- reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Aug
Virtue is probably the most versatile of the modern crop of gospel girl-groups that hit the Christian music scene during the last 10 years. Like contemporaries Trin-i-tee 5:7 and Mary Mary, they've recorded some excellent ballads (think "You've Been Merciful" from
This diversity of sounds is a key strength of
In my opinion, the strongest tracks on
"Lord, I Lift My Hands" features lush harmony and steady keys from Ward and David Blakely on organ. This song really gives each sister a chance to display the full-bodied, sweet-but-strong quality of her voice. "Worthy" uses lyrics from the Psalms, and has a strong dramatic chorus. Percussion here is confident, accenting rather than overwhelming the vocalists. "Open Arms" has a sensitive, gentle tone with compelling lyrics and a jazzy vamp. Lyrics include: "My child, please come home/I'm waiting for you/ I feel your pain/I want to comfort you/I know you think that it's too late to come home/No, I'll welcome you home." And "There's Nothing Else I Can Do" features crisp phrasing reminiscent of the Clark sisters.
Other strong tracks on this album include the PAJAM-produced "You'll Win if You Try," and "Thankful," which has a gentler, more adult-contemporary feel that showcases the talent without overproducing it. "You Just Be You" has an acoustic, "unplugged" sensibility lent by Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar. It's preceded by a sweet interlude between Heather and 8-year-old Chloe Kibble.
"Healin'" is a fun, high-energy track that describes God's provision for the weary-hearted. Unfortunately, it's followed by "Jesus Paid the Ransom," a song with a similarly heavy bass-percussion feel. Both songs are fine (and by the same writer), but they probably shouldn't be right next to each other on the same album. "He's Able" and "Everything Will Be All Right" share the lyrical theme of God's ability to strengthen us in discouraging times. But "He's Able," though danceable, feels like one long cliché, from intro vocals by PAJAM (which was cool the first few times, but …), to the synth voice and string background track. And "Everything Will Be All Right" also has a dated, repetitive feel.