Tracy Worth: Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By
Serenity SEL4602 (2004)
Reviewed by: Bob Marovich
For far too many musicians, being successful in contemporary urban gospel music means keeping up with the Joneses, or more appropriately, with the Kee’s, the Franklin’s, and the McClurkin’s. While John, Kirk, and Donnie are talented artists and eminently worthy of emulation, there is no need for replication when a vast frontier of gospel music creativity awaits discovery. Fortunately, some gospel artists – mostly women – are starting to chart this frontier with their own individual musical compasses. Tracy Worth is one of these new, fresh gospel explorers.
Case in point: Tracy’s new CD, Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By, proves that gospel music can be contemporary without being copycat. Its tuneful songs are underpinned by hip-hop infused rhythms and overlaid by Tracy’s shimmeringly gorgeous vocals. Her singing takes the sparkle of Diana Ross and gives it a Beyonce bounce. The CD’s clear production and infectious instrumentation, the latter thanks to Ron Walters, Jr., make the project a joy to listen to time and again.
While “Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By” and “I’ll Follow You” – the latter featuring a sensational duet with gospel veteran Melvin Williams – are the standout selections, Tracy really demonstrates her vocal flexibility on “Your Love.” Recorded in Chicago, Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By is the latest reason why the Windy City remains the Gospel Music Capital.