The Browns “Love Loud” Album Review

Timothy YapSep 04, 2013 05:09 PM EDT

The Browns' "Love Loud" is more than a monochromatic record.  Rather, with brush strokes of variegated emotions, tempos and themes, this family group has painted a colourful sonic vignette. As you hear this record, you can't help but appreciate the care they have taken to make each track sparkle with individuality.  However, unlike many of their peers who are quite contempt with an album choked full of cover tunes, members of the Browns have had a hand in co-penning almost half of the songs here.  They are equally as punctilious in securing the cream of the crop to play on their record.  Their ace list of session greats includes Gordon Mote (Alan Jackson & Brad Paisley) on piano and B3 organ, Glen Duncan (Kenny Chesney & Kellie Pickler) on fiddle and banjo and Scott Williamson (Francesca Battistelli & Jeff & Sheri Easter) .  Further, all three of the Brown children are credited as fiddlers too. The Browns is made up of Shelly Brown and her three adult children, Michaela, Adam and Andrew.  Musically, they have been described as having a progressive sound of the Martins meeting Point of Grace and FFH.

After over a decade in the music business, "Love Loud" is the Browns' first major label release under the enterprising StowTown Records.  Featuring dye-in-the-wool luminaries such as Collingsworth Family, Beyond the Ashes and Doug Anderson on its roaster, StowTown Records is founded by Ernie Hasse and Wayne Haun.  Haun is truly a busy man: besides managing StowTown, he has recently released his own solo record and on top of that he produces and writes for many of the signees on his own label.  Without exception, Haun not only helms "Love Loud," but he even co-wrote four of the cuts. Among the Haun compositions, "Rock and Redeemer" is a first-class charmer.  The skedaddling fiddling sounds and the toe-tapping melodic lilt are wrapped around a song that exalts the ever reliability of Jesus Christ.  While the tempo slows down a couple of notches with the rustic sounding Wayne Haun and Sue C. Smith penned "This I Know." Interweaving the children's hymn "Jesus Loves Me," "This I Know" possesses that child-like faith element that Jesus himself would have much to rave about.

Some of the best songs on this record are those with a rich narrative content.  The Browns have a way story telling that will get us hook in the way they bring their characters to life.  Be prepared to be awed again by Jesus' power to silence the tossing waves as we stepped into the boat with the Lord's disciples in "The Captain's Got It Under Control."  And we literally get a taste of heaven with "Street of Gold." Calling to mind Billy Joel in his rock n' roll best, "Streets of Gold" is a rollicking excursion to God's abode as we are given a delightful grand tour by the Browns.  The title cut "Love Loud" brings us back to earth where the Browns challenge us to be Jesus Christ to those we meet.  Though the tune is a little on the non-descript side, it still flourishes with its detail examples of how we can be more Christlike in the way we treat others.  However, if you are looking for a song that is formative to our trust in Jesus Christ, don't miss "The One Who Still Works Miracles."  Every time one listens to this gorgeous heart-stirring ballad you can't help but feel your heart growing bigger and bigger with confidence in our supernatural-working God.

Another trump card the Browns possess is that they are vigilant to make sure that no two song sound alike on this disc.  Be prepared for some doesy doe on the fun-filled two stepping Bill Staines' classic "A Place in the Choir."  Regardless of how stiff a dancer you are, you can't help but tap your toes as the Browns sing: "All god's creatures got a place in the choir/Some sing low and some sing higher Some sing out loud on the telephone wire/Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now." It's a challenge not to like "Love Loud."  The songs are touching, faith-affirming, challenging and comforting all textured within its variegated beauty.  The Browns really know how to paint with colors so loud that it's hard to ignore.



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