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forever JONES

Approaching forever JONES made me a little leery as I thought, "hmmmm... a family singing group". I did not initially think Winans, Clarks, Hawkins; I thought more of The Partridge family. Then I thought to myself, I wonder who gets to play the tambourine. And then I was jealous (scroll down for audio clips)

The Jones Family gets it together quite nicely on their debut project, Get Ready, on EMI Gospel. Father and chief songwriter Dewitt Jones is a songwriter of note, his composition "Use Me" was recorded by the Gospel Music Workshop of America as well as by renowned praise and worship leader Ron Kenoly. He gathers his wife of 30 years and their five children for a little bit of testifying —Jones style (read the Insider Interview).

CD The album opens in a moment of reflection reminiscent of a movement you would find at the beginning of an Andrae Crouch and the Disciples project from the height of the 70s (it is obvious that someone went to school in the 70s as there are a number of 70s interludes here). Then it segues into the declarative "This is the Day". The message is simple (based on Psalm 118:24), the music provides great groove for blasting through your car speakers while driving down the street with your top down and there are some lush harmonies, making a great opening.

Just when you think you have the CD set figured out, along comes "He Wants It All" which almost makes you come to a complete "stop and listen intently" point in your life. The song is delivered with such sincerity and conviction; you'll use the repeat button on this one and for those of us who have reached the A/C area of our spiritual journey, this will be a great song for morning devotion and quiet time.

The album is peppered throughout with praise choruses with a modern touch. But by all means, don't write this off as just something for the young folk. "Bless the Lord" will wake up any wooden floored storefront church and all the mothers who took a nap during the youth choir selections. With songs like "What a Privilege", "Heaven", "Jubilee", "Time to Believe" and "Adoration (So Amazing)", which is my second favorite. I am convinced that after one listen, you will have the melodies in your head and will have to stop yourself from singing them in your sleep.

Kudos to Tommy Sims for masterful production that wasn't overpowering and lets the songs and singers' message breathe. The Joneses are keeping up with us, now if we can only keep them up, and I am sure we will.

Audio Downloads Listen to the audio provided below. Audio tracks are available in RealAudio format (click logo below to listen. Click To Listen)
  • "He Wants It All" -- Click To Listen

  • "Heaven" -- Click To Listen

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Production: Tommy Sims
album release date: June 8, 2010

— reviewed by Gregory Gay

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