Album Reviews

SouthSide Drive

A New Sound in Country Gospel Music

Artist:     SouthSide Drive

Album:     A New Sound in Country Gospel Music

Label:     A New Sound in Country Gospel Music

Release Date:     12/1/2015

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SouthSide Drive’s Randy Bowling and Gwen Hana take listeners to church with their self-titled original CD, A New Sound in Country Gospel Music. The album’s first track, a rhythm and blues song with soul influences, “Your Love Rescued Me,” features Hana’s solo raw vocals backed up by Bowling’s ’70s stylistic guitar leads. The duo performs best when harmonizing on the ballad “Broken Windows,” a type of storytelling somewhat reminiscent of Reba McEntire’s signature style. “Let There Be Light,” like so many similar titles recorded by both other secular and non-secular musicians alike, preaches to an invisible choir. Often-repeated verses intend to strum the heartstrings by employing all of the hallmark techniques of a Christian tent revival. Only “Walkin’ Louisiana,” deviates from the album’s faithful theme as band members meander rhythmically. Meanwhile, Hana stretches her vocal legs a bit, but she fails to deliver the track from its monotonous lyrics. The Myrtle Beach, SC band needs a bit of saving musically, but Bowling’s lead vocals on “Cryin’ Kind,” may require a prayer.

–Donna Marie Miller

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