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Review | Elvis: 'Where No One Stands Alone' CD


By: David Troedson
Source: Elvis Australia
August 13, 2018
Elvis Articles, Elvis Reviews, Elvis Biography, Elvis News, By David Troedson

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Allow me a little 'license' while I have a little fun while also explaining also why I love the new Elvis gospel album 'Where No One Stands Alone'.

If Elvis were alive ....

In Music News

**** NEWS FLASH ****

83-year-old Elvis Presley recently returned to the studio to re-record some of his gospel songs, and in a masterstroke gave the project over to his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley to produce (along with Joel Weinshanker and Andy Childs). The resulting album, 'Where No One Stands Alone' is awesome, it is one of his best albums to-date. As an extra, Lisa Marie also sings duet on the title track.

**** END ****

Review

Musically this album is terrific, the music is top notch as are the backing vocals. The songs are 'alive' and modern sounding - importantly they sound very good.

For the most part, musically 'Where No One Stands Alone' is by far closer to what Elvis recorded than the recent 'Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' (RPO) releases ('If I Can Dream' and 'The Wonder Of You') - I think by way of example I can safely say that if you simply liked those (I loved them!!) you will LOVE this new album. And if you did not like them there is a far greater chance you will like this new release, but those that have a closed 'don't touch' Elvis' recordings attitude probably will not (because they will not even give it a go). Of course with people liking different things, not everyone is going to like a different sound, but going by the success of both 'If I Can Dream' and 'The Wonder Of You' there are obviously plenty of fans that do!

1. I've Got Confidence

For me, I have always found 'I've Got Confidence' an average song. A good vocal performance but 'just a gospel song', nothing exciting. I, of course, would happily listen to it if playing the 'He Touched Me' album but I don't think it has ever made one of my 'playlists' (as we call them today), i.e. my cassette tape compilations I used to enjoy spending so much time making.

But now I can't get this song out of my head - it is a smash hit for me - I can't get enough of it!!!

It is now both a 'pop' song (meaning popular) as well as a gospel song. My foot is a tapping and I can say that if I did not know of Elvis Presley and I heard the song on the radio I would want to buy it. I can't say the same for the original version.

This song has some occasional 'remix' type 'effects' that to me sound absolutely fantastic, everything complements Elvis and is very 'conservative' compared to radical releases like the Cirque du Soleil soundtrack, the Rubberneckin' remix, and 'Elvis Vs. JXL'.

Lisa Marie has overseen this project and as one would expect she has done so with a lot of TLC.

If we take 'Elvis Vs. JXL' as an example, a hit song most fans liked and bought (it was a worldwide #1 smash) - it was a total remix all the way and quite 'radical' - (think of the very annoying repetitive 'do the line ....' running through it which I hated then and hate now, and that largely stops me listening to the song today as part of a general listen, although if I heard it on the radio I would still appreciate it) - this new album is FAR from that. In comparison we are talking a restrained, careful production, importantly overall keeping as close as possible to what Elvis would do (Obviously only my opinion, unfortunately, we can't ask Elvis!) while at the same time modernizing the sound.

If there is one person that has the right to produce an album like this it is the king's daughter, Lisa Marie.

2. Where No One Stands Alone (with Lisa Marie Presley)

OK, now I have to explain my thoughts on this song very carefully.

I like it. Lisa does a very good job. I enjoy the song. It works with and fits among the other 'album' tracks. But unlike track 'I've Got Confidence' it's not one I would get too excited about. As part of the album, it is nice, I have no issue with it or a huge desire to press 'skip', it is what it is. To add some more context, I have never 'loved' (does not necessarily mean dislike) any posthumous duet with Elvis. I love Linda Ronstadt but while I can recognize the quality vocal on the 'Love Me Tender' duet (I think done by fans but still OK in that regard) I have zero interest in listening to the song.

I like the Ann-Margret/Elvis duet 'You're The Boss' but I think on reflection quite possibly not (just?) because it is a real/original duet but because there is genuine interaction between the two singers after all the song was written as a duet.

To my ears, Lisa Marie does a far better job than Michael Bublé did on 'Fever' or any of the other posthumous duets.

I am a big Lisa Presley fan, her 'Storm & Grace' album to me is still today a classic of 'American' music. (It is a shame so many fans can't look past the fact she is Elvis' daughter and see her as her own person and her music in the same way).

Of Lisa's duets with her father I really liked 'In The Ghetto' but I think largely because of the influence of the music video, it put a real (and new) edge to the song.

Just not as appealing for a variety of reasons as the other tracks for me.

Elvis Presley Video Where No One Stands Alone (03:40)

Click to view the video

3. Saved

Saved is another song I have never much liked. It works as part of the 'story' in the Comeback Special but otherwise is a non starter outside of that (for me). Here like 'I've Got Confidence' it is much improved in my view but not near enough to get me too excited! (thank god I don't have a problem not being able to get 'and dance the hoochie coo' out of my head!!!) (did you know the original lyrics were 'And play the numbers, too'?) So I can nominate this as my least favorite track on the album, but it is OK, if this is the worst then that is not so bad. I suspect it was chosen to add another up tempo track (and different/unique) to the set.

Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Saved (03:33)

Listen to an exclusive premiere of 'Saved', featuring new backing vocals by the legendary Darlene Love.

4. Crying In The Chapel

How can you improve this classic? You can't. But the new version here is very nice, has been given the barest of additions acknowledging the original perfection.

5. So High

A huge improvement on the 'How Great Thou Art' album track which is amazing as there was nothing wrong with the original, well I didn't think so until today!

6. Stand By Me

Like Crying In The Chapel one would not expect you could improve on the master, and again it has been given as minimal new (piano) accompaniment and while the original is still great this does sound really good.

7. Bosom Of Abraham

An excellent new recording from the king.

Elvis: 'Where No One Stands Alone' CD.
Elvis: 'Where No One Stands Alone' CD.

8. How Great Thou Art

Here we have a totally different version in many ways. Not as powerful (not a criticism) as the original, still strong but more easy listening. On the original album, it was the standout powerful performance. Here it is intended I suspect to blend in and b a part of an overall album, it works and works well. I really love this version.

9. I, John

I, John, well I, David prefer the original, a true classic. However it is fine as part of the overall album, it fits. I have deliberately used the word 'album' more than once above, the purpose of this is to convey my view that it is the whole 'album' (CD) that one plays. Not all tracks are hits, indeed none may be, but as collected together you have an 'artist work' and a really good album will see that the songs fit together, they belong.

10. You'll Never Walk Alone

Nice, not unhappy with this but I do prefer the original. This is really one that can't be improved by adding to it.

11. He Touched Me

I love this. A very restrained hand from the producers, complimenting the original not overpowering it.

12. In The Garden

Another good track.

13. He Is My Everything

Like this version more than the original.

14. Amazing Grace

Amazing ....

Conclusion

9/10 | Buy it | Enjoy it.

Elvis: 'Where No One Stands Alone' celebrates the power and passion of Elvis Presley's gospel recordings. Produced by Joel Weinshanker, Andy Childs and Lisa Marie Presley, the album features Elvis' most treasured performances of inspirational songs with newly-recorded instrumentation and backing vocals, including members of gospel and vocal groups that shared the stage with him, including Darlene Love; Cissy Houston; Terry Blackwood, Armond Morales and Jim Murray of The Imperials; and Bill Baize, Ed Hill and Larry Strickland of The Stamps Quartet.

Buy 'Where No One Stands Alone'

Track listing

1. I've Got Confidence
2. Where No One Stands Alone (with Lisa Marie Presley)
3. Saved
4. Crying In The Chapel
5. So High
6. Stand By Me
7. Bosom Of Abraham
8. How Great Thou Art
9. I, John
10. You'll Never Walk Alone
11. He Touched Me
12. In The Garden
13. He Is My Everything
14. Amazing Grace

Credits

Produced by Joel Weinshanker, Andy Childs and Lisa Marie Presley, the album features Elvis' most treasured performances of inspirational songs with newly-recorded instrumentation and backing vocals, including members of gospel and vocal groups that shared the stage with him, including Darlene Love; Cissy Houston; Terry Blackwood, Armond Morales and Jim Murray of The Imperials; and Bill Baize, Ed Hill and Larry Strickland of The Stamps Quartet.

The album also includes a new duet with Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' daughter, on the title track'.

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