“Amazing” Pastor Mike Jr. Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: July 30, 2021) www.pastormikejr.com By Robert M. Marovich Pastor Mike McClure Jr., better known as Pastor Mike Jr., the 2021 Stellar Awards Artist of the Year and gospel music’s current It Guy, cleverly gospelizes Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 smash hit “Crazy” as “Amazing.” Amazingly, it works. To a chill arrangement and with ample support from a full-throated choir of background vocalists, Pastor Mike Jr. takes his time with the famous melody. He stretches the tension to the breaking point, then lets the choir handle the finish. Expect groups around the country to ...Read More »
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“Big” Pastor Mike Jr. Blacksmoke Music Worldwide/Rock City Media Group (release date: May 10, 2019) By Bob Marovich In a time when Kanye West is dominating Billboard‘s Top Gospel Singles and Albums charts, whatever space is left is occupied by legacy artists like Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. There’s scant room for new artists. Nevertheless, Pastor Mike Jr. has broken through onto the charts with “Big” and his album Free. As sonically enormous as its subject, “Big” evokes the work of James Fortune & FIYA in its use of spoken calls to sung choral responses, outsized production, and zealous optimism. ...Read More »