Faith: A Hymns Collection
Avalon caught the tail end of the mid-decade trend in which artists from practically every gospel genre contributed albums of familiar worship standards. The vocal quartet stuck with its light pop sound but added a flare of grassroots spiritualism. The resulting concoction of hand-raising, old-timey gospel and straightforward rhythm tracks gives the album a more distinguished feel than it would have had otherwise. Faith: A Hymns Collection is less of an adventure than it is a memory piece. Group members took turns choosing some of their lifelong favorite worship standards, from the re-tooled "Amazing Grace" to electrified renditions of "How Great Thou Art" and "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee." The group's earnestness keeps the material from ever swaying too light or irrelevant. Producer Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Sara Groves) returns to give it a moving yet nevertheless safe sound. More, perhaps, than their previous works, Faith showcases the vocal efficiency and personalized stylings that place Avalon among the elite singing talents in contemporary Christian circles.