Keith Reed Jr. & New Sound of Worship
True Worship
New Sound Music Group (release date: February 25, 2018)

By Bob Marovich

Last fall, JGM reviewed Bless the Lord, an EP from Keith Reed Jr. & New Sound of Worship. It heralded the Ohio-based Rhythm & Praise ensemble’s soon-to-be-released full project, True Worship.

True Worship made its debut last month and, as promised, it riffs on the musical style demonstrated on the EP.

If the lyrics are conventional P&W (an exception is the empowering “Moving Towards Destiny”), and the song titles telegraph the theme, the melodies and arrangements take intriguing turns not typically heard on R&P projects. Tempos shift from finger-popping (“I Can’t Praise You Enough”) to funky (“Fill this Place”) to high-church solemn (“All Hail the Power”). Delicious harmonies are suffused with major sevenths and other jazz chords, which New Sound of Worship navigates with aplomb. Strong vocalists front “What a Mighty God We Serve” and “Moving Towards Destiny.”

The satiny arrangements, cool harmonies, and smooth jazz underlayment are partly the product of Reed’s training at the Fort Hayes School of the Performing Arts, where he earned a certificate of specialization in jazz piano.

Although there are sonic similarities among the slower selections, they are the album’s standouts. Two in particular are worth noting. The prayerful “We Welcome You Lord” is accompanied solely by acoustic piano. “Out of Your Belly” (John 7:38) is the sole conventionally melodic selection on the album.  In toto, True Worship is a relaxed listen, the album’s deft production bringing out the nuances of the harmonies.

Keith Reed Jr. is Minister of Music at Destiny Church International under the leadership of Apostle Theodore Caesar. He also leads worship and plays keyboards for Restoration Christian Center, where the pastor is the Reverend Alonzo James.

Three of Five Stars

Picks: “We Welcome You Lord,” “Out of Your Belly”

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.