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.
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