Listen Up!: Youthful Praise f/ JJ HairstonPublished by Torrence Glenn on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm.
September 1 is HERE! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way. Although I write this blog, I never feel comfortable with the title “journalist” because outside of this, as you probably know, I’m a Music/Marketing dude. Journalists aren’t supposed to show favoritism to anyone and just report the facts. Me, on the otherhand? I have favorites, and I’m making no bones about it! (I am however, OBJECTIVE )
Anyway, JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise are one of my favorites and I’m telling you so! Has every project by them been my favorite? Nah. The last one didn’t really make me jump up and down too much, but guess what? They have more than made up for it with “Resting On His Promise!” But I told you it would be dope months ago because I was there for the recording. (Click HERE if you don’t remember.) Now sometimes, an album can go from good to bad when it goes from recording session to CD so even that wasn’t necessarily a guarantee. Not this time. JJ & YP delivered an album that is equal parts Praise & Worship as well as good old fashion choir music. The project is a perfect example of how to balance traditional and contemporary sounds without sounding foolish. Yeah, I said foolish, because some of these choirs are just silly with the “I really wanna be a hip hop dancer” antics. 30 people trying to rap in harmony? Not so much!
You can play this CD without many skips, and it flows pretty well, but if I MUST give my stand out tracks, they’d be:
1. “Powerful God” – This song is “choir worship” at it’s finest, but the next level quality of the song rests with the lead vocalist. Write this name down, put it in ya blackberries, iPhones, etc. David McClure is a stone cold singing fool who buries this song into the ground, raises it up again, and then slays it one more good time! Absolutely awesome. You’d be a fool not to go see the choir live when they come to your town, because David puts his foot in it EVERYTIME. Don’t let his small stature and shy geek chic appearance fool you. He will squall til times get better!
2. “Great Expectation” – This one is definitely one of my favorites. It has that “rock” I lock and the choir’s vocals on this one are just perfect! Myron Butler has a way with a song that is so simple and clean, but you still feel wore out (in a good way) when it’s done. He’s not gonna scream to the top of his lungs, but he is gonna belt in a way that makes you feel every note.
3. “Still Mighty, Still Strong” – Dorinda Clark-Cole….I’ll stop there…..
4. “Lord You’re Beautiful” – On this song, YP shows why to me, they are one of the best choirs doing it. An average choir can’t sing this song. (Well, they can sing it, but it won’t sound right, trust me.) The control and blend necessary to pull each section of this song off without under or overdoing it is not easy. And I don’t know if you all are familiar with Lorraine Stancil, but nobody in this world can sing a song like her. She, like David I mentioned earlier have a way of putting it ALL out there everytime they sing a song. They don’t get tired, they don’t give half. They just SANG til times get better! (“til times get better,” my new favorite phrase, I’ll stop using it eventually, but until then, deal…lol)
Well I’ve talked enough about it! Listen to it and tell me what YOU think. And after you listen, make sure you click on that pretty blue iTunes link. You can still go out and buy it if you want (I like to read album credits), but don’t you just love that immediate satisfaction? Ha!