Producer: Lynda Randle and Joey Gore
Label: Gaither Music Group
Lynda Randle has one of the most distinctive alto voices in gospel music. She isn’t flashy, but she can belt out a tune and deliver a song as good as anyone. For the last few releases, she has gone back and picked up many of the great hymns of the church, and each with a common theme; Songs of Peace, Songs of Hope and now Songs of Joy. With this latest release, Lynda has focused mostly on hymns of great joy and this is probably my favorite release in the hymn series.
Joy abounds with the opening track, “DOWN AT THE CROSS” (aka-Glory to His Name) before the tempo slows down slightly for the John W. Peterson classic, “HEAVEN CAME DOWN”.
One of the greatest hymns ever penned is, “THE OLD RUGGED CROSS”, which Lynda delivers flawlessly, as well as her soulful rendition of “OH, HOW I LOVE JESUS”.
The tempo gets kicked up for a trio of favorites from the spiritual feel of “REAL, REAL”, to the campmeeting favorite “THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN” and the soulful “THIS JOY THAT I HAVE” before the tempo slows back down for the Gaither classic, “HE TOUCHED ME”.
“IN YOU I FIND MY JOY” is a highlight of the recording. Penned by Lynda and producer, Joey Gore, the song is very is a gentle reminder of where our joy truly comes from.
The recording closes out with “WHEN I GET TO THE END OF THE WAY” and the Squire Parsons classic, “SWEET BEULAH LAND”.
Each hymn is given respectful treatment and while for the most part, don’t offer any new and exciting musical arrangements, are very well done. I have such a deep appreciate for the hymns and glad to see artists revive them and give them the respect they so deserve. But so many hymn recordings tend to drag, but this recording offers more up-tempo tunes than most hymn recordings and it doesn’t tend to drag. It’s a solid effort from Lynda Randle and it’s the best recording of hers that I’ve heard since her Mahalia Jackson tribute recording from a few years ago.
Song titles: (stars denote personal favorites)
1 – Down at the Cross (Glory to His Name)**
2 – Heaven Came Down
3 – The Old Rugged Cross
4 – Oh, How I Love Jesus**
5 – Real, Real**
6 – The Windows of Heaven**
7 – This Joy I Have**
8 – He Touched Me
9 – In You I Find My Joy**
10-When I Get to the End of the Way
11-Sweet Beulah Land