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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Common Thread

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 May
Common Thread
Sounds like … classic Oak Ridge Boys, crossing country, Southern gospel, and some hints of barbershop quartet. At a glance … a mostly worthwhile combination of spiritually focused hits, hymns and gospel songs newly recorded with traditional treatment. Track ListingJesus Is Coming SoonHe Did It All for MeYou Can't Fix ItI KnowThe JourneyHow Great Thou ArtThis Little Light of MineYou Don't Have to Go HomeAmazing GraceI Saw the LightKeep Our World SafeGod Will Take Care of You

The Oak Ridge Boys sure have been active lately, releasing albums focused on Southern gospel, Christmas, patriotism and classic country, including last year's return to form The Journey. But even in the midst of all those albums and touring, the legendary foursome still found time to record Common Thread, which unites their famous sound with overtly Christian themes.

The project features newly recorded versions of past hits, historic hymns, and gospel tunes. "You Can't Fix It" is sure to strike a chord with anyone who's experienced physical or emotional suffering, while "Keep Our World Safe" is a prayer for God's global blessings. All are backed with steel guitar, fiddle, and other signature twangy elements signature, all of which respectfully stick to the traditions of "This Little Light of Mine" and "I Saw the Light" instead of selling out to pop country pretenses.

However, not everything on this album was necessary, including a repeat of "The Journey," which can be found on the Oaks' last album from less than a year ago. In addition, do any more artists really need to record the overly done "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art"? Though the quartet puts its special stamp on both, a couple more originals or obscure hymns would've made for a better substitution. Yet even with these choices, it's still remarkable to hear the Boys sounding full of life and faith thirty years into their multi-million album selling career.

© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.