Sunday, February 3, 2008

David Houston - Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I Wonder How John Felt (When He Baptized Jesus) 7"

Here's one for your Sunday afternoon.
A few years back my wife was asked to play the organ at a funeral. The family asked her to play "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?". She asked me if I had the song and it turned out that I didn't. Well I think I went on the internet and found it and she was set. But now that I was sensitized to the title I came across this record within two weeks of that event. So even though the funeral had passed and I had already downloaded the song I bought this record. It turned out to be pretty good. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" is given a great treatment here. There is a fantastic organ laying the bed to the song. The opening few bars are great. Catch the soulful organ work after the first line. David Houston then gives the song a good country soul feel. The steel guitar is a nice country counterpoint to the gospel tone.
The B-Side makes me smile for two opposing reasons. The lyrics in my opinion are just about as cheesy as they get. Now I'm don't have a problem with a song simply for being religious. In fact there are quite a few gospel or religious songs that I like. But there are songs which when I hear make me think that they are just songs to capitalize off of some religious novelty or idea. They seem more like a commodity than a true expression of someone's faith. This is one of those songs. On the other hand I love the arrangement and the voices on the song. I find the chorus extremely catchy. I love the backup vocals. I love the harmony. Buried deep in it is one of those great Oakridge Boys type bass voices (think "Elvira"). Then as much as I find the lyrics to be silly and sort of insincere, David Houston sounds amazingly sincere, especially toward the end when he really cuts loose. There is this moment where he jumps to this falsetto voice. My ears perk up every time. At that moment the song becomes great. It's in the last 10 or 20 seconds of the song, but it is a great finish.
So turn off that televangelist and get your spiritual edification here.
01 Will The Circle Be Unbroken.m4a
02 I Wonder How John Felt (When He Baptized Jesus).m4a

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