Home > Uncategorized > CD Review: Never Walk Alone (Brian Free And Assurance)

CD Review: Never Walk Alone (Brian Free And Assurance)

When Brian Free And Assurance came out with “It’s So God” about four years ago it started a change in direction of sound and style in both the songs they picked and musical style. Some loved the change, some were ambivalent, and others really did not like it at all. I fall in the loved it camp. While some of their first CDs in this vein had some tracks that  were a bit over-compressed; they still had solid songs lyrically, and this CD is full of great songs and offers some great production. And now with Ricky Free heading up the production aspect, I truly believe this CD is the best they have done in their career both from a lyrical and production standpoint. Below I will outline why I feel this way with a song by song breakdown of the CD.

1. Anything Is Possible- When it was announced that Ricky Free would be producing this CD  I knew there would be some very fun and upbeat tracks. Well the CD kicks off with one of these type songs, and is one of my favorites on the entire CD. It is well written by Jim Brad, Barry Weeks and Tony Wood. It gives you a somewhat unique take on the story of Noah in the first verse; and another take on doubting Thomas in the second; this along with the great track make for a song that will have you tapping your feet  hitting the repeat button over and over again. 5/5

2. I Believe- The songwriting team of Kenna Turner West and Lee Black have really been putting out some great songs lately, and this journey through the bible in song is another great one to add their repertoire. The song itself features Brian singing at his best; the lyrics really lay out many different  miracle stories from the bible, and use those stories  to say that the writer believes every story,line and word of the bible. The tag connects it all together in a great way by saying “I believe in the message of mercy and grace, that tells of a savior who died in my place” I love this song, and I believe it would make a good radio cut. 5/5

3. God Will Close The Door- This song is another upbeat song that fits well with BFA’s current style and sound; it is also lyrically strong and tells the story of how God shut the door on the ark for Noah, and how he will close the doors in our lives when needed. The singing is superb with Jeremy Lyle on the verses, and Brian leading on the chorus. The modulation on the chorus at the end features some very high singing from Brian; as is per usual for at least one or two songs on every BFA CD. This is a good song live as well, I saw it at NQC and the crowd received it very well. 4/5

4. The Part Where You Come In- This song featuring Bill Shivers is a great country sounding song, that once again has some powerful lyrics. The message simply says that when God comes into the picture everything is new, and everything changes; and that for the rest of our lives the story that we will tell again and again is the part where God comes in. I believe this is type of song that will connect well with any audience, and would also be a great radio single. 4.5/5

5. Remind Me Of The Cross- Once again Kenna Turner West has penned a powerful lyric about the Cross.(she also had a hand in the once in lifetime lyric “Faithful To The Cross” recorded by Legacy Five) She co-wrote this song with Jason Cox, and what a powerful song it is. The gist of the song and the most powerful line of the song lies in the chorus and says this ” Lord if a day should ever come that I forget what real love costs, remind me of the cross” WOW that is powerful. Vocally this song features Jeremy Lyle on the verses, and is maybe his effort to date; Brian does a great job taking the lead on the chorus. I believe this song could go down as a signature song for BFA.5/5

6. Its My Life- This song featuring Derrick Selph is a song that simply states what this group believes as singers, about their calling to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through song. The song while mostly about singers stating “Its not my job, its my life” also includes everyone in the bridge. Where it says “and no matter where you work or what you do from day to day every child of God is called to witness along the way” and that is very true. Also Derrick really turns in a great performance; I dare say that in his year off from the group he has gotten even better as a singer. I could also see this doing well on radio. 4.5/5

7. Turn The Page- In another song that takes you through the various amazing stories in the bible; only this time with a slightly different twist. The stories it tells are stories that start out not so good for the characters, and then ends with God performing a great miracle to get them out of trouble. The gist of the song is summed in the words on the chorus “sometimes before a miracle our God sets the stage to show he will always come through, so turn the page.” It tells us very plainly that when we are holding on for God to come through to just have faith and “turn the page”. Derrick Selph once again turns in a solid performance. 5/5

8. Stand Among The Millions- This song is once again a very powerful ballad; this time featuring Brian. It tells us what it might be like when we are all in heaven standing among the millions of believers that have made it; and that when Jesus appears we will all as one bow before him. Jim Brady, Tony Wood and Barry Weeks really paint a wonderful picture in words, that BFA takes and communicates in song like only they can. Brian Free turns in one his best performances ever in my opinion. I just love this song, and could listen to it over and over again. I would guess that this is one that goes over well in a live setting. 5/5

9. It’s Gotta Be God- This upbeat song is a stark contrast to the one preceding it; that is not a bad thing in this case. It features Bill Shivers turning in a fine performance, this song brings out some “soul” in his voice that I had not heard before. This song is very fun to listen to, and like all the songs preceding it, has a great message to it. Simply saying that everything good has to be from God, and that he still works in mysterious ways. 4.5/5

10. Never Walk Alone- When I first heard this song on CD driving home from NQC back in September I cried all the way home. After losing my mom back in March I listened to every song I could to get some kind of soothing ointment for my soul through song. Well I never really found a song that could accomplish just that; until I heard this song. The message in this song  is the most poignant and powerful lyric on the entire disc.It says that no matter what we have been through Jesus has been through it too, and that we will never ever walk alone. It is has a slow but beautiful track featuring mostly just piano and some strings; along with Brian Free singing beautifully with a sincerity and passion in his voice, that just reaches out and pulls you in and does not let go, even after the song is long over. Bill Shivers joins Brian for some beautiful harmony on the chorus, they are the only two that sing on the song. This is by far my favorite song on the CD, and this one song is worth the price of the entire album. 5/5

Overall CD Rating: 5 Stars

Final Thoughts: Brian Free and Assurance have put out a top notch CD that they should be very proud of; Brian himself honestly thinks that this is the best CD that they have ever done, and I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly. I think them putting Ricky Free at the head of the producing team was a genius move. He really added quite a bit to this project and any issues that might have plagued the producing of their last few CDs are distant memories with the superb production of this project. I look forward to seeing what this group will have for us next. I encourage everyone that loves good Southern Gospel songs to get this CD they WILL NOT be dissapointed. You can order the project here.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Lee Black
    November 23, 2010 at 1:43 -05:00Nov

    Nate, thanks for your kind words. I am so pleased with how this song turned out. The first cut I ever had was on the the first BFA project so I’ve always been a fan of theirs. They sound amazing and Ricky did a great job producing!

  2. Mary Ailey
    July 14, 2011 at 1:43 -05:00Jul

    I certainly like “I Believe” on this CD. It is absolutely full of honor and praise.
    The words cause my soul to swell with conviction. It describes how I truly feel about His word. Simply put: It is anointed.

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