2009 – Yes, No, Maybe? (Part 3)Published by Torrence Glenn on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm.
Ok, folks. This is it! Here I stand…(wrong song, sorry!) But this is my final post of my Yes, No, Maybe? Series for 2009… If you missed Part 1, click here. If you missed Part 2, click here. Let’s get right down to it!
Kierra Sheard – Kiki’s Mixtape – I know what a lot of you are thinking. “It was a CD with only 8 songs on it and 4 of them were on previous albums or simply remixes.” My friends, THIS IS WHAT KIKI DOES. This isn’t the first time that she’s released a little teaser CD in between her major releases to keep her fans happy. So I put this in the yes category, because the 4 songs that were new were FIRE! If she had put out a 4 song EP, I don’t think we would have minded, so if you don’t want to hear the old songs, skip ‘em! The track “Teach Me” is enough to put this into the Yes category.
Fred Hammond – Love Unstoppable – So I’m a Fred Hammond fan from way back, but over the past few years I had been a little disappointed. I’m guilty of being one of those people who whenever they discuss Fred Hammond says the same thing: “I’m still bumping Page Of Life 1 & 2. You can have the rest.” Needless to say I wasn’t looking forward to this project because as far as I was concerned, Fred had “lost it.” So know this, whatever that “it” was, Fred got it back and then some! Love Unstoppable turned out to be one of my favorite projects this year! “They That Wait” with John P. Kee is a banger! “Find No Fault” is just old school enough in “that way I like” and “Lost In You Again” is an immediate *whoosh* grabber. Plus, I don’t know if anybody else notices this kind of stuff but me; but for the longest time, Fred always had this one soprano who dominated every song he did and just got on my ear’s very last nerve. Shrill much? Well, apparently she’s gone or they turned her mic down and I’m glad about it!
Ted Winn- Balance – The other half of gospel’s super duo Ted & Sheri didn’t disappoint either! In my opinion, vocally, I’d say that Ted’s voice was probably more suited to a more contemporary gospel style, while Sheri’s gift bordered on the traditional and they switched it up on me. Ted’s CD has a more churchy feel to it but every song worked! Again, if I let my expectations dictate how I felt, I probably would have missed something real special. The songs, arrangement and production on this project were AMAZING. Two words: “No Weapon!”
Vanessa Bell-Armstrong – The Experience – I want to say a whole lot about this CD but I start quickening and falling out just thinking about it. Like some other artists I’ve mentioned, we were a little concerned for Vanessa. For a few albums she went in some “interesting” directions and we really didn’t get with it, and for good reason. Well, this time around, with production by Donald Lawrence (he’s THAT DUDE), she gave us the album we needed AND wanted. The singing, the singing, the singing!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH, *whoosh.* Ok, I’m back. This CD actually may be one of my favorites by her, and I’m talking about across the entire catalogue!
The Anointed Pace Sisters – Access Granted – I feel like folks did not pay proper attention to this CD. I think there was a lot of music coming out at the time and it just kind of got lost in the shuffle. I’m so glad I didn’t miss it! Now perhaps I’m a little bit biased, because I’m a fan of both girl groups and family groups, but what makes this CD so great is the flow and production. In our iTunes generation, we find it really easy to listen to CD’s out of order, in shuffle mode, etc. and we miss things or lose the flavor/art of a well sequenced FULL project. I try to make it a habit to listen to a CD in its entirety before I start picking out tracks to add to playlists, etc. This CD can play from start to finish and goes from some heavy church moments (Can Duranice Pace be anything but?) to some really smooth grooves. (that is probably the corniest line I have ever written, but “smooth grooves” are the only applicable words that I can think of.) Get this CD and check out “Finally” and “Seed Of Righteousness.” You’ll be glad about it.
The Clark Sisters – The Clark Sisters’ Family Christmas f/ J. Moss, Kierra Sheard, Bill Moss, Jr. and J. Drew Sheard II – Now typically, I wouldn’t normally include a holiday release in a package like this (even though this is technically the first one I’ve ever done) but this project stood out and truthfully, I’ll probably play it all year long. The Clark/Moss family can generally do no musical wrong in my eyes! But really though, the way the sisters come together on this CD is bananas. Thankfully, they’ve released a video from the live recording of “Oh Come Emmanuel.” You need this CD in your life if for no other reason than to hear Karen Clark-Sheard squall down heaven about a hula hoop on “The Chipmunk Song.”
Greg O’Quin & IPraize – After The Storm – “Our father, which art in heaven, please give me the proper words to use to respectfully and clearly declare how absolutely awful this CD is… Amen.” I don’t think there was a single gospel lover who remembers the hit “I Told The Storm” who wasn’t looking forward to this CD. I know I was, because it had been over 10 years since that song was released and it was so powerful, so beautiful, so wonderful, blah blah blah, that I wanted a follow-up. But sometimes it’s better to bow out while you’re on top. This CD left me completely speechless. How does a CD go through recording, production, mixing and mastering yet still have sour notes on it? I mean, I know everything isn’t for everybody but please show me the somebody who this CD is for and I’ll pray that this Universal Healthcare Bill passes so they can get their ears checked. Full disclosure, part of the reason I think I’m going so hard on this project is not just because it sounded bad, (believe me it did!) But the marketing tactics around it were silly, dubious and full on foolish. To think that some “promotions company” would take the time to spam my blog’s comments section and email with tacky “rumor” innuendo of Greg O’Quin and Regina Bell (his labelmate) falling in love on the set of a video shoot was rather gross and disrespectful. (There were enough real moral marital affairs that took place this year without having to irresponsibly make any up!) As a matter of fact, I’m done with this. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Bebe & Cece Winans – Still – I, like most of the free world had wanted and waited for this day to come and when it did, I wished it hadn’t. Now, be clear, I’m gonna put myself out there and say that I’m a fan of Bebe & Cece Winans. If you want to see me “act a fool,” let the intro to “Heaven” come on. I get ugly and will re-enact the entire video. But this CD I think just “was.” Yeah, I know it did this and that on the charts and all that goodness, but I think we were just excited about what could have been. But in the end it just wasn’t. I kind of dig the single “Grace” but not enough to call this album a hit. That song and “Things” (merely because the ever so great Marvin Winans is on it) are probably the only good moments there. But guess what, let Bebe & Cece Winans go and tour and promise to sing some hits, I’m THERE!
Rizen – Free – so I remember this group having 4 people, then woke up one day and there were 2 of ‘em. There have apparently been a lot of changes with this group that I guess I just wasn’t following. Truthfully, I still remembered them as the “holy city one of these days” girls and couldn’t tell you much about whatever happened after that. So when I realized they were now a duo and signed to Zomba Gospel, I decided to try and play catch up by listening to their new project. I didn’t make it very far. The screaming that was done on this project kind of kept catching me at the wrong time. I know, this is gospel, and singers scream, and typically I can get with that. But, this CD has to catch me at the right time and there’s a chance I may like it, which is why I’m putting it in the “maybe” category. A cute marketing concept might have been to send advance copies with branded earplugs. (That one’s free, Ha!)
Ann Nesby – The Lulalee Project – I’m a HUGE fan of Ann Nesby’s voice. She reminds of Aretha Franklin with the Holy Ghost! (ha! If you follow me on twitter, you’d know I’ve been in an extra churchy mood lately!) So far, the Lula Lee Project for me has been half and half. The songs I like (The Tonex produced “I Found A Place,” “I Trust You Lord”), I REALLY like, and the ones I don’t (“Thinkin’ About You,” “Press Makes Diamonds), I really don’t like. Vocally, it’s pretty solid though, so I couldn’t call it a “No” either.
GI – God’s Image- Just another case of didn’t get a chance to listen to it yet, but I will, but didn’t want to leave ‘em out because I like their cover of “Silver & Gold” cover by Kirk Franklin and The Family.
Shirley Caesar – A City Called Heaven – same thing as God’s image, didn’t get to hear it just yet, but Shirley’s one of my favorites!
Well, that’s it for 2009, at least as far as I’m concerned. 2010 looks like it’s going to be another great year and I’m looking forward to it. Some things I’m looking forward to in 2010? Here’s a quick list.
- Karen Clark-Sheard’s first release on her label, Karew Records
- Marvin Sapp’s new release.
- Celebration Of Gospel 2010 (www.bet.com/COG)
- The new season of Bobby Jones Gospel (www.bet.com/bobbyjonesgospel)
- Kierra Kiki Sheard’s new CD (I don’t even know if she has one coming, but I just hope so! J)
- Kim Burrell’s new CD. (Wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’….)
- Sunday Best Season 3 – I wish I could tell you some of the stuff in store but my lips for now have to remain sealed, but it’s gonna be goooooood (www.bet.com/sundaybest)
- Y’anna Crawley’s debut CD!
- Jessica Reedy’s debut CD! (I’m speaking that thing!)
- Latice Crawford’s debut CD! (more speaking! *Pentecostal fit*)
- Yolanda Adam’s new CD
Thanks for riding with me this year you guys. I really do appreciate all the love you guys show to me and my lil ole blog. Everyday I sign into the software to type I still can’t believe I’m here. Wasn’t my plan but it was in THE plan and I’m rolling with it!
So just in case this is the last blog for 2009 (may not be), GOD BLESS YOU! He’ll do it because that’s what He does. I know from personal experience!
Merry CHRISTmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Kwanzaa for those of you who have that kind of time (one holiday is enough, just saying, lol!)