Reviews

JGM Pick of the Week:  September 13, 2022

“I’ve Saved It All” K-Anthony Independent (release date: July 8, 2022) www.kanthonylive.com By Robert M. Marovich I hear a Coldplay influence on K-Anthony’s “I’ve Saved It All,” from the melody to the mix of instruments to the atmospheric vibe. One difference: it doesn’t explode into a million colorful pieces at the conclusion like a Chris Martin arrangement but instead remains quiet, whispery, solemn, introspective. K-Anthony’s smooth singing is suspended in space, his praises to God for grace bestowed and their musical accompaniment echoing in the cosmic vastness surrounding him. K-Anthony is Kevin Anthony Fowler, a Jamaican artist who grew up ...

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Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing

Angie Primm Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing New Day Entertainment (release date: August 26, 2022) www.angelaprimm.com By Robert M. Marovich Certain records capture the unconstrained joy of traditional gospel and hymn singing better than others. One that captures it precisely is singer Angie Primm’s Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing. Gathered in the famous Hendersonville, Tennessee, Daywind Studios, the Angie & Friends troupe establish the theme of the album from the start, on the lead (and title) track. They namecheck gospel songs and spirituals in an informal group sing reminiscent of the ...

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“Our Hearts Belong to You” – Shawn Everette

“Our Hearts Belong to You” Shawn Everette From the Soul Levite Music album Changing Me (release date: July 31, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich With prominent acoustic guitar, “Our Hearts Belong to You” is a worship song by Baltimore indie gospel artist Shawn Everette. It opens gently and builds in intensity to a meaty gospel vamp with a rhythm section that includes a warmly purring organ. A sweet melody energetically sung envelopes a message of love to Jesus for saving the world by sacrificing his life. Talented songwriter and well-constructed song.

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 30, 2022

“My Faith & My Fight” (unplugged) Tina Nelms Boson Independent (release date: February 4, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Of the orchestrated and unplugged versions of “My Faith & My Fight” by Tina Nelms Boson, my money is on the unplugged, piano-only version. It’s here that Ms. Boson shows herself as a triple threat—songwriter, singer, and pianist. The song’s message is that to make it through requires more than just a passive reliance on faith but also on one’s own determination, or grit. To deliver this declaration, Boson shifts from melodic singing to bluesy growling, especially during the vamp, in ...

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“Arise” – Strong Tower Church feat. Richard T. Davis

“Arise” Strong Tower Church feat. Richard T. Davis From the album Fresh Wind – New Waves www.strongtowerlive.com By Robert M. Marovich Last year, Strong Tower Church dropped “Waves,” featuring Maurette Brown Clark. The Virginia music ministry is back with another song with a single word title: “Arise.” From the 2021 album, Fresh Wind – New Waves, “Arise” is conventional in melody but packs plenty of punch in the rhythm section and the vocals. Its lyric is inspired by Isaiah 60 (“Arise, shine; for your light has come.”). The song was written and is led by Richard T. Davis, Creative Director ...

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“Name On It” – Titus Showers

“Name On It” Titus Showers A&P Records (release date: April 22, 2022) www.AP-Records.net By Robert M. Marovich For “Name On It,” Titus Showers, member of The Showers family band and now a popular solo artist since 2019, takes a lyrical cue from Norman Hutchins’ 1999 hit for JDI Records, “God’s Got a Blessing.” Showers wraps his muscular baritone around this relaxed but insistent selection that decrees a blessing is coming “with my name on it.” Sweetly-singing background vocalists contrast Showers’ meaty delivery while the rhythm section thump out an optimistic beat. Soul refreshing. “Name On It” is one of the ...

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“You Win” – Jovan Whyte

“You Win” Jovan Whyte Minister J Music (release date: March 18, 2022) https://windermerefl.adventistchurch.org/ By Robert M. Marovich With Kevin Winebarger, Jovan Whyte co-wrote the melodic “You Win” during a particularly low point in the pandemic as a reminder that when all is said and done, the Lord will render you victorious over your problems. He needed the message himself and figured, rightly, so did everyone else. It’s a simple, memorable song with plenty of pop credentials, including a bridge that builds to a strong final chorus, which might have been made even more compelling with a key change. Whyte’s vocals ...

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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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JGM Pick of the Week:  August 1, 2022

“With Joy We Draw Water” The Bishop’s Choir feat. Kyle Sanders Enon Music Group (release date: April 15, 2022) www.enonmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich The Bishop’s Choir gives the original John Howard Caravan classic, “With Joy We Draw Water,” a full-throated rendering, complete with impassioned lead by Min. Kyle Sanders. From the Sim Wilson Jr. and John Howard Caravan album If You Need a Blessing (Savoy 1981), “With Joy We Draw Water” takes its text from Isaiah 12:3. With introductions from a chirpy church organ, the Bishop’s Choir layers its harmonies section-by-section as the members sing the title line like ...

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“Worship Him” – Donnell Russell

“Worship Him” Donnell Russell Independent (release date: May 30, 2022) www.donnellrussell.com By Robert M. Marovich “Worship Him” is a blast of extroverted praise by New Orleans’ own Elder Donnell Russell. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the late Bruce Ballinger’s classic hymn given a hyper-rhythmic arrangement. While the background singers get bluesy on the vamp, Russell flexes his preacher’s voice to declare his praise by lining out the many names for Jesus. His use of a portion of the Lord’s Prayer in call-and-response with his singers is another time-honored gospel singing technique. Altogether, “Worship Him” packs a wallop. No ...

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