2009 – Yes, No, Maybe? (Part 1)Published by Torrence Glenn on Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm.
Sup folks. I can’t believe that 2009 is almost wrapped up, tied up, and ready to go! So many things have happened this year, especially in gospel music. Highs, lows, and even a few “shake ya head” in between moments. So I decided to go over the musical moments of 2009 and put them in the lovely categories reminiscent of our childhood love notes. “Yes, No, and Maybe.” Because it’s been quite a full year, I’ll be breaking this post up into 3 or so parts, so bear with me. Consider this, Part 1. Let’s do it!
Let’s start out with Yes…
Lawrence Flower & Intercession – The Experience: Major in Ministry, Minor in Music – I’m not altogether sure how I got my hands on this CD. I’ve been a “fan” of the group for sometime because of a youtube clip I saw a few years ago. In the clip, they were all sitting around in someone’s living room singing the place DOWN! I kind of continued to follow their progress via Youtube, Myspace (remember them, lol), etc. but of course couldn’t follow that closely until earlier this year, their CD just showed up in the mail. LITERALLY! I’m thinking someone gifted it to me because it came from CDBaby.com (support them) but they didn’t leave a name, but it was addressed to me. I was like “ooh, that’s the youtube group.” I listened and was not disappointed! It’s a really good CD that I think you should check out. Now, there are maybe a bit too many vocal runs by the leader, but the “surely goodness” of the CD overall outweights that.
Donald Lawrence & Co – The Law Of Confession Part 1 – Hands down, one of the best gospel CD’s I’ve heard in my entire life. There are a lot of good CD’s out there, but not many great ones that you predict will be classic. This is that one! I’ve never told anyone this except a few close friends, but as HUGE of a fan as I am of Donald’s music, I NEVER like his CD’s when I first listen to them. I usually have to come back to them, and then eventually I go “What was I thinking? This is brilliant.” This CD, however had me at the very first note! There wasn’t a single song I didn’t like and 2009 was better because this project dropped. The music AND the message were on point. Donald Lawrence is “that dude” and THAT is all! Ha!
TON3X – Unspoken – Yes, I know he’s “controversial.” And yes, we’ve gone over all of that. So I’m going to leave it there! But I will discuss this ridiculously good project, Unspoken. We all know the man can sing with the best of them, but I think he put his foot in this one. His music ministry genius can’t be denied and I won’t either! Take a second and listen to songs like “Cool With U,” “Fiyah,” “Sneeze,” “Glory” (Straight *whoosh*), and “Blend” without all the other stuff that we sometimes bring to the table and you’ll see what I mean.
You knew it was coming because I said so. Had to do it! lol. Now for the No’s of 2009.
Heather Headley – Audience Of One – I wanted to really like this CD. I really did, but it just didn’t sit right. Now, I wasn’t necessarily a fan of her R&B stuff but figured, maybe she should have been singing gospel all along and that’s why it didn’t work for me. I don’t know, something about this CD was just a little bit on the “trying too hard” side. Eh, maybe I should put this one the maybe list. It wasn’t necessarily “bad” either. Ugh, whatever. Too much thought is happening now. I didn’t really like it is all. I’d give another cd another shot though….
Israel Houghton – The Power One One – It’s all about the “ones” in this category I guess. Now y’all know I’m a little harder on the “GENRES” of CCM and Praise & Worship, but it’s gospel all the same and so I’m always willing to give it a shot. Now I have a love/not-so-much (hate’s too strong) relationship with Israel . I personally think he sings his face off when he really sings, but have found his music to be, ummmm, a little bit predictable. I guess that’s the word. He kind of sings the same song over and over and over again and folks really eat it up. Not me. But his PR and label folks made it abundantly clear that this CD would be “different.” It was supposed to be this dynamic “solo” project that had a separate sound and feel than those with is group “New Breed.” Alas, uh yeah, same acoustic guitar driven happy songs and if I listen close, I’m pretty sure I heard New Breed all up and through the background vocals, so wasn’t sure what was supposed to be different about it. But I still think dude can really sing. He did his GOOD singing on Coko’s CD!
And of course there were some things that made me go “hmmmm?” Maybe is everyng else in between.
Shari Addison and Crystal Aikin – both Sunday Best Season 1 alums are ridiculously talented! I was excited that both put out projects this past year and both CD’s have some great moments on them, but I just can’t give the 100% thumbs up just yet, but I’m going to keep listening which is why I put these ladies in the “maybe” category. I think Shari should do a live project though next time so she can squall heaven down as only she can with a live audience. She’s a church girl! Crystal’s project was pretty solid too and the songs I liked, I REALLY liked, and the ones I didn’t?…. Yeah, Crystal needs to be allowed to be HER! I think songs like “Turn To Him,” and “Lord You Reign Forever” are where she really shines along with some others, but a few tracks seemed more suited to someone else. But the CD is still pretty good.
Donnie McClurkin – We All Are One (Live In Detroit) – Donnie is one of my favorite singers, period. I think his voice can wake the dead, cure foot fungus and everything else. (ha!) His latest CD was pretty good, but I have to put in the maybe category because it hasn’t necessarily grabbed me yet. There’s a lot of good singing, but I almost feel like something’s missing. My gut tells me this project was meant for a “different” audience. (The audience who likes Israel and nem…) But I won’t write it off just yet.
Kim Burrell – No Ways Tired – Now y’all know good and well that I’m a Kim Burrell GROUPIE! Yes, say it with me, GROUPIE! One of the greatest to EVER do it, which is why this CD makes it’s way into the “maybe” category. Her gift, anointing, voice and arrangements were WAY TOO GOOD for that in-house producer she used to produce most of this CD. Not hating, but he was out of his league. Kim knows what she’s doing so I can’t criticize her for working with him, but I just think better production (on the instrumental side) would have made this cd way better. But it’s NOT bad per se and I still bump it, so it is what it is. (Plus, a little birdie told me she wasn’t exactly thrilled with the album cover either. K?)
Well that’s it for Part 1. It’s been a long year!
Check back for Part 2 tomorrow!