Your browser does not support our new site design, so some things might not display or function properly.
We suggest upgrading to Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 9+ for the optimal experience.

GLAD

The A Cappella Project III (1996)

4.6

October 31, 1998

Tuning / Blend 5.0
Energy / Intensity 4.4
Innovation / Creativity 4.0
Soloists 4.4
Sound / Production 4.8
Repeat Listenability 3.6
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 4.8
2 Tell It Like It Is 4.6
3 Your Love Broke Through 4.6
4 Doer of Your Word 4.8
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 4.6
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 4.6
7 Stars in the Universe 4.8
8 My God, I Love You 4.4
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5.0
10 We Gather Together 4.6

Recorded 1995 – 1996
Total time: 42:37, 10 songs


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 4
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 5
2 Tell It Like It Is 5
3 Your Love Broke Through 5
4 Doer of Your Word 5
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 5
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 5
7 Stars in the Universe 5
8 My God, I Love You 5
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5
10 We Gather Together 5

GLAD's music truly is inspirational. Peppy, upbeat, jazzy but with classical and contemporary (read: easy listening) influences, it personifies what the "inspirational music" genre ought to be about.

Tell the truth, this lovely music has the most in common with a style favored by gay men's choruses across America. There's that same pleasant, jazzy feeling, slightly nasal delivery and the unmistakable sound of contemporary men's choruses. To me, this is not a bad thing — I support GLAD, I support gay men and I find all of this music pleasant and entertaining whenever some of it drifts into my life. Heck, both groups are have the same goal, trying to spread love and tolerance and a vision of a better world. But the irony does not entirely escape me.

A Cappella Project III is excellently performed. The music is original, well-arranged and manages a thick sound, despite a certain lightness of tone. Heavy studio work fills it out — lots of overdubbing, reverb and other production touches. Really, if you like this style of music, it doesn't get much better than this. If you are Christian, and like to listen to Christian music, you'll love it. If you're not particularly Christian but like this style of music, you'll like it too — the lyrics are indeed all about God and Jesus, but none of the songs were too overly cloying. If this isn't your thing, then you know that and no harm done.

The songs here are all very nice. I'm rather partial to the ballad My God I Love You and some of the jazzier, shoo-be-doo-wa songs. The really glory-centric stuff is a bit more than I usually go for, but it's all a taste thing. This is a style of music that I like when I hear it but never seek out. GLAD happens to be extra good at it.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 5
2 Tell It Like It Is 5
3 Your Love Broke Through 5
4 Doer of Your Word 5
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 4
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 5
7 Stars in the Universe 5
8 My God, I Love You 4
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5
10 We Gather Together 4

Looking for some good, interesting, and engaging Christian A Cappella music? Then this is the album for you. If you look for Christian A Cappella, it would be really surprising if you did not know about GLAD. This quintet has been singing their 'praises to the Lord' for many years now, and have gained quite the following. They have two pretty distinctive things about them: their outstanding blend, and their huge, shimmering, triumphant sound. The former comes from lots of practice. The latter comes from a little help from the studio. But no matter. The music they make definitely sounds good.

This album is completely full of covers with interesting arrangements. Yes covers. There is not a single original song on the album. But the arrangements make them seem original. Some of my favorites are the opening song, The Solid Rock, and That's What The Lonely Is For. The latter was written by a folk singer named David Wilcox, and is the only song that is not an outright Christian song of praise. However that is not to say that it's not spiritual. It is really well arranged and sung, as are all the rest of the songs on the album. Soloists are expressive, and backgrounds are balanced and appropriate.

The production is flawless. The whole thing just drips professionalism. No tuning problems, no sloppy balance, no lousy editing issues. It is a great example of great production.

The only question you need to ask yourself when you contemplate buying this album would be " Do I want an album of Christian songs?" The answer to that question is the same answer I would give to you about buying the album. You choose...


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 4
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 5
2 Tell It Like It Is 5
3 Your Love Broke Through 4
4 Doer of Your Word 4
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 5
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 5
7 Stars in the Universe 5
8 My God, I Love You 4
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5
10 We Gather Together 4

GLAD is an anomaly to me. From most professional groups, I'm always wanting to hear more original music and less of the "old favorites". (From collegiate groups, I'd like to hear more innovation - please don't record Brown Eyed Girl anymore...) With GLAD I'm surprised to hear myself saying "Hey — more covers!" It was their arrangements of A Mighty Fortress and O for a Thousand Tongues from the first A Cappella Project that completely won me over, although some of the originals were nice. It was the great new arrangements of songs that all us kids who grew up Lutheran had heard only by pipe organ and church chorus that most impressed me. Whether they've run out of traditional hymns to give "the works" to, or they're simply working toward more original tunes, or I'm just used to their sound by now, I find myself less blown away than when I first heard them.

That being said, GLAD has a fantastic sound. Chords are bright, solos are clear, tuning is impeccable, and percussion is tasteful. Blend and tuning may be so great due to the fact that Ed Nalle seems to have laid down nearly every track himself (and solos on 8 of the 10 tracks). The other guys occasionally get a brief solo, and I'm sure their voices are in the backup parts somewhere, I'm just not sure where... Ed has a powerful range and a bright, clear falsetto, so all the songs are peppy and bright. Production, blend, and tuning are all squeaky clean, like other GLAD a cappella albums (beware their non-a cappella works, beware!) — that pushes all my scores up a tad - everything here is extremely well done. Stars in the Universe uses some neat effects and is probably my favorite track, simply because it does something different.

For those of you who are considering this CD as your first GLAD experience, go find their first A Cappella Project instead. Then once they've won you over as a raving fan, you can get this one and #2 and enjoy them both. It's a fine CD, just not as good as #1.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 4
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 4
2 Tell It Like It Is 3
3 Your Love Broke Through 4
4 Doer of Your Word 5
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 4
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 3
7 Stars in the Universe 4
8 My God, I Love You 4
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5
10 We Gather Together 5

When GLAD gets spiritual it shows its true colors; it is obviously no secret that the group is Christian in orientation, and here as on other albums they sing it out for the world to hear. What has long made GLAD such a delight is not only the intensity of their faith but the intense musicality with which they express it. Few other groups could claim to have struck such a balance between devotion to religion and studied professionalism in music. GLAD is top-notch.

On the A Cappella Project III, GLAD continues to show those strengths which have long made it a favorite: supple blend, dead-on tuning, and lush harmonies. Each of these is aided on this album by strong engineering which lets each voice shine while contributing towards a powerful whole. I would have liked to have heard more solo action from the different members of the group, but it is no fault of GLAD that the group and members realize each other's strengths.

Some jazzy arrangements help to keep things interesting, but after a while the smoothness to the sound (of all things!) begins to grate. A bit more variety in dynamics and in musical form could have helped to maintain the force of the album through the last song. As it stands, each song is solid in its own right, some more so than others, but all at once sounds a bit too repetitive.

A Cappella Project III is a good album: what it lacks in continuous excitement it more than makes up for in amazing musicality.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 3
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 The Solid Rock 5
2 Tell It Like It Is 5
3 Your Love Broke Through 5
4 Doer of Your Word 5
5 Arise, My Soul, Arise 5
6 That's What the Lonely Is For 5
7 Stars in the Universe 5
8 My God, I Love You 5
9 Crown Him with Many Crowns 5
10 We Gather Together 5

I suppose it's fitting that I review this as I prepare for my second transoceanic move in the last two years. One does tend for some spiritual guidance when faced with what is ultimately a life changing moment. So I am somewhat pleased that I was selected to review this CD.

First and foremost, don't expect anything groundbreaking — let me clarify: this is most definitely a gospel album. If what you go for is church hymn type pieces, then you have found nirvana, figuratively speaking. Within THAT pretext, it is quite a fun album. Strongly sung and well-produced, the five voices sounded like fifty when it was needed.

What is really neat about this group, whom I had never heard prior to reviewing this and Acappella Gershwin, is their ability to interpret their music so effectively. The genuine feeling does show through on each track; THIS above all else, for me, is what defines a group... their ability to lay claim to a song by more than putting the lyrics to tape.

Why, then, would I give it such a low rating for repeat listenability? More for personal bias then anything else. The area of gospel music, to me, limits the subject matter greatly. There are only so many times that I can listen to a 10-track CD knowing that all ten tracks are roughly about the same thing. However, I can't fault a CD because I personally don't intend on grabbing it first off the shelf.

Nevertheless, Christian buyers will appreciate the heartfelt messages delivered with the same verve as your typical CARA award winning artists. Non-Christian buyers will enjoy the album for its well arranged tracks with harmonies and blends tighter than Cher's facelifts.


How To Get Your Work Reviewed

To have your album (2 or more tracks) reviewed by RARB, please email us with your name, group name and album title. You will receive a response with information on how to register your album in our system.

To have your digital single reviewed by RARB, please fill out our online singles registration form.

×

Ordering Information

This title is no longer available through Light Records. Contact GLAD Productions. Call 1-800-772-4523 to order by MC/Visa/Discover. Also order via GLAD's official website at www.glad-pro.com. For email inquiries: glad@mediasoft.net

×