Karew Records/eOne Entertainment
By Bob Marovich
It is fascinating how gospel music, a genre where the signature sound is brisk and exuberant, can be most beautiful when sung slowly and melodically. David Daughtry includes both the rapid and the measured on his impressive self-titled debut project.
Although Daughtry delivers several fine uptempo selections on the album, the worshipful ballads “You Are” and the hypnotic “I Call Your Name” demonstrate his dexterous, earnest tenor. He launches falsetto notes well into the upper register and gets as high as Philippe Wynne (Spinners) on a cover of the Winans’ question-and-answer song, “How Can You Live Without Christ,” where his vibrato evokes the young Smokey Robinson.
Speaking of the Winans, Daughtry pays homage to his COGIC upbringing throughout the album. His collaboration with COGIC Music Department President Dr. Judith McAllister produces the current single, “God Is Great – Leap,” a medley of well-known congregational songs punctuated by the percussive use of the word “leap.” Later, Daughtry does the hip-slapping “Be Healed, Delivered, Set Free.” “Great and Mighty is He” has a rhythmic repetitiveness and a snappy call-and-response with the background vocalists. He finishes the closing song, Kurt Carr’s “When God Says No,” with a variation on the COGIC “Yes Lord” chant, while Jason White contributes an organ accompaniment straight out of the old church.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, David Daughtry is currently Leader of Praise and Worship for the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, where the pastor is Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. The album is on Karen Clark Sheard and Bishop J. Drew Sheard’s Karew imprint. It’s clear from Daughtry’s debut project that his voice has staying power.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “God Is Great—Leap,” “Be Healed, Delivered, Set Free.”