It’s no secret that Donald Lawrence is one of my favorite artists in gospel music. There aren’t many artists who can honor the rich heritage and sound of gospel, while still adding their own element to it. He’s not of this era– he’s got few contemporaries– but he’s still relevant. That’s not an easy feat.
Here, I’ll allow myself to be a fan, just chattin’ about my favorite parts of the project… let’s go!
The a cappella intro to D. Lawrence’s remake of Commissioned’s “How Can We Sing (In A Strange Land)”… perfection. And it only gets better, as Keith Staten and Jason Nelson take turns on lead.
Listen to “Spiritual,” the latest single from this album, to hear how masterfully Donald incorporated the classic “fruits of the Spirit” segment from the Clark Sisters’ 1981 tune “Walk In the Spirit” (Twinkie was before her time, by the way). THIS type of stuff is where he shines.
If you attended any of the regional Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound events last year, you probably remember Marvin Sapp and CeCe Winans performing the Walter Hawkins classic “When the Battle Is Over” with Donald. On the album, singers Kim McFarland and Dante Hall (one of Donald’s newer full-time vocalists) tag team on it. It’s gospel like it’s s’posed to be.
There aren’t many duos like sisters Tobbi and Tommi. And they demonstrate it on their remake of Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire.” The bass line is true to the original, which is wise– this feels like a great, updated version of something we’re still jamming to anyway.
I adore the complex harmonies on the vamp of “The I AM Factor.” That, with the string arrangement… wow!
Aaaand Floyd Wilkinson’s performance of the Daryl Coley tune “II Chronicles,” is a more-than-fitting pairing. He executes it with precision and passion– definitely a fave.
Other stand-outs for me are “Second Wind” (featuring Anita Wilson) and “We Agree” (featuring Israel Houghton), the latter of which is a refreshing and unexpected pairing.
In a nutshell… buy it.
By the way, for street day (August 9, 2011), Amazon.com is selling it for $3.99!
Grab it here!