Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: April 28th 2023
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Take Me Backroad (feat. High Valley)
- When You Know You Know
- Me Without You
- Without A Prayer
- What On Earth
- Right Back Atcha
- Rich On
Around about 20 years ago there was a band from Canada that incredibly impressed me and greatly impacted by walk with Jesus. Starfield, led by Tim Neufeld, was popular and famous for worshipful songs like “Hand That Holds the World”, “The Saving One”, “Everything Is Beautiful”, “I Will Go”, “Rediscover You”, and “The Kingdom” to name a few; and alongside other worshipful and alternative rock bands like downhere, Abandon, Above The Golden State, Seabird, Leeland and Stellar Kart to name a few, formed the cornerstone of ‘cool’ Christian rock in the early 2000’s. after 2013, the group went into hiatus, and Tim Neufeld released two worshipful albums. We reviewed Trees II for this site; but the real pivot came in 2014 when The Joy released. Marketed as Tim Neufeld And The Glory Boys, these guys (Tim Neufeld and some mates, labelling themselves as a country and bluegrass band) unveiled The Joy and Hootenanny (not reviewed!) and it seemed that they’d honour their Christian roots and still sing about real issues and what is dear and close to them, but just for a wider audience. This year though, the group have changed their name to Tim & the Glory Boys, scrubbed their previous two albums off the internet (!?), pivoted to purely country music with little Christian overtones, and have since unveiled their self-titled ‘debut’ album in Tim & the Glory Boys. It’s a country album through and through; and while we may not know the reason for the pivot from CCM to country music (and little reference to Jesus in this new batch of songs!); what we can do is marvel at Tim’s prowess as a singer and as a song-writer. These songs are as good as they could ever be and as they’ve ever been when he was back in Starfield, and here’s hoping that Tim’s music from here on end brings glory to God in whatever way He wants it to- after all, they aren’t called the ‘glory’ boys for no reason, am I right?
Opening the track list with the single “Take Me Backroad”, a duet with High Valley. It’s a hopeful and encouraging country melody about going back to your childhood and getting back to your roots and the most important things in life. Tim encourages us all to strip away all of the superfluous things in our lives that aren’t needed- and to cling onto everything else like it’s dear life; and as we are met with a musically simple track, the deep lyrics draw me into this multifaceted project and increases my enjoyment levels to the max. “When You Know You Know”, a celebration of Tim and his marriage, speaks about the feeling of love and about the emotions that arise when you know about your intense, deep, feelings for someone special; while the earnest and heartwarming romantic love song “Me Without You” is a clear standout on the album- although the track could double up as a worship song to God if you give it a stretch and a squint. “Without A Prayer”, another track that champions Tim’s wife, reminds us to spend time with people around us who build us up, whether they are friends or a romantic partner; while the heartfelt and moving “Heavensville” speaks about longing to go to Heaven after you die, but still enjoying life on earth and being a vessel for god and for change where we’re at and where we’re placed in this world.
“What On Earth”, a beautifully sung and brilliantly written melody about faithfulness to your spouse or partner, and loving them until Jesus calls us home, once again encourages us to cultivate meaningful relationships and to ensure that our romantic partner is on the same page as us in every facet and aspect of our lives; however “Float” is the most pointless song I’ve heard all year- yep even worse than the worst song from Tyler Hubbard. Thankfully, the remainder of the album more than makes up for this mishap- Tim laments about a lost love but ultimately reminds us that sometimes regrets can steal a man’s joy in “Right Back Atcha”- and we should try to see if it’s a good idea to rekindle a past relationship or leave it alone in the past. “Rich On”, a laid back acoustic guitar ballad, hones in on the theme of being rich in other areas of our life other than money and possessions (aka rich in relationships and love and your faith in Jesus), which will ultimately be mor satisfying and fulfilling in the long run. Tim & The Glory Boys then ends with the quasi-worshipful hymn “Bloodlines”, where Tim acknowledges that he belongs to Jesus and that Jesus Christ is his bloodline. The song can also be read as a child reconciling to their parent as well.
Tim & The Glory Boys’ new album reminds us of the simplicity and innocence of life, and to always cherish the small and simply moments, and to be present in the present… apart from the unnecessary song “Float”. The album teaches us to slow down, and while Jesus isn’t explicitly preached, the album does inspire us to get back in touch with our past and our hometown and the things in our lives that we value and treasure. I hope and pray that Tim and his friends have at least one more worship album in them- I pray that he hasn’t deconstructed and lost all belief in Jesus like Marty Sampson. But whatever the case, let’s celebrate this project because of what it is. It’s a vibrant, passionate, heartfelt, and poignant release of real life. Life is messy and hard but also joyful and happy. And Tim beautifully encapsulates all of these emotions in a well thought-out ‘debut’. Well done, Tim, I can’t wait to hear what’s next from you! May God bless you and your family abundantly in the future!
3 songs to listen to: Me Without You, Heavensville, Bloodlines
RIYL: Crowder, Kelsea Ballerini, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Lady A, Needtobreathe