Excellent ~ is the only way to describe Tribute’s new Cd, The Waiting Is Over. Vocally, musically and lyrically, this project is just tremendous! These four guys captured both energy and emotion in the studio with these songs, it’s impossible not to hear it! I was personally impressed with how many fast and medium tempo songs that were on this recording. It’s common knowledge that good, up-beat songs are hard to find – not so with The Waiting Is Over…this project just has a good beat to it! Musically, the feel of the tracks are all similar. As you listen, you will notice the songs all work together to give the project an overall traditional sound with just enough orchestration and variety to keep the music interesting. This Cd showcases traditional quartet music done tastefully. I also believe that the lyrics are going to minister to many lives. Bring On The Joy, Save My Family, The Climb, Homecoming Day and Songs Of Zion have lyrics that can reach people on a personal level. All in all, it’s impossible to listen to this recording and not smile! And with Satan out there trying to discourage the children of God – I think everyone needs a copy of this one!
On this project, you will hear vocals from:
Tenor: Riley Clark
Lead: Gary Casto
Baritone: Josh Singletary
Bass: Anthony Davis
1. Songs Of Zion
Feature: Baritone vocals
Message: I love the message of this song! When you have a bad day, it tells you how to fix it! The first thing you will hear from this song is the chorus: a snappy tune with a lyric that asks somebody to sing a song from the King, or tell His story again. When those voices are raised for His glory – the soul finds freedom and encouragement. The first verse connects with the thought of the chorus, giving us a clear picture of why someone is asking for a Zion song. Written in first person, it tells us that when we are worn down from trials, discouraged, or just having a bad day, that is when we need to hear a good song about Zion to cheer us up! My favorite line is: “When my heart starts sinkin’, that’s when I start thinking’ – I need someone to sing a Zion song!” The second verse looks back on life and points out the times when a song lifted the spirit and made burdens lighter.
Other Comments: Music is powerful. It can encourage and lift your spirits…or, it can bring you down and cause a period of three to four minutes of depression! This song is about Gospel Music helping people get through their day, no matter how dark the trial. Tribute also uses a few lines from the old hymn, Tell Me The Story Of Jesus, as a bridge – which works really well!
2. Makes Me Wanna Go
Feature: All vocals
Message: The first verse tells of hearing heavens grandeur through John’s revelation from the Word and some specific things that characterize that wonderful place. Longing for that peace and joy, well, it makes you want to go! Those thoughts lead into the chorus, where, you long to see those who have gone before, sing with the angles, and hear Him welcome you into eternal life. The second verse looks forward to the day when Jesus returns for His bride, then, we will live together in harmony and gather around His throne to sing “Hosanna!”
Other Comments: This song is seriously a barn burner quartet song! It sounds just like something that would have been recorded fifty or so years ago! Brian Alvey (Lauren Talley’s husband) is the writer on this one, and he did an awesome job penning it. Most of the tune is sung by all four guys harmonizing together, but Gary has the lead on the chorus, and on the final chorus Riley takes it up a notch giving it that authentic quartet feel.
3. Jesus Is Alive
Feature: Lead vocals
Message: The first verse of this song talks about the fear that Mary had when she came to the tomb and found the stone rolled away. How happy she would be when the angles share that He is risen just like He said He would! The chorus exclaims, “He’s alive!” – and some imagery is used in the thought of hearing angles singing in the background. The lyric, playing off of the New Testament story, goes on to say that you don’t have to search the tomb to “be sure” of His resurrection – His body isn’t going to lie! He did just as He promised – Jesus is alive! The next verse describes the results of His empty tomb: the wrappings stained with His blood lay abandoned, He’s risen, death is conquered, captives are set free and angles are singing, “Death where is your sting, grave where’s your victory?”
Other Comments: This is going to make a great Easter song! During the chorus, all four sing the “He’s alive” part together, except on the last chorus where Riley sings it by himself. With the song building at the end, the tenor taking the high part as a solo really gives the song a powerful effect!
4. Homecoming Day
Feature: Tenor Vocals
Message: This ballad is written as in the format of one person talking to another – encouraging the weary in the battle with a promise. This promise is none other than the soon coming return of Christ, which in this song, is called Homecoming Day. The chorus is just so beautiful and packed with meaningful phrases – I just have to quote it!
Homecoming day, when the waiting is over
Homecoming day, all these earthly trials are through
Heaven will be worth it all
Soon we will hear the call
That tells us this is homecoming day
The second verse tells of the loved ones who have gone before us. We are standing on the promise that we will be reunited with them again, when Christ calls for us to fly away on that great homecoming day! The bridge talks about the joy we’ll have in seeing friends and family in heaven, but also of the greater happiness we will have in seeing our Heavenly Father and hear “Welcome home my child…”
Other Comments: The title of the project stems from the first line of the chorus, “Homecoming day, when the waiting is over.”
5. More Than Able
Feature: Baritone and Bass
Message: The first verse talks about life before meeting Christ and how unhappy and lonesome it is. The last line, where the writer cries out to the Lord and leaves everything in His hands, is a great transition into the chorus. The refrain tells us that Jesus is “more than able” to give us the abilities we lacked before. Power to defeat this sinful world, victory for every situation and ability to complete the things we failed in aforetime – these are some things that He is more than able to give us! The chorus also asks if the listener is carrying a burden, if so, bids them to lay it at His feet and let Him work through it. The second verse asks the listener if they can also testify of a burden laid before the Lord, and the admiration of watching Him work through it all.
Other Comments: This song sounds like it walked right out of a quartet album recorded fifty years ago! The “feel” to the number is that of an old, smooth quartet song that would take us down memory lane if eyelids were permitted to shut. J You will also hear some “ooh-ing and aw-ing” as the guys back Josh and Anthony up.
6. The I AM
Feature: Lead vocals
Message: The first verse reminds us of the many names of God, and lists a few like: Son of God, Strong Mighty Tower, Light of the World, etc. Yet, The lyrics goes on to tell of only one of those names that stand above all the rest. In two simple words lay the whole hope of mankind. What is that name? – The I AM! The chorus talks about the great I AM becoming the Lamb of Calvary and setting us free from sin. Through the cross and the payment made thereon, death and the grave have been conquered by Christ. The last few lines of the chorus declare that the I AM will always be the One who delivers, just like He always has! The second verse takes us back to the Old Testament story of Israel‘s Egyptian slavery, where the I AM chose Moses to lead His children – where He would be the One who would provide. The pillar and cloud, the parting of the red sea – He brought out His people before, and He will do it again for whatever valley you are facing. The words remind us that God has a plan! I like the last line that says, “The I AM of Moses is the I AM today!” The bridge takes the specific names of Jehovah and adds the suffix’s for a well rounded summary of God’s character and ability to provide.
Other Comments: I always love songs about the names of God and this one is no exception! This is one of my favorites from the project – it’s a very powerful ballad! It’s also note worthy how the guys each take a name of God in the bridge and echo each other.
7. There’s A City
Feature: Tenor vocals
Message: The first verse describes a time when a sunset reminded the writer of what heaven must be like. The chorus goes on to tell about some of the things that you’ll find there. The New Jerusalem will have sparkling Jasper walls, gleaming golden streets, and a personal mansion for every Believer. Lighting that land is nothing but the glory of Christ, and I love the line that exclaims, “What a promise given me, my home for eternity – there’s a city, beyond the clouds.” The second verse speaks of John’s vision of this wonderful place and how he must have been a bit overwhelmed when writing about it! Soon, what John saw in his vision will be our everyday life when heaven becomes our permanent residence!
Other Comments: Tribute captured a lot of energy on this one! The guys all sing the first verse together and Riley gets the second verse and the lead in the chorus as well. The chorus is repeated twice at the end so just when you think it’s over…it’s encored again!
8. The Climb
Feature: Baritone vocals
Message: Life isn’t always about the valleys or the mountains, is it? Most of the time, the journey from one to the other is the most important part of our spiritual growth, that’s what this song is about – the climb. The opening verse talks about the valley’s, and how we don’t always remember what they were about, though they were many. It’s the same way with the victories. Yet, the prominent thing a Believer remembers in his passage on this earth is his day to day climb with the Lord Jesus. The chorus talks about the satisfaction in knowing that Christ is walking with you every moment ~ He’s all you need. Centering it’s theme on Christ and not the things that we face, makes this line all the more sweet – “I may forget about the valleys, might not recall the mountains, but I will remember the climb.” The second verse continues musing over the journey from the valley to the mountain. Not point A or point B, but the distance between can even give comfort when you walk beside a Friend like Jesus. With His mercy and endless grace – what blessings we would miss if we didn’t travel with Him!
9. He Is Leading The Way
Feature: All vocals
Message: This song combines a myriad of thoughts and ideas of what happens when you’re following Jesus. In the first couple lines of the number it talks about witnessing to others that Jesus saves, after that, we see afflictions aren’t as heavy when Heaven is in view, and Satan can’t tie us up when He is leading the way! The refrain contains a victorious lyric that points “up” (to heaven) and shares the joy in following Jesus. The second verse admits that sin tries to come and block the Christian’s pathway – but we overcome by holding onto the hand of Christ. Our journey is on a narrow road, and while we’re traveling thereon, we sing that “He is leading the way!”
10. Save My Family
Feature: Tenor vocals
Message: This ballad asks the Lord for two special things – the salvation of ones family, and the salvation of their friends. The first verse reminisces of growing up and looking back on the things that transpired through those years. Through sorrowful times and seasons of joy, the family worked, prayed and read God’s Word. The lyric travels on to the present day, where the family is spread apart, and beckons it not to be “for eternity.” The chorus switches to a prayer like lyric structure where the vocalist cries out to the Lord, “Save my family, save my friends…” This world is full of darkness and the Lord’s return is soon upon us – after similar thoughts, the first line of the chorus is repeated before going into the second verse. I love the honest truth in this line of the closing verse, “We all have friends so dear, living like they think they’re doing fine.” When Christ comes they will see that they were wrong, will they ask us, their “friends,” why we didn’t share the Truth with them? The last line petitions God for help in doing all that can be done for our lost friends…because we don’t want to see them left behind.
Other Comments: Notice that the first verse talks about our family coming to know the Lord, and the second verse is dedicated to the salvation of our friends. Each different circumstance has a unique approach in why we don’t want to be separated for eternity – these reasons are penned brilliantly.
11. Bring On The Joy
Feature: Lead vocals
Message: The opening lines speak of being refreshed in the valley. After learning certain things, like the song of victory, we’re ready to climb the mountains before us with only one thought in mind – BRING ON THE JOY! This chorus is just amazing! More than once it exclaims, bring on the joy! – and uses word descriptions to paint these little pictures in our minds that we would associate with happiness. Phrases like: “the morning sun is shining bright,” and “I’m ready for the laughter” are just two examples. Verse two is just as powerful as the first – every line creates its own story that tells us we’re ready to move on and enjoy blessing.
Other Comments: This is the type of song that we need more of in our genre! If there is one thing that is difficult to get and keep in this world – it’s joy. I love the line that says: “Bring on the joy – everything’s gonna be alright!” Isn’t that the message that we need to hear today? – everything is going to be alright! That’s good stuff!