The Talleys “The Test of Time” Album Review


Songs, albeit the ones that stand the test of time, are more than just words synchronized into an ad hoc array of musical notes.  Rather, they have such a way with words that they open up vistas of spiritual truths that we would have been oblivious to otherwise. Still there are others that bring us so close to God's throne room that they allow us to eavesdrop on heaven's conversations; such promptings can literally shape our lives in stunning ways for years and years to come.  And then there some songs that have such sweeping melodies that they have the ability to etch their way into our psyche that we will subconsciously hum to them in contexts of fear and frustrations. Yet, songs of such calibre are far and in between. For their latest album, the Talleys have taken the time to search for 10 of such songs with 2 new songs added to the mix.  

These are songs here are more than just ditties that tickle radio's fancy.  Rather, these are songs that have touched the lives of people over epochs of time.  Most recognizable and perhaps also the oldest among the bunch is the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  Don't expect to hear a soporific and stilted version that you often hear in churches, the weaving of the vocals of the Talleys with the choral backing of the Voices of Lee build up to such an applause-incurring crescendo that you can't help but marvel at the grandeur of God's faithfulness.   Stoicism is definitely in short supply in the Talley's take of Geron Davis' staple "Holy Ground."  The overflow of emotions and the stratospheric sounding orchestration under the helm of producers Roger Talley and Lauren Talley Alvery certainly bring definition to what "holy" means.  Similarly, if awe and heavenly sounding worship is what you're looking for, Andre Crouch's eternal "Bless the Lord/My Tribute" won't disappoint. 

Of more contemporary offerings, Dottie Rambo's "I Go to the Rock" (brought to fame most notably by the late great Whitney Houston) certainly is an interesting choice.  With Houston's signature belts and her Gospel-inflected phrasing, it's difficult for anyone (including the Talleys) to offer anything more pulverising that Houston's definitive version.  More mellow but no less meaningful is Carolyn Gillman's "And He's Ever Interceding," a country-sounding waltz that calls to mind Hebrews 7 which teaches that we never wrestle alone in prayer.  Rather, Jesus is always our High Priest interceding before the Father for us.  More tradition sounding in terms of the full-on Southern Gospel-esque harmonies is the passable "Isn't the Love of Jesus Somehow Wonderful." 

One reason why some of these songs are timeless is that they have the uncanny ability to take lofty themes and made them palpable.  Taking the theme of heaven and couching it into a tear-stained narrative, the Kirk Talley-penned "Serenaded by Angels" really does great service in catering us with Scriptural truths.  Then we have "Hidden Heroes," a song the trumps on the benevolence of Christ-like love in each of us taking the extra step to care for the helpless.  This song is invested with meaning as Lauren Talley's grandfather literally lived out this song in caring for his ailing wife for years before she died.  In a time where songs come and go, paeans that defy the tyranny of time are rare.  These 12 selections are just a smidgen of such classics that the Talleys have unearthed; these are songs that we will treasure in our hearts so that they can become tools of ministry in times of need.

Tags : THE TALLEYS Test of Time Southern Gospel

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