Where No One Stands Alone

by: Elvis Presley

Although it's not produced by the same team, it's best to view Where No One Stands Alone as part of the lineage that stretches back to 2016's The Wonder of You. That album, executive produced by Priscilla Presley, dressed original Presley recordings in overdubs by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was so successful -- it topped the U.K. charts -- that three sequels were commissioned before the formula was changed for 2018's Where No One Stands Alone. This record follows the same principle as its predecessors, but the focus is shifted: this time, original Elvis Presley gospel recordings are given new instrumental overdubs. Same idea, but the intention is different: the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra records were purposeful schlock, but this attempts to modernize Elvis gospel sides, most of which were recorded in the late '60s or early '70s. The basic arrangements and many of the instruments remain in place, but the polish is slick and punchy, moving these tracks ever so slightly away from Southern gospel and into CCM. It's a subtle shift but it's a notable one, creating an uncanny valley effect: it seems like it's the real Elvis but there's enough distance between the original elements and the new material to show it's not. Comparatively, it's better than the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra records, but there's also less reason to hear this, as it's so similar to the originals, why not put those on instead? ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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