|TITLE: Press On|
LABEL: Curb Records
SPECIAL EFFECT(S): Allan Hall breaks out with a lead on track 3. Sung in Congolese, "Yesu Azali Awa" features Todd's special shout outs to friends he and Nicol made while missionary kids in the Congo.
PRODUCER(S): Jason Kyle, Selah
Selah's 1998 debut, Be Still My Soul, eased into popularity with grassroots promotion. In a marketplace of high-dollar pop productions, their simplistic piano and vocal renditions of hymns, spirituals, worship and African songs were refreshing. Now Selah is back with Press On.
Burning question no. 1: Is Press On another simple raw recording like Selah's debut? No. It's hard to hide money. Burning question no. 2: Will Selah fans like Press On? They ought to love it. The extra production money was spent wisely. David Baroni's worship song "Oh Draw Me, Lord" is the first cut, also reappearing as a shortened reprise at the end of Press On. Hymn arrangements include "There Is a Fountain" and "How Great Thou Art." "Yesu Azali Awa" acknowledges the Smith siblings' African background. The only original song on Press On is "Timeless," written by a college buddy of Todd's (Levi Krets).
Highlights on Press On include an appearance by the legendary Russ Taff. He joins Selah for "Were You There" employing the same arrangement used in his rendition on Under Their Influence. But by far, the most notable departure is when Lennon/McCartney's "In My Life" segues into Albert Brumley's Southern Gospel classic "If We Never Meet Again."
Once again with Press On, Selah exhibits their greatest strength in taking classic songs from diverse genres and transforming them into a unified, cohesive collection of performances. No doubt this project will satisfy longtime fans who've endured a three-year wait, while expanding Selah's appeal to people just discovering this talented trio.
--David Bruce Murray