Home > Album Reviews > Album Review:The Nelons- Beside Still Waters

Album Review:The Nelons- Beside Still Waters

I remember hearing the Nelons sing years ago when I was just a kid. I had always loved their tight harmony and soaring vocals. So when I heard that they were coming out with a new CD I got curious. I then started hearing that this could be their best album in about twenty years, that pushed me to check into it. And well I have to say that this album could very well be their best since Get Ready. Kelly Nelon Clark with her smooth as butter alto voice, and her daughter Amber Thompson, who happens to be one of the best young sopranos in the business really make this album quite the treat to listen to. Jason Clark helps to anchor the sound… He was also a big contributor in the songwriting and producing of this album.

1. The Love Of God- The album kicks off with a great song featuring the soaring vocals of Amber Thompson. She has really developed as a singer since she was first introduced several years ago. This song helps to show her range and power as a soprano… She definitely has her mother’s vocal power, but with a younger more modern influence. This song is great upbeat number that really features Amber’s soaring soprano voice.5/5

2 . Beside Still Waters- While the title song (originally recorded by the Mark Trammel Trio) it is not a big standout number. It does however feature some great harmonies from this trio. 3.5/5

3. Goodbye Valley, Hello Mountaintop- This song gives Jason Clark a chance at a solo. His voice while not a powerhouse voice does have a nice cut to it that can be pleasing to listen…. This song has a very nice message that is quite encouraging. Once again the group has some very nice stacked harmonies on this number. Nice song.  3/5

4. There Is A Way- The first big ballad of the project features Amber Thompson. She really does a great job with this one. The Lyrics on this song are very strong. I could not get enough of this song, when I first started listening to this album. Wayne Haun did the orchestrations and they are breathtaking  the Bridge features a very nice modulation up that sends this song skyward. Without a doubt this is favorite of mine on this project. 5/5

5. He Found Me- In an almost direct opposite  style from the last song, this track features a medium-tempo kind of bluesy feel. Jason Clark takes the first verse, and Amber has the second. This is another highlight song that would have been even better had they let Amber take the lead on the entire song… This song is also their first single from the project. 4/5

6. Settled At The Cross- This is a beautiful song that features Kelly. Her performance on this particular song is reminiscent of some of her features from years gone by… Her voice is one of the smoothest and most beautiful alto voices in the business… She really sings this song with feeling and passion like she knows what the lyrics are all about. The Lyrics themselves, are very stirring and encouraging for any believer that has been or is going through a tough time. 5/5

7. I’m Going Home With Jesus- This classic that was originally covered by the McGruders, has been been given a modern feel by The Nelons. and they really make it their own. The song has a built-in encore that Amber totally blows out of the water, she really soars.it I love listening to this song and play it almost every day. Great number without a doubt. 5/5

8. My Tribute- This Andrae Crouch classic is taken and given the big ballad orchestrated treatment on this version. Jason Clark does a great job on his solo. They do great with this number. 4/5

9. Weep- I love this song which features Kelly Nelon Clark. After what I have been through these last three months this song really speaks to me. I play this song for anyone that tells me they don’t know what to say or do about my grief about the loss of my Mother. This song also features some of the best harmonies you will ever hear from a mixed trio. 5/5

10. Consider Me- This jazzy mid-tempo  song features Jason Clark… I am not actually a big fan of this particular song… It has some decent lyrics (Though I am not a big fan of the line “Consider Me A Jesus Fan” just seems a little out of place or campy in this particular song) though it might have been a little better emphasized if Amber had carried the lead through most of it… 3/5

11. Jesus What A Wonderful Name- This song with it’s sweeping orchestration and great vocals. Is a definite highlight of the album. This may be Wayne Haun Orchestration at its best. The lyrics of this song penned by Gerald Crabb are very powerful. It finds itself a home here but would also do well in mainstream P&W. The song is just a great great song also with a nice solo from Kelly. 5/5

12. I Choose To Live- The closing song serves as a vocal debut for Kelly Nelon Clarks younger daughter, Autumn. She does a great job here on this number; her voice fits right in  with the other members of the group, and she seems to mean what she is singing. The song has a nice message that is good for young and old people alike. 3.5/5

Overall Rating- 4/5 stars

Final Thoughts: Up until this point, for the past ten years I really hadn’t kept up with The Nelons.  I know a lot of their older stuff, from back when they were the Rex Nelon Singers, and they had some great songs over the years, but nothing they had done recently had really caught my ear… Until this album came out. This album caught my attention from the first song until the last.Wayne Haun the head producer for this album really did a great job along with Jason Clark who had a big hand in the production process.

So with that said I would encourage you whether you are a Nelons fan or not to go out get this album or download it from Itunes.

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Categories: Album Reviews
  1. Brad
    July 13, 2010 at 1:43 -05:00Jul

    I totally agree. I had about lost interest in the Nelons, but this is certainly their best CD in a long time.

  2. July 13, 2010 at 1:43 -05:00Jul

    On “I’m Going Home With Jesus,” when I checked, I found it hard to believe that Amber is only going from the A-flat above high C (an easy note for you and me) to the C above high C on that encore! It sure seems higher. She must have the Glen Payne / Neil Enloe gift of making a note that’s not all that high for the voice type sound quite high.

    Besides the super-obvious “Going Home w/Jesus” and “Settled at the Cross,” my pick from the album was “Beside Still Waters.” There’s a certain delightful simplicity to the combination of lyric and melody there that their rendition really brings out.

  3. Nate Stainbrook
    July 14, 2010 at 1:43 -05:00Jul

    I had wondered what that note was she hit on that encore… I usually test it on the piano but didn’t this time…

    I also really enjoy “Beside Still Waters” but I have always been a sucker for big ballad type songs like “There Is A Way” and “Jesus What A Wonderful Name” 🙂

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