Winter Voices - 12 songs, released 2/95.


Track Listing: (Lyrics available for six songs. Just click blue titles)...........................................Back to albums page

Voices From Heaven / Christ In Her Eyes / Honesty, Etc. / Almost Winter, Never Christmas / Drummer Boy / All Ye Faithful / Come Fill This Room / Together / Gone And Long Gone / Search Light / I'll Warm You In the Winter / Everybody Come Praise the Lord.

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Review - This was the album that changed things. The previous "I'll See You In the Spring" album was artsy, folk-rock, and went largely ignored, except by other artsy people. With the entrance of daughters Kim and Julie into the recording and performing process, and the desire to "communicate more simply with the common folk", a wholehearted move toward pop-rock was in order. Rob filled his head with 60s oldies, mostly by the Searchers, and then proceeded to write accordingly. In retrospect, the transition could have been better. Some of these songs tend to drag. Folk songs can move slowly, but the tempo should have been increased to pop-speed on most of these. Still, two "big hits" emerged, along with three other concert staples. "Everybody Come Praise the Lord" was first performed live by Rob and Cindy, and to be quite honest, the audience didn't buy it. But when people heard Kim's "Honesty, Etc.", interest in the band and the album soared. The mock-rap number was well-delivered, and packs a great message. As concert opportunities increased, "Everybody Come Praise the Lord" became the finale, and people jumped on it, singing back and forth with the band on the chorus. Two others that work well live: "Gone & Long Gone" and "Come Fill This Room", tho' a speeded-up version of the latter is usually used. "Voices From Heaven" is great, but suffers the same response as the previous album, for the same reasons. "Christ In Her Eyes" won some female "fans" as a sweet easy-listening piece. Overall, the album is typical of transitional albums: some hot and cold spots. A couple of the songs are poorly recorded, but most are fine, and the album sold very well in 1995 and 1996.

UPDATE - The album was re-mixed in 2001, and four of the songs were re-done. It's better.

VOICES FROM HEAVEN - Full-sounding rocker with a touch of techno, it's about choosing who we'll listen to.
CHRIST IN HER EYES - Attributes of a "Real Woman", put to a mersey-beat backdrop.
HONESTY, ETC - Kim gets into the band's only rap tune, hammering out comments on a forgotten virtue. A Hit-Plus-Plus.
ALWAYS WINTER, NEVER CHRISTMAS - Inspired by C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia", it's about Edmund's first visit.
DRUMMER BOY - Continuing the Winter/Christmas theme, this instrumental march makes a nice transition to:
ALL YE FAITHFUL - As in "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", but with contemporary words. Recorded back in 1987.
COME FILL THIS ROOM - 60s-style pop rock backs a prayer that God will fill the room with his presence.
TOGETHER - A gorgeous tribute to a happy marriage. PTL for Cindy Bolton.
GONE AND LONG GONE - A favorite of several preachers, this country-rock testimony presents the gospel.
SEARCH LIGHT - Cindy's vocals further sweeten a beautiful melody of how Christ came to seek and save the lost.
I'LL WARM YOU IN THE WINTER - Simple folk song that ties this album to the previous one.
EVERYBODY COME PRAISE THE LORD - Great rock-and-roll finish, vocals include all five Boltons. Usual concert finale.

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