Producer: Jeff Collins
Record Label: Horizon Records/Crossroads Music Group
How do you write a review for a group who has been existence for 65 years? What can you say that hasn’t been said? Well, as is the case with the newest release from The Kingsmen – a lot. So let’s take a look at this new release from a group who even after 65 years wants you to know there’s “More to the Story.”
The project opens with “Church of the Great I Am.” Immediately, I drew a comparison to the opening of Battle Cry from a few years ago. This gets the album going at high energy, and this is a bit more than “three chords and a cloud of dust.” This is more let’s see how many keys we can modulate to before this is over, but the sound is still distinctly the Kingsmen. Next is a great song for the Easter season, but it is fitting for any time of the year. “I See a Lamb” takes us from Passover, to the Jordan, the Cross, and ultimately the reigning throne in Eternity. It’s a fantastic lyric from Chris Binon, Sue C. Smith, and Joel Lindsey.
The title track, “More to the Story,” is next, and it features Alan Kendall. The track is subdued and an easy listening story song featuring the life of Jonah and then a practical application in the second verse. “These Are the Days” is probably the song that will get stuck in your head as you listen to this album. It’s a catchy pop-esque progressive song that will definitely get your attention for sure. I love the lyric “…these are the days we long to surrender; but we press on to victory.” I don’t know about you, but in this past year and a half it’s felt just like that. However, Matthew Lawson and Dixie Phillips wrote the answer “These are the days for faith to shine brighter…” so even in the midst of this dark troubled world: we press on! This is a fantastic song.
Probably my favorite track from the new album is a song that features tenor and powerhouse singer Chris Jenkins called “When the Old Old Story Was New.” If you don’t listen to any other song on the album, be sure to listen to this one. It’s a song that is sure to become a classic in years to come. “What the Blood Does” is a convicting song the opening line “Everybody’s born into a broken world…” If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. This song is another progressive style song with a powerful message featuring Alan Kendall and delivered spot on.
“Just Can’t Get Over” gives Chris Bryant his chance to really shine. This is a Gospel song through and through and the “vocal acrobatics” displayed on that second verse is fantastic on the recording. If you get to hear it live hold on to your seat because it’s gonna get good. Speaking of getting good, it is so good to see Ila Knights name in songwriting credits. She has written many songs for the Kingsmen over the years. “Still I Climb” features Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame member Ray Dean Reese on the first verse and tenor Chris Jenkins on the second.
Member Chris Bryant not only sings lead, but has written a couple of songs on this album. The first one of those is “I Am Forgiven.” It’s a beautiful song with a great message. It wouldn’t be a Kingsmen album without a traditional uptempo song. This time around it’s from the pen of Lynn Robbins. “Ready for the Change” is fast from start to finish, and I have only one critique about this song. I was expecting a turn around at the end, however don’t let that deter you from listening. Just hit repeat and listen to it again.
Next up is more from Chris Bryant and his songwriting. This song features him and was written by him – “The Winds and Waves Still Know.” I can not say enough about this song. The first time I heard it was over a year ago now. I knew this song was something special. Especially in the season of life we all find ourselves in right now “Just remember He’s in control…” This is a great message. We have now reached our last song and at first glance you think is that THAT song? No this is a new song also written by Chris Bryant – “Tell It On the Mountain.” Is it Christmas? Sure. Is it Easter? Yeah. Is it for anytime? ABSOLUTELY! This song features each member at one line or another. It’s a fantastic closer and it DOES feature a turn around, so just when you think it’s over…get ready to “tell it on the mountain” once more.
More to the Story is a long awaited follow up to the much acclaimed Victory Shout album. Personally, I believe it builds on the Battle Cry album from a few years ago. I have listened to this album on repeat for a while now. I have to tell you, if you like good Southern style Gospel music and you want to feel good throughout your day, get this album. Buy it. Stream it. Share it. Be sure because everyone needs to know that there’s “More to the Story!”