For well over a decade, Avalon has been a Christian music fan favorite. The vocal quartet is a mainstay on the airwaves and music shelves. Even with several member changes over the years, marriages, and family life, the group still carries on and is back once more. This time around, the group goes for something a bit different by releasing a cover album full of classic Christian pop favorites.
Another Time, Another Place could be considered a throwback to the Christian pop glory days of the 1980s and 90's. Everyone from Steven Curtis Chapman to Amy Grant to Michael W. Smith is covered on this record. Many of the songs are very well done, featuring clean production, tight harmonies, and classy arrangements. "Basics of Life" (4Him) and "God is in Control" (Twila Paris) both are standout tracks, breathing new life into these older songs. Bebe and CeCe Winans' "Addictive Love" is a smoother tune which would possibly be a great choice to send to radio. Michael W. Smith's crossover hit "Place in this World" gets a nice makeover and is one of the better songs on Another Time, Another Place, even if it still closely resembles the original. The group's venture to remake their own career defining single "Testify to Love" is a solid attempt to update it to keep up with Avalon's progressing career in Christian music.
Unfortunately, some cuts don't quite make the mark. A remake of Steven Curtis Chapman's "For the Sake of the Call" is one example. The track is lackluster and the vocals leave much to be desired. Another disappointment is "El Shaddai," originally a smash hit by Amy Grant. It simply lacks the power and strength that one expects from these classics. These tracks aren't terrible, but some songs are just better left untouched, and these are no exception.
The concept of Another Time, Another Place is unique and exciting even if the album has a few trouble spots. However, fans of the older adult contemporary artists and earlier Christian hits will warmly receive this project.- Review date: 2/23/08, written by Lauren Summerford
Record Label: Sparrow Records
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