Hold It All Together
Limitless Entertainment (release date: December 30, 2022)
By Robert M. Marovich
On her latest solo album, Hold It All Together, Destiny Adia Andrews, known as Adia, sings in a tranquil voice, as if holding a prayer meeting with a few friends in a tiny room with the lights out. Light waves of ambient hip hop wash over this sumptuous sacred atmosphere.
But if the music is candlelit, there’s nothing easygoing about the transparent lyrics. The liquid title track tackles the feeling that when everything is crumbling down around you, it’s a blessing to know God is there to hold onto. In “God of Dreams,” Adia summons the spirit in the midnight hour to help her get to where she longs to be, even when everyone around her doesn’t see it or believe in her abilities.
Given its theme, the liberating “Fly,” written and produced by Sir the Baptist, is naturally brighter. After paying her dues, Adia sings, “this is my time.” The disco-charged “You Ain’t” advises that “you ain’t gotta be ashamed” to be going through problems or figuring things out. Turn your problems over to the Most High. The interpolation of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” puts a fine point on the song’s premise.
At a little more than four minutes, Sun son” is the album’s longest track by far, and as such, it has time to seep more deeply into the bloodstream. Its blend of acoustic and electronic vibe and contemplative praise evoke artists like Doe.
No newcomer to gospel, Adia has been in the gospel music business for more than a decade, working with industry leaders from Deitrick Haddon and Kierra Sheard-Kelly to Pastor Mike Jr. She became the first female artist to sign with Xist Music, a label founded by Terverius “T.” Black, Sean Simmonds, and John Weston Jr. to showcase Christian rap, hip hop, and urban music. They forged a partnership with Malaco Music Group to gain national traction. Adia is now on her own.
Hold It All Together has a crisp and tactile production quality. The songs are melodic if not instantly memorable, and will resonate with fans of low-key hip hop. This is neither music for church services or for evangelizing in the clubs, but for hanging out with friends while soaking one’s soul in soothing, if sometimes shoulder-shaking sacred sounds. More an EP than a full album, Hold It All Together seems to be whetting fans’ appetites while setting up something bigger in the future.
Three of Five Stars
Pick: “Sun son”