|A union of singers to be celebrated! | Posted May 23, 2013
Fred Hammond has been in Gospel music for more than 30 years. He started as a bassist for the Winans, then he co-founded the colossal Commissioned. He blazed trails with Radical for Christ and he is not letting up.
He has come full circle as he, Dave Hollister, Brian Courtney Wilson and Eric Roberson form the group United Tenors. Hollister is well known in the secular industry for his time with Blackstreet, being the singer on Tupac's "Brenda Got A Baby" and of course his solo stuff. Although he still does some dates with Blackstreet, he is devoted to ministry.
Roberson is also an R&B singer with a strong following while Wilson is arguably one of the best crooners in the Gospel world. They release Here In Our Praise, produced by Fred. He gets help from his band—Calvin Rodgers, Philip Feaster, Lawrence Jones along with Shaun Martin, Derek Clark and Chuck Bethany.
The album jumps into high gear with the songs "Unshakeable" and "Love You Like That." Lead single "Here In Our Praise" has a slow urban feel, but the lyrics are vertical worship to God. For the most part, the quartet as a whole is the leaders with some ad-libs from Wilson and Hammond. This group works and it is great to hear them all sing and take equal lead parts. In this day and age it is refreshing to see and hear men and devoted fathers take the lead and give honor to God.
"In the Midst of It All" is a beautiful ballad of sheer adoration to God. The song almost sounds like one of the chapters in Psalms with such lyrics as, "To know that your presence is all that we need / Is more than enough to set our minds at ease / And when our hearts is overwhelmed we'll look to the Cross / And there we are reminded that you are here."
A fretless bass, a jazzy saxophone weaving nicely throughout, great placements of each singer's voice and great lyrics make "Never a Day" a winner and a definite highlight. Hollister starts it off and from there you know it is going to be a good one.
A major highlight on the album is "I'm Reminded." What makes this song so special? Perhaps it's the chorus, which sings: "I'm reminded how much You care for me / I'm reminded how much You done for me oh Lord / When I think of what you done on cavalry / I am reminded of Your love." Could it possibly be the fact that it's a mid-tempo pop number with some straight-up churchy "sangin'" by Fred Hammond and Brian Courtney Wilson? Can a song be pop yet churchy? It is the combination all of those things that make it so special. It is one song that you will play over and over again.
No matter if the tempo is faster, a la "We Worship You," or slow such as "My Heart Is Yours," worship and encouragement is a big theme throughout the album. The fellas tug at the heart strings and deliver a relatable song in "Where Are You." This is a song that is vintage Fred Hammond because he writes in a way that "hits home" but still leaves you worshipping God.
So much has already been said, but to see these singers put aside any egos and have equal billing is refreshing. There is power in unity and when strong men come together to bring praise to God, there is nothing like it. Thank you Dave Hollister, Eric Roberson, Brian Courtney Wilson and Fred Hammond!
Song to Download Now:
"I'm Reminded" (Get it on iTunes here
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