10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In place of the soft R&B-pop that typified their sound for so many years, Avalon adopt a heavier, more rock-oriented approach here, and to impressive effect. Weathering the departure of longtime member Jody McBrayer, the group seizes the chance to start over by delivering passionate performances emphasizing their trademark harmony sound. Stalwart fans will appreciate the unadulterated God-centered messages of songs like “Angels,” “Alive,” “Arise” and the title tune. Acoustic guitar and piano gives “California” a folk-pop feel, offering contrast to the muscular rock punch of “Holy”. With her customary mixture of forcefulness and grace, founding member Janna Long shines on the power ballad “Destined.” A good deal of credit here goes to producers Ian Eskelin and Barry Weeks, who draw upon their experiences in the studio with Stellar Kart and Krystal Meyers to give these tracks an aggressive, distinctly modern edge. All told, Avalon hasn’t sounded this vigorous or musically challenged in a long time. Rebirth is truly what this album is all about.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In place of the soft R&B-pop that typified their sound for so many years, Avalon adopt a heavier, more rock-oriented approach here, and to impressive effect. Weathering the departure of longtime member Jody McBrayer, the group seizes the chance to start over by delivering passionate performances emphasizing their trademark harmony sound. Stalwart fans will appreciate the unadulterated God-centered messages of songs like “Angels,” “Alive,” “Arise” and the title tune. Acoustic guitar and piano gives “California” a folk-pop feel, offering contrast to the muscular rock punch of “Holy”. With her customary mixture of forcefulness and grace, founding member Janna Long shines on the power ballad “Destined.” A good deal of credit here goes to producers Ian Eskelin and Barry Weeks, who draw upon their experiences in the studio with Stellar Kart and Krystal Meyers to give these tracks an aggressive, distinctly modern edge. All told, Avalon hasn’t sounded this vigorous or musically challenged in a long time. Rebirth is truly what this album is all about.

TITLE TIME

About Avalon

With a priority on tight harmonies, Avalon is a Billboard-charting CCM vocal quartet formed by producer Norman Miller for Sparrow Records in 1995. After first attracting notice on the Young Messiah farewell tour later that same year, original members Janna Potter, Jody McBrayer, Michael Passons, and Nikki Hassman released Avalon's self-titled debut LP in 1996. The group then toured with Michael W. Smith, Twila Paris, and Steven Curtis Chapman. Their singles "Give It Up," "This Love," and "Picture Perfect World" did well on the inspirational/adult contemporary charts, sparking the ensemble's second album, 1997's A Maze of Grace. It hit the Billboard Christian Top Ten. Hassman left the group and was replaced by Cherie Paliotta before Avalon returned to the studio to record the 1999 album In a Different Light. It reached number two on the Christian albums chart as well as the top half of the Billboard 200. A combination of traditional and new holiday songs, the Christmas album Joy followed one year later and also charted. Their first Christian number one, Oxygen, arrived in 2001, and Melissa Greene replaced Paliotta in the lineup in time to record two original songs for their 2003 collection The Very Best of Avalon. Passons then left the quartet, and Greg Long made his Avalon debut on 2004's The Creed, which peaked at number four on the Christian chart. The group finished out the decade with 2006's Stand and Faith: A Hymns Collection, 2008's Another Time, Another Place: Timeless Christian Classics, and 2009's Reborn, which was accompanied by a co-headlining tour with Selah. By that time, the group consisted of the married couples Janna (Potter) Long and Greg Long, and Jeremi Richardson and Amy McBride Richardson. Sparrow Records released a collection of their Number Ones in the 2012, and a 20th Century Masters collection followed in 2014. ~ Marcy Donelson & John Bush

FORMED
1995

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