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The Cry: A Live Worship Experience From Chattanooga by William The Cry: A Live Worship Experience From Chattanooga by William
What You Need To Know:
Thank...
Tunnel Vision by Gene Tunnel Vision by Gene

 

 

What You Need To Know:
 Things...

Miracle Worker by JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise Miracle Worker by JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise

What You Need To Know
JJ Hairston...


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Worship Encounter Is Also An Album | Posted September-19-2019
What You Need To Know:

Thank God for Pastor William McDowell. Though he is considered an artist, William McDowell is one who totally wants people to experience God in a deep way when he or she listens to his albums or attends his church or anytime God is being glorified. Since he exploded onto the scene with I Give Myself Away, Pastor McDowell has released albums that are refreshing and powerful. The Cry: A Live Worship Experience (recorded live in Chattanooga, Tennessee) is another one! The same group of singers like Trinity Anderson, Daniel Johnson, Chris Lawson and more are present along with Aaron Lindsey serving as the producer of this record.




What it Sounds Like:

Nothing’s impossible/All things are possible/He’s still working miracles/It’s happening now!” the background vocalists so emphatically sing on the high energy “Nothing’s Impossible.” Tasha Cobbs Leonard lends her powerhouse vocals to the reassuring “Even Now,” ad-libbing to the faith-building tag “Even now You can do it.” Listening to this song my cause one to pull over and praise in the reassurance of God’s sovereign hand and human defying abilities. Wanting to see more people in love with Jesus with endurance and having this passion spread like wildfire is the theme of the title track. The singers and musicians have some mouth dropping moments on this power ballad, but it never overshadows the roaring cry for revival. The wonderful thing about this album is the songs flow together and it is really one big clarion call for more of Jesus. “Touch The Hem” features Trinity Anderson (who is also on two other songs). WOW! Just listen to this at your own risk.



Spiritual Highlights:  

In the midst of all of the turmoil and tension plaguing this country, this album is so needed! It could not have come at a better time. People are leaving the Faith and others have ended their lives. There are so many in the Church who are hurting. An album of this magnitude could really spark a revival. Listening to it is literally causing me to want more of Jesus.



Best Song on the Record: 

“Nothing Like Your Presence” is one of those “You just had to be there moments” captured on record! It is 14 minutes and 53 seconds of worship in reckless abandon. Press play and get lost in worship as Travis Greene, Nathaniel Greene and Pastor McDowell lead this “charged” audience into a frenzy! I am so glad that they did not allow industry norms to stop us from experiencing this “moment.”



For Fans Of:

Israel and New Breed, Todd Galberth, Bethel Worship, Tasha Cobbs, David and Nicole Binion



Final Word: 

This is not a normal album! This is not a cookie-cutter “worship” album. So many powerful songs of declaration, worship, triumph, desperation, reassurance and more. As the song, “Still Moving” says, “He’s still moving/He’s still proving/Just how great He is/How great He is.”

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Complete album where you donít have to skip a track! | Posted August-28-2019

 


 

What You Need To Know:

 Things have really been going well for Gene Moore Jr. He married his best friend and soulmate, Lashanna in Dec of 2018. He went on tour with soul artist India Arie where he was a background and featured vocalist. Currently, Gene is on tour with Brian Courtney Wilson on the “Just Be” tour and to top it all off, Gene has just released his first full length album, Tunnel Vision. Gene again teamed up with Terrance Vaughn (Don’t sleep on this musician and producer), Cedric “Dabenchwarma” Smith along with Dana Sorey to handle production. 


 

What it Sounds Like:

Masterfully produced, flawlessly executed vocally by Gene, songs carefully written by the songwriters and wisely picked by Motown records. Michael Dixon and Darryl “Deejay” Lowry wrote the Cedric Smith-produced, “Love Like You”. Having the ability to love like Jesus is the desire that Gene sings about over the strings of David Vaughn and smooth bass stylings of Nick McNack. There is a definite “How did Gene do that?!!” moment when he sings,
“Show me the way to capture Your heart/to give grace to my brother AND HELP MY SISTER.” Wait, when he says, “and help my sister”, what just happened. It as if he went up a half step and quickly back down to the original key. Gene also took calculated risks with a few Urban tracks. “Take Care” is a fun upbeat 80’s R&B/funk song that then transitions to the churchy vamp, “Glory to God who keeps me from falling/Keeps me from falling, Glory to him.” Yessuh!!!! 


 

Spiritual Highlights:

From the urban tracks (upbeat and smooth) and worship songs, this album is a lot to ingest spiritually. “Depending on You” is the type of song that all followers of Christ should sing. It prioritizes where we should look first in all aspects of our life. Shout out to Gene, Dana Sorey and Thaddeus Tribbett for writing a song that causes worship and reflection all in one. 


 

Best Song on the Record:

“Tunnel Vision” really is a complete album! It is easily one of the best albums to come out in the last few years. Picking the best song on the album was very difficult. From the modern soul jam, “Won’t Be Moved” to the chill “Apart (with background vocals provided by Eric Dawkins) to power ballad, “Always Jesus”, there is something for everyone. “Always Jesus” was written by Matt Redman, Bernie Herms, Jonas Myrin and Danny Gokey. 


 

For Fans Of:

Brian Courtney Wilson, Donny Hathaway, P.J. Morton, Dawkins and Dawkins, Michael Dixon


 

Final Word:

Flawless! This album has “Album of the Year” written all over it. Regardless of whether it wins many awards or not, Gene Moore has an album that will make a lasting imprint on many. This album is worth the purchase!!! 


 

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/36OUmfH7fvxdjJL1Zhkr8v



Purchase on Itunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/tunnel-vision/1474870127




 

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The Consistent JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise are back with another good one! | Posted August-17-2019

What You Need To Know

JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise has been a staple in the Gospel music industry since they exploded on the scene in 2001 with “Awesome God” on Gospelflava.com’s label, Evidence Gospel. More albums and hit songs dropped. They evolved from not only having songs for a Gospel choir but also songs that praise teams could sing as well. The consistency has to be noted in this day in age and here in 2019, they remain a locomotive that continues to build respectable momentum. Miracle Worker, on Jamestown Music with eOne Distribution, is their latest offering.



What it Sounds Like

The consistency and tendency to provide fresh and good content continues. It is a huge celebration when Nigerian singer, Tim Godfrey, blazes “Onaga” proving again that the continent of Africa has an extra special “oomph” that they bring to anything they touch. Kimberly Joye and JJ lead the call and response midtempo “No God Like You” while soprano worship leader, Benita Jones, leads us to the throne on “Have Your Way.” Masterful singing by Youthful Praise, raspy and passionate ad-libs by Jones and the tag of “have your way” makes this song one to repeat and add to your playlist. 



Spiritual Highlights

The whole album is centered around Jesus, his glory, presence, and miracle-working power. Anyone knows that there is electricity of sorts when people are gathered together for any sort of musical event. Yet, there is something extra powerful when people worship together. “Elohim” (featuring Darryl Walls of the Walls Group) sort of embodies this when the group sings what is a simple to learn song. When Darryl and Youthful Praise sing things like “Elohim, You are God forever”, then “Yahweh” and then “Hallelujah” even the staunchest of atheists would feel what they may describe as “goosebumps.” I would just describe it as the power of God. 



Best Song on the Record

Although there truly is a pick of really good songs on the album, I would have to pick the title track and lead single as the standout song. Although there is much “noise,” skepticism and cynicism embedding in today’s culture, hearing that people still believe that God still does miracles is quite refreshing. Rich Tolbert helps JJ on lead along with Jahana Jones also getting a small piece. 



For Fans Of

Jonathan Nelson, Tye Tribbett, Tasha Cobbs Leonard


Final Word

JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise delivered yet again and it is obvious that they will not be stopping any time soon!


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Funky new tune for the already electric group | Posted August-02-2019
What You Need To Know:

Riding on the heels of the momentum gained from the full-length album, Gone Fishin’, Judah Band is here for more with their new single, “Believe."




What it Sounds Like:

Always the musical risk-takers, “Believe” is along the lines of the 70's and 80’s R&B bands with a millennial swagger of sorts. Randy Weston is the quintessential showman/band leader full of rhythmic singing channeling a “goulash” of greats such as James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Otis Redding, Joe Ligon and a slight hint of Bruno Mars. The synth and horns intertwine so well with the others that the song would be incomplete if any were missing. The syncopated, boom-bap breakdown gives way for the churchy tag, laced with a bass groove that is sure to give musicians and music lovers that signature “stank face.” 



Spiritual Highlights:

Although it is clearly a fun and musical playground, the message of “Believe” is assurance and full of faith. “I believe everything You said about me/I believe everything will come to pass.” 



For Fans Of:

Redhands, Sensere and Tye Tribbett



Final Word:

“Believe” will shock some at first, but the message will shine through the shock. Musicians will gravitate towards it and I cannot wait to hear this live. Judah Band is going to have fun with this and it could easily turn a four and a half minute performance into a 20-minute jam session.

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Titus Showers embarks on a solo journey. | Posted July-30-2019

What You Need To Know: 

Titus Showers made a name for himself with his six sisters via the group The Showers. They garnered Stellar Awards, charted on the Billboards Gospel Chart and made several appearances. Titus also participates in ways to help people concerning health and medicine via a partnership with MAP International. Embarking on his own, Titus released Who? EP.



What It Sounds Like:

In the words of Bobby Jones “This is good Gospel music.” Houston residents Lucious Hoskins (four songs) and Tyrone Belle (two songs) handle the majority of the production while Darryl Walls (of the Walls Group) serves as a vocal producer. “It’s Gonna Be Alright” has a slow melodic groove to it with Titus doing his good ad-libbing. The songs of encouragement continue with “In That Name” serving to encourage and call the listeners to encourage themselves in the Lord. This song even got a NotKarlton Banks (Instagram sensation) skit. His nephew, Tasmin and daughter, Tytiana, join him towards the end of “Make It” proving again how important family is to Titus. It also shows that singing will continue to run deep into this family. 


Spiritual Highlights: 

Serving as encouragement is a great thing in the midst of the “noise” of today. The hope of Christ is done in an enjoyable fashion.



Best Song on the Record:

Titus closes the EP strongly and in such contrast. “Amen” is a straight-up old school, wooden floor church song topped with only the piano and such foot-stomping. Titus is sangin’ the way that our church mothers and lovers of traditional Gospel music will love. “Love” is more of an inspirational/Contemporary Gospel song. Keyondra Lockett adds some flair and texture vocally as she and Titus complement each other well. Calling for love for others in 2019 is fitting. 



For Fans Of: 

Lowell Pye, The Showers, Jabari Johnson



Final Word: 

Titus Showers is quite the singer who is true to Gospel music while still incorporating a few different styles within the whole EP. Who is worth the attention.

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Kurt Carr emerges after six years more determined than ever! | Posted July-24-2019

What You Need To Know

There is no way that any Gospel music fan, 
casual or die-hard, can not know who Kurt Carr is. Kurt Carr and The Kurt Carr Singers are responsible for life-changing songs such as “In the Sanctuary,” “For Every Mountain,” “God Blocked It” "I Almost Let Go" and so many more. He was the musical director for the late Rev. James Cleveland and later produced albums for Byron Cage, Tramaine Hawkins, and other Gospel greats. Being someone who has accomplished so much can be both a blessing and a lot of pressure. On top of that, Kurt lost his mother, Delores, and long-time ministry partner, Dorothy King. However, after six years of fighting through depression and loss, Kurt is back with Bless Somebody Else.



What it Sounds Like

Although this is an album with mostly new material, Kurt is not going to veer away from that signature sound and full singing that distinguishes him and The Kurt Carr Singers from other groups. The Kurt Carr Singers are a group of uber-talented and versatile singers who carry their own respective styles, but they are a strong, cohesive unit. Songs like “I’ll Make Sure You’re Lifted Up” and “Something Big, Something Marvelous” lead by Nikki Potts, are the fun uptempo anthems that will uplift Jesus and encourage believers. “With Thanksgiving” is infectious and even multilayered. The title speaks for itself and I was loving it from the beginning. However, the song goes from a bouncy number featuring a groove provided by bassist Nick McNack to a Latin-styled praise anthem and then they go straight quartet featuring some squalling adlibs from Roosevelt Griffin and Nakitta Foxx. Kurt, you did it again!



Spiritual Highlights

There are songs on the album that will help others through dark times, songs of praise and songs just to enjoy. “Bless Somebody Else (Dorothy’s Song)" features a who’s who list of Gospel and R&B artist who sing about getting their focus off of themselves, but serving and blessing others. Trusting God through a very tough storm is not just a cliche, but something that Jesus even illustrated to Peter.



Best Song on the Record

“Say All is Well” serves as a reminder that God is in control no matter what a person is facing. The interpolation of the popular hymn, “It is Well” was very well done and needed. Timiney Figueroa leads this song and she has a special gift for tugging at your heart when she leads ballads. “Grace Brought Me Back” was written specifically for Leandria Johnson; she drove this song and took it STRAIGHT to church! You can tell that there were some moments that were overdubbed, but Kurt had to keep much of her solo from the night of the recording.



For Fans Of

Richard Smallwood and Vision, Donnie McClurkin, Thomas Whitfield



Final Word

There is still a great need for the music of Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers! Bless Somebody Else is not a different "sound" for Kurt Carr, but there are new songs that will surely minster to become a staple for church choirs and praise teams. 



Available on iTunes and Apple Music




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LYA releases more music. | Posted July-11-2019
What You Need To Know: 

Lakewood Church's Young Adult Worship band (known as LYA) features a team of extremely talented singers, songwriters and musicians who minister together every Sunday evening. They also take part in leading the annual Hope and Life Conference held annually at Lakewood Church. This year, LYA released their EP, In The Name, Vol. 1 in conjunction with this year's conference. 



What It Sounds Like:

Tauren Wells sings the pop-tinged, "I've Got A Fire" which actually translates very well live. Being unable to contain the passion and joy that God puts inside is the theme. "Prince of Peace" is basically a psalm of reliance and security knowing that God has us in grasp. 



Spiritual Highlights:

The three song EP is about the beauty of a relationship with God while also wanting to share with others. It is peace knowing that with God things can change for good while also knowing that there is safety in Him even in the midst of a storm.



Best Song on the Record: 

"In The Name of Jesus" just speaks to me and serves as a reminder of how powerful the name of Jesus is. Ramiro Garcia really shines on these types of songs and driving choruses. This one shines and will be one to add your playlist and worship setlists as well. 



For Fans Of:

Hillsong United, Hillsong Young and Free, Elevation Worship



Final Word:

Do now allow the "Young Adult" aspect deter you checking this EP out. Looking forward to more from LYA.



Buy On iTunesListen on Spotify




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A "new" vocalist has emerged. | Posted July-11-2019
What You Need To Know: 

Michael Dixon may not be a name that many know, but in the cities of Houston and Dallas, Texas, Michael is well known and for good reasons. Michael is a worship leader for The Luke Church in the Houston area while also doing session vocals for several artists such as Gary Mayes, Nu Era, and Chad Brawley just to name a few. In addition, he is garnering a lot of attention for his songwriting skills. Not to mention the fact that he and good friend and fellow worship leader, Dayanna Redic, were on Beat Shazam, hosted by Jaime Foxx. Michael has a real smooth voice and brings another element to Gospel music. This is on display with his Walk on Water Project



What It Sounds Like: 

Although Mike does have a smooth voice, that does not stop him from visiting a variety of styles. Be prepared to nod your head and move to the reggae-tinged, "All of the Days of My Life." "Mighty Long Way" is a call and response jam that is just like the title suggests; a look at how far God has taken and changed Mike. "Show You I Love" is more of an easy listening song of gratitude featuring melodic background vocals and Mike's falsetto nicely complementing Deejay Lowrey's lower register.



Spiritual Highlights: 

The whole project is vertical whether they are songs of reflective gratitude, songs of worship or songs of faith in God. If you follow Michael on any social media outlet, he is a deep thinker with a funny sense of humor. So it is no surprise that he is heavy on applause given to God in retrospect and for things to come.



Best Song on the Record: 

"Hello Sunshine" is the first song on the album and it totally grabbed me at first listen. Even after listening to the whole album, it still stands out. The melody and the groove definitely had me, but his lyrics were the biggest reason why you add this to your favorites playlist. "I can see the storm coming to an end/I can see the rain right before it begins/I can see the sun breaking through the clouds/It's been a while since we've seen you/Hello sunshine..."



"Walk On Water" is just a beautiful song of faith that is well written and arranged. He gained much traction on Instagram with the #WalkonWaterchallenge. It registered with many on social media and maybe Michael Dixon should issue another challenge. 



For Fans Of: 

William McMillan, Brian Courtney Wilson, Gene Moore



Final Word: 

Take a chance on Walk on Water Project, a solid offering from Michael Dixon. This is just the beginning of great songs that are sure to come from him. When you start hearing more from him and seeing him more and more, remember that I tried to tell you. 



Buy On iTunes | Listen on Spotify




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Todd fulfills a dream and records overseas. | Posted March-29-2019

What You Need To Know:

There is just something about albums being recorded live in Africa. Israel and New Breed recorded their electric Alive in South Africa in 2005 and the energy and anointing were definitely felt through the album and DVD. Now, Todd Dulaney fulfills a dream of his by recording in South Africa and the result is To Africa With Love. He took his team, did some of his most popular songs and here it is.



What It Sounds Like:

Todd is a passionate worship leader who does songs for church worship teams and the church alike. “You’re Doing It All Again” is a new uptempo song with catchy elements that will fit well into setlists. Elements such as “oohs” that are call and response, synth rhythms popular in EDM, driving guitars and lyrics that simply praise to God are present throughout. The album also features a slowed down version of the tag which is a great transition to the slower songs in a praise and worship set list. Of course, he revisits such greats as “The Anthem”, “Free Worshipper” and the super hit, “Your Name Great.” The latter is continuing to make waves in churches across the globe. Todd highlights and gives props to Illia Jackson, someone who has been singing with him longer than any of his other amazing singers. They duet on “King of Glory.”



Spiritual Highlights:

Not to sound corny and cliche, but the whole album is a highlight spiritually. This is what an album dedicated to God should be. The goal is to lead others into God’s presence as this celebration in South Africa did for so many who were at the recording. Todd Dulaney and crew did just that. This is another album that can be added to your time of prayer and/or praise and worship.



Best Song on the Record:

South Africa’s own, Lebohang Kgapola joins him on “Victory Belongs to Jesus” for close to ten minutes of sheer vertical worship! Put this on and get lost in His presence.



For Fans of:

Israel and New Breed, Phil Thompson, Elevation Worship



Final Word:

Although you will not find an album full of new songs, you will find an experience of basically going to one of Todd Dulaney’s concerts/nights of worship. To Africa With Love did not disappoint in that sense.


Listen on ITunes / Listen on Spotify

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Another good one from a veteran artist | Posted August-19-2018
What You Need To Know:

He came into the Gospel world over twenty years ago when he sang "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" with the Mississippi Children's Mass Choir as a 12-year-old. He left many people (and kids like me) in awe that a young man's voice could be that powerful and high! He was a bonafide soprano. Fast forward to 2018 and Bryan is a licensed minister and one who has released several albums. To know that he has stuck with it as long as he has is impressive. Now he is back with a short EP titled, This Time.



What it Sounds Like:

Four quality songs make up this EP and he packs in an impressively good "bang for your buck." With Bryan well into his 30's, he has seen many changes and faced his share of challenges, so the title cut is fitting as he makes a bold declaration of how he is going to live stronger as a believer. The song is funky and upbeat and the synth bass goes well with Bryan's now baritone/tenor voice. "In Spite of Me" is a pop tune over a punchy drum beat that is both smooth and one you can nod your head to.



Spiritual Highlights: 

The songs are not heavy on mentions of Jesus, but very strong in showing Bryan’s reliance on Him. These are four tracks for the soul and will inspire during a time where Christians struggle with keeping up hope.



Best Song on the Record:  

Ballads do not always have to be the “best song” on the album, but “I’ll Always Love You” pulled at me the most. I appreciate the passion of Bryan Wilson and the straight-up love song he sings to God. He definitely has something with this wonderfully arranged modern day psalm. Some could even use this song to a spouse as it is apropos to a relationship.



For Fans Of: 

Dewayne Woods, Brian Courtney Wilson, Gene Moore Jr.



Final Word:

This Time is an appetizer that can really serve as a low calorie, but pretty filling, healthy meal. It shows Bryan in a comfortable place performing a more urbanized sound than churchy music and that is quite alright.



Listen on iTunes and Spotify.

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