Artist:   Avalon

Weathering through a season of personnel change and solo project exploration from founders Janna Long and Jody McBrayer, winner of CCM Readers’ Choice for “Favorite Group” doesn’t seem to be displaying any signs of wear on "The Creed." Serving as the group’s first full-length studio release in three years, there aren’t many surprises when it comes to the end result; yet the mix manages to adequately sidestep staleness.

New Avalonians Greg Long and Melissa Greene easily complement the established vocal stylings, resulting in rich harmonies and satisfying solos. Produced by Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Point of Grace), Charlie Peacock (Twila Paris, Audio Adrenaline) and Tedd T. (Rachael Lampa, ZOEgirl), "The Creed"’s standout tracks include the uplifting “Far Away From Here,” an energetic pop pleaser punctuated by a beautiful piano interlude, and “I Wanna Be You,” a soaring anthem with a memorable hook. The re-mixed “Overjoyed” is also a highlight that’s sultry and soulful with Janna’s trademark chops taking center stage.

Lyrically, "The Creed" benefits from an assortment of songwriting pens. “You Were There,” written by Ben Glover, shines in its worshipful exploration of God’s steadfast nature. The title track is a simple yet stirring declaration of faith co-written by Matt Huesmann, Chris Davis, Cindy Morgan and former Avalon vocalist Michael Passons. “All,” the record’s first radio single, penned by Ian Eskelin and Brian White, cleverly wades through the roller coaster of emotions of spiritual surrender.

For those who love Avalon’s polished, feel-good vibe, there’s plenty to love about "The Creed."

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