JGM Pick of the Week: January 30, 2018

“He Saved Me”
YaLonda Lolar-Johnson
Thysongbird Music Group (release date: July 2017)

By Bob Marovich

YaLonda Lolar-Johnson is distinctive in gospel music for hailing from two environments not particularly well known for producing many gospel artists: St. Paul, Minnesota; and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Nevertheless, gospel is her favorite genre and on “He Saved Me,” a song written by vocal instructor Dileesa Archer, Lolar-Johnson admits she was to blame for some of the problems in her life. She also had too much pride to ask for help, so she threw herself a pity party. But out of her emotional darkness, God reached down and saved her.

To an acoustic backdrop with thudding bass and drum maintaining an easy, strutting tempo, Lolar-Johnson navigates wordy verses to stretch her voice out on the liquid chorus.  It’s on the chorus that the full flower of her voice bursts forth.

About 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.