New Music: Donald LawrencePublished by Torrence Glenn on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm.
We’ve been waiting for this! Donald Lawrence is releasing Volume 1 of his 20 Year Celebration Best For Last. The bulk of the CD was recorded this spring in Chicago and to celebrate this release I’m going to explain to you track by track why you need to pick up this release.
2. “The Gift” – I was singing the hook to this in my heads days after I heard it just one time and knew that I loved it. Generally I don’t like gospel music with a whole lot of words, but Donald has a way of making you sing along with ALL THOSE WORDS in a way that works. That’s why I affectionately call him “the hook ninja.” Ha (He’s gonna kill me for sharing that!)
3. “Celebrate” feat. Ted and Sheri - Now only Donald Lawrence could get these two back on stage together in this way and I’m so glad he did. Most probably didn’t even realize he wrote/produced this but it’s really good to hear them together again!
4. “Best For Last” feat. Yolanda Adams and the Tri-City Singers – Now when is the last time you heard Yolanda sing like this on a record? OMG! It’s a classic Donald Lawrence and Tri-City tune but the singing Yolanda Adams is doing will send you!
5. “Mighty God” feat. Coko – You’ll remember this song from Coko’s debut gospel CD a few years ago when her and mother screamed on it til times got better. Well times have gotten better because Coko STILL screams like a musical maniac. At the recording she had all of our mouths dropped open because it’s one thing to hit those notes but it’s a whole nother thing to do it the way she does. Coko didn’t flinch once!
6. “God” feat. Natalie Grant – I won’t lie. During the recording I figured this would be the time I’d sneak off to the bathroom since I knew we were in for a long night. But guess who got me together and essentially said “hold it?” NATALIE GRANT. I’ve always known she was a good singer but I didn’t know she could sing “like that!” There’s a soulfulness and a “weight” that I didn’t know she possessed. Trust me on this, she does her gooooood singing. And when she was done, she changed the entire tone of the evening.
7. “Say A Prayer” feat. the almighty Oracle of God, the mouthpiece of and vocal inspiration to all the angels in heaven and the celestial choir members in training Faith Evans – You already know!
8. “The Blessing Of Abraham” – If you like “pretty Jesus” music, then you’ll love this somewhat “acoustic” version of this hit song.
9. “There Remaineth A Rest” – Now I don’t know how to properly describe this tune. It literally hijacked the recording and may forever hijack Donald Lawrence’s sets. I know for a fact that if I ever see Donald and Co. in concert and they don’t sing this song I promise you I’ll be soon arrested or something because I’m protesting and throwing the most gigantic fit I can UNTIL they do it. And I know I’m not the only one. Donald Lawrence is already one of the best but this is him at his VERY BEST. It’s just a song that you can’t shake no matter how hard you try. And believe me, we tried. The audience continued singing the hook and the drive well after the song ended. So much so that they had to do it again….
10. “Hebrews 4:9 ‘A Rest’” – So as if “There Remaineth A Rest” weren’t enough… The version above is uptempo with a hard and urgent drive and although it’s thoroughly “gospel” it’s got some almost rock elements to it. But no, Donald couldn’t leave it at that. He took the same song and flipped the arrangement to a straight Sunday morning anthem vibe. Take your pick, you’re going to lose it on both!
11. “Just Like The Air” feat. Tobbi White-Darks – This song will haunt you if listen to it at the wrong time. It’s simple, beautiful and well “airy.”
12. “Ultimate Relationship” feat. Lalah Hathaway – So when Lalah Hathaway walked on stage at the recording I got my musical taste buds all “tooted up” (does anybody say that but me and my family) for her to kill, smash, slay “Don’t Forget To Remember;” a memorable tune she did with Donald some years ago that we all love. But the beauty of this recording and project was the aspect of “discovery.” Just like many people didn’t know that Donald had written/produced “Celebrate” for Ted and Sheri, many others didn’t know that Donald had written/produced a song for R&B singer Mary J. Blige. Well he did and “Ultimate Relationship” was that tune and what Lalah does to it? Yeah, ummm sorry MJB I don’t mean no hateration but Lalah stole this from your danceree and you probably won’t get it back.
13. “Instrument” feat. Rudy Currence - More “discovery.” If you follow the music industry you may know that there’s a new young R&B artist making some noise on the soul music scene named Rudy Currence. You probably know that he’s a beast! You probably also know that he’s signed to rapper Ludacris‘ Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP) label. But what you probably didn’t know that this dude was Donald Lawrence’s cousin. Rudy’s a singer’s singer and knows how to get a reaction out of his listeners with his vocal prowess. He travels up and down and back around the scale in ways that are usually reserved for singers like Daryl Coley, Karen Clark-Sheard, etc. so it was only fitting that he put his own spin on The Clark Sisters “Instrument” on his cousin Donald’s project.
14. “When The Saints Go To Worship” feat. Kelly Price - Say what you want but I’m so glad Kelly Price was booked for this CD because she did her good good good good singing on this here! Hear me? And like Coko, she can holler without any effort! Listen to this and I promise you’ll lose it!
15. “Hebrews 4:9 Reprise” – Like I said, this song hijacked the entire recording. This is just one of MANY reprises of this song from that night… I’m glad Donald gave all of you who weren’t there a taste of what we got.
Best For Last releases Tuesday, September 24 but if you’ve got iTunes you can get that joint right now and I’d suggest you do. Unless you’re deaf and/or don’t like music than I guess you could go and do something else…