Classic Gospel – Essential Recordings: Week 117

“View the City” — Rizen


On CD Rizen (Light Records)

Their official website ( calls Michigan-born Rizen a “retro gospel girl group.” That makes perfect sense. Shades of the Caravans, Davis Sisters, Ward Singers and Gospel Harmonettes spring to mind upon hearing Rizen – Adriann and Aundrea Lewis, Kanika Trigg, and Ashley Jones – sing “View the City.” Watch them perform this song live – and their new DVD makes this as easy as pie to do – and you’ll wonder whether you’ve traveled back in time. The four ladies are as energetic as they sound, preaching the song and holy dancing around the stage. No surprise that they were named “New Artist of the Year” at 2004’s Stellar Awards.

“View the City,” written by Adriann and Aundrea’s brother Ay’Ron Lewis, co-produced by gospel wunderkind Sanchez Harley, and available on the quartet’s eponymously titled major-label debut CD for Light Records, is the kind of gospel song that sets audiences on their feet, their hearts pumping, hands clapping, and voices shouting. It’s about having church the old-time way, particularly when the group stretches out during the “special” segment.

Rizen reminds us with “View the City” that gospel music can be fun as well as inspiring, and can put a smile on your face as easily as it can plant one in your heart.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.