers including Misty Freeman, Joyce Martin-Sanders, Bo Hinson, Jason Crabb and the Dixie Echoes. It's an interesting little ditty that has the feel of an old Negro Spiritual and I think a lot of people will enjoy the song.

Two songs really stand out on this recording to me, though for two very different reasons. "I NEED A DRINK" is the only song that really just doesn't work me. I completely see the thought process behind the song, but equating drinking from the Well of Life to the drinking from another source, just doesn't work for me; but to each his own. On the flipside though, is the song "THE GRACE I REMEMBER", which features Chris. There are very few people in the Southern Gospel industry that can truly interpret a song like Chris Freeman, and this song will go down as one of her finest performances.

I was surprised at the lack of a feature from Misty, as she usually has a song all her own on each recording, but she basically only gets a verse buried on the final tune. Fans of Misty Freeman will be disappointed from that standpoint, but as an album from the Freemans as a whole, it's a great record. I will say though, from a personal taste perspective, Eyes on the Prize doesn't quite rank up there with A Way With Words (1999) and Highway (2001), as I consider those to be the Freemans finest works, but this is a very strong recording and one their fans will enjoy listening to over and over again.

Song titles:
1 - He Chose Me
2 - Cast in the Sea
3 - Put me in that Crowd
4 - Three Rugged Crosses
5 - If God Doesn't Have It
6 - I Need a Drink
7 - The Grace I Remember
8 - Crossfire
9 - Rich as I Can Be
10-Eyes on the Prize

About This Article - Freemans- Eyes on the Prize

James Hales's avatar Author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Written: 09/15/2007 | Category: CD Reviews Comments: 8

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Reader Comments

The main reason Misty is not featured is pretty simple actually. Misty is preparing for the release of another solo project. I have heard several of the upcoming songs and they are incredible. Don't worry, we have NOT heard the last of Misty Freeman!

By Loretta Lewallen on Wed, September 19, 2007 - 7:01:27

James Hales and I have been friends since he was a teenager (that's about 20 years, right James?? LOL!) and I must say there are times when we totally disagree. Our opinion on "I Need A Drink" is one of those times. Although I haven't heard this project yet, being the big Freemans fan that I am, I've seen them perform several of these songs live. "I Need a Drink" was one that left a big impression on me. What a wonderful positive twist on an expression that we've heard all of our life in a negative way.

I do agree with him though, solo project coming up or not, I'm sorry that Misty doesn't have a feature song on this project. I am a BIG Misty fan and she can never have too many songs.

By Karen_ptl on Wed, September 19, 2007 - 9:21:04

I agree with Karen about "I Need a Drink." What a fantastic play on words.

By Chris D. Unthank on Wed, September 19, 2007 - 12:55:12


By MorningGlory on Fri, September 21, 2007 - 5:56:46

"He Chose Me" and "I Need A Drink" are 5 star songs. "Three Rugged Crosses" and "Cast Into The Sea" are 4 star songs. The rest? hmmm...

By Tyler on Thu, September 27, 2007 - 11:05:04

I need a drink is a great song. It's about time people started drinking from the Well of Life. I agree about the song the Grace I Remember. It really touched me. I, too, am a Misty fan and was hoping for a song from her on the new album. What I've heard of her new songs, her new album is going to be great.

By nava on Tue, October 09, 2007 - 10:24:06

I think The Freemans project is Great I think it's a little different to most Freeman Recordings but by far one of the best Southern Gospel Recordings Released in a long time and I think I need a Drink is an AWESOME song!!!

By Sweetbabies91 on Thu, October 11, 2007 - 10:46:44

I agree with the reviewer about "I Need a Drink." The message is too shaky. My favorites include "He Chose Me", "Cast in the Sea", "If God Doesn't Have It", and "The Grace I Remember." "The Grace I Remember" reminds me of the song Chris wrote about 5 years ago for their "Closer" cd, "I'm Not Serving a Memory." Chris and the rest of the Freemans are one of the most underrated groups in Southern Gospel music today.

By Andrew_Stephens on Wed, October 08, 2008 - 11:50:30