Praise & Worship

“Miracles” – Kingdmusic

“Miracles” Kingdmusic Independent (release date: July 1, 2022) www.kingdmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Pulling its text from Matthew 17:20, “Miracles” by Kingdmusic is a bright, optimistic worship anthem designed to remind listeners that belief in God can overcome all crises. Kingdmusic premiered the composition at a worship service in Pretoria, South Africa, and had the congregants singing along. The memorable melody and hypnotic chorus is ready-made for congregational participation. From Venda, South Africa, Denga “Kingdmusic” Takalani, is a multi-award-winning artist, songwriter, worship leader and record producer. To my ears, this is his best single to date.

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“We Call” – Grant Allison IV

“We Call” Grant Allison IV One Nation Under God Records (Release date: April 14, 2020) www.grantallisoniv.com By Robert M. Marovich Though worship pastor Grant Allison IV has a new single (“Here”) and “We Call” has been around a while, I’m nevertheless struck by the loveliness and power of the latter song. “We Call” is orchestrated dramatically to fit its message of a community calling on Jesus during times of confusion. The chorus is deliberately hypnotic to capture the hushed vibe of a worship moment. It’s well-sung P&W with a pop flavor, courtesy of the thumping drums and recurrent electric guitar ...

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William Murphy – Worship & Justice

William Murphy Worship & Justice RCA Inspiration (release date: July 15, 2022) www.rcainspiration.com By Robert M. Marovich Do gospel artists have a responsibility to speak truth to power through their songs? Isn’t all gospel music message music, or should it be more explicit when it comes to the social gospel? Answers vary from artist to artist. For his part, Bishop William Murphy embraces the responsibility of social leadership through music ministry on Worship & Justice, his seventh album and first since 2019’s GRAMMYⓇ-nominated Settle Here. Recorded live in December 2021, at dReam Center Church in Atlanta, the album finds Murphy ...

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Maverick City x Kirk Franklin – Kingdom Book One

Maverick City x Kirk Franklin Kingdom Book One Tribl Records / Fo Yo Soul / RCA Inspiration (release date: June 17, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Maverick City Music, gospel’s current “it” group, joined with the venerable Kirk Franklin, no stranger to special event gospel projects, to bring music and ministry to 1,300 Florida inmates. Kingdom Book One is the result. Recorded at the Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, the album showcases MCM / Chandler Moore compositions and Franklin classics, a weary-sounding Franklin punctuating the communal singing and worship with exhortations, preaching moments, and Biblical lessons. Talented vocalists like Naomi ...

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“Never Lost” – Tribl

“Never Lost” Tribl featuring Joe L. Barnes, Lizzie Morgan & Melvin Crispell III Tribl Music (album release date: November 11, 2021) www.tribl.com By Robert M. Marovich If you follow gospel music, you are aware of the rise of worship collectives like Elevation Worship, Nashville Life Music, and the recent Grammy Award-winning Maverick City Music. Worship collectives, which are often multicultural in composition, possess a style that falls somewhere between CCM and gospel. Sometimes this blend, designed to appeal to an increasingly multicultural megachurch environment, lands the groups’ music on the CCM and gospel charts at the same time. Tribl is ...

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Martha Munizzi – Best Days

Martha Munizzi Best Days Martha Munizzi Music (release date: July 29, 2021) www.marthamunizzi.com By Robert M. Marovich Martha Munizzi’s latest live album, Best Days, is a well-orchestrated worship service that focuses on the reasons to celebrate, not worry, in the midst of today’s uncertainty. The paradox of joy in the midst of a raging storm permeates the project—after all, the album was recorded in November 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. It’s also the ultimate test of faith, Munizzi teaches, in songs that are energetic and pop-inflected with beefy instrumental flourishes. She assumes pastoral authority, exhorting during songs, encouraging ...

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Psalmist Raine & the ReFresh Team – ReFresh Worship Live 3.3

Psalmist Raine & the ReFresh Team ReFresh Worship Live 3.3 ReFresh Institute (release date: March 25, 2022) www.BeReFresh.com By Robert M. Marovich One thing is certain about Psalmist Raine’s ReFresh Worship Live 3.3: it keeps on going and going and going. The final disc of the three-volume ReFresh Worship Live 3: The Fellowship of Sons and Brethren by newly-ordained Apostle Larraine McCaa, known as Psalmist Raine, has a musical stream of consciousness quality. Indeed, fashioning an improvised extended worship piece was intentional: though some songs were rehearsed in advance, others were created on the spot by the singers and musicians ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  March 7, 2022

“The Glory” Mama Tee feat. Awipi & Rume Independent (release date: October 9, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “The Glory” is the product of an international collaboration between Canada-based songwriter Tolu Adeosun (Mama Tee), Nigerian-based music director and producer Awipi Emmanuel, and singers Rume and Jojo Vocals. Modern gospel singers in or from Africa tend to focus on songs of vertical praise more often than their U.S. counterparts, and this song is no exception. At the same time, Mama Tee penned “The Glory” out of a personal challenge. To a haunting melody, the lovely-voiced Rume as lead and Jojo Vocals ...

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Maranda Curtis – Die to Live

Maranda Curtis Die to Live Butterfly Works / Red Alliance Media / Fair Trade Services Release date: February 18, 2022 www.iammaranda.com By Robert M. Marovich Although his declaration doesn’t appear until several minutes into the album, Bishop John Francis essentially states the theme of Maranda Curtis’s new album Die to Live. After quoting John 12:24, Francis says: “I found out that a seed has the ability to last for millions of years, even when it’s dead. But the moment that seed, in its death state, is put in the soil, it finds life again….The death of a thing is a ...

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“Holy” – Maritza Rico

“Holy” Maritza Rico P&L Records (release date: August 28, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Maritza Rico’s “Holy” is quintessential P&W, with its easy-to-learn lyrics, catchy melody, and congregation-inviting chorus. Written and produced by Dee Jones, the song is reminiscent of praise anthems by Michael W. Smith and Chris Tomlin. It’s Rico’s expansive and tuneful voice that sells it. Born in East Los Angeles, Maritza Rico began her music journey participating in talent shows on Latin television and a background singer for Beatriz Solis, daughter of Latin music star Marco Antonio Solis. Rico joined the worship team at Abundant Living Family ...

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