“Standing at the Gates”
Erica Reed (release date: July 12, 2019)
By Bob Marovich
Emoting like a soulful 1960s torch singer, soprano Erica Reed beseeches the Lord in “Standing at the Gates” to let her enter the gates of glory.
She pleads her case, incorporating church aphorisms along the way. She’s persevered through trials and tribulations, she’s done what she was supposed to do, she’s taught, she’s saved souls, and now she’s knocking on heaven’s door.
The minimal accompaniment includes introspective riffs on electric guitar, a warmly purring organ, and cooing background vocalists who stick it out even after the music stops. The song is quite different in style from Reed’s more conventional gospel work on 2009’s The Time is Now and 2011’s Sold Out. I cannot recall her ever recording anything quite this unequivocally assertive, though it suits her well. Still, the inspirational ballad, “Never Let Go,” from Sold Out remains my favorite Erica Reed track.
From the St. Louis area, Reed is not only a singer—she and her husband are successful restaurateurs. “Standing at the Gates” is from Reed’s forthcoming album.