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Gospel's Rising Young Gun
Posted October 17, 2017
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Young and vibrant, but still churchy. A singer with finesse and that perfect hint of power behind her vocals. These are some ways to describe Ruth La'Ontra. 

Sought after musician Justin Savage and the vocal producing savant Anthony Brown guided Ruth production-wise for her new album I Got You; Brown wrote most of the material. Group TheraPy provided some overdubs vocals. 

Although some listeners grow tired of Gospel songs taking a chorus and tagging it to become the whole song, if it is done in moderation, I have no issue with it--especially if it creates a powerful moment. This is exactly what happens with "Reign." The song simply says "He shall reign forever and ever," which is taken from Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." The ballad "Salt of the Earth" stays light and smooth as Ruth and the group proclaims what our responsibility is in this world. Call and response dominate the vocal interaction between Ruth and the singers. 

The upbeat tracks show Ruth's versatility and help keep the album flowing. The title track has a slight hint of Captain and Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" with the masterful vocals from Group TheraPy to compliment Ruth's soaring contralto. I am sure this song will be a favorite when she performs it live. Lead single "Kingdom" is a feel good midtempo jam that really grabbed my attention in terms of what Ruth La'Ontra brings to Gospel music. 

2017 has been a tough year across the country and globe with so many affected by hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, racial tension and just the everyday grind of life itself. Although we have seen many band together in times of crisis, people have also been left battered and demoralized. The song "Come Through" has come at this pivotal time. Ruth delivers and works this song with sheer power, proving that it should be the choice for second single.

Long time Gospel music fans will be delighted to hear her remake of Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers' "In My Name." Ruth put a little of her flavor into the lead, but she also stayed true to Kim McFarland's sweet original vocals. It's proof that not all millennial artists are failing to show love and respect to their predecessors. 

The Bottom Line: I Got You is a strong album, and Ruth La'Ontra is one of our "young guns" who will continue to make sure that Gospel music never dies. Ruth joines rising voices like Geoffrey Golden, Bri' Babineaux, Kierra Sheard, Tasha Cobbs and The Walls Family as some of the voices who are packing a powerful punch! You'll want to pick this one up.

Song to Download Now
"Come Through" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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