Adrian Green & The Diplomats For Christ
Off the bat, let’s just say that Stages qualifies as perhaps one of top choir albums released in the past year or so.I’m tired Lord of the same old things
Adrian Green & The Diplomats for Christ have it all the sound, the songs, the band and without a doubt, the crucial power of God bestowed upon them. It’s just a wonder why their debut on Anew Records has remained relatively unheralded for this long.
With the choir fronted by the ultra-rich tenor vocals of Green and with the album produced by the renowned Cedric Thompson (who is also music director for project), Stages is crammed with a generous amount of hit-worthy numbers.
The album title reflects the concept and purpose of the project: to express the various stages of our walk with Jesus Christ. Green & The Diplomats accomplish this by using an eclectic array of Gospel styles.
A contemporary, funk-laden vibe kicks things off with “The Command (Praise Him)”. Calvin Napper on drums and Thompson’s keys immediately snap into a tight pocket as the Diplomats raise the praise and Green intones with reverb commentary.
And as good as they do contemporary, (“Holy One” is also a standout), this Charlotte-based group do equal justice to classic-sounded Gospel cuts.
“Testimony (Lord I Praise You)” goes down as the album’s premier song, a slow-rising choir ballad that the Diplomats pour heart and soul into. Beginning with piano, strings and finger snaps, the song moves into praise harmonies. LeMonta Burroughs takes lead before the choir detonates a no-holds-barred barrage of full-voiced power. Tenors, altos, sopranos each display just the right touch of vibrato. The combination is a full, rich sound that is the definitive essence of what a Gospel choir should sound like.
On “Pilgrimage (We’ve Come This Far By Faith)”, the unexpected is delivered. Taking a cue from quartet sounds, the song uses only the choir’s male voices, with Green taking solo. The power of this number is driven home by the distinctive arrangement used.
Other diverse offerings impress, such as the rousing altar original, “Redemption (Come Unto Jesus)” and the deliberately-paced “Eternal (Free)” in which Green sings the honest, pure lyrics with soft keyboard accompaniment:
I’m tired Lord of disappointing You
I’m tired of the same old traps
Tired Lord of stumbling over the same old rap
I’m tired Lord, of hurting You….
Free me, I want to be free…
from "Eternal (Free)"
Green’s lead vocals are consistently a joy to hear. He shows a blended influence of voices including Rance Allen, Bruce Parham and John P. Kee, yet the sound he delivers is nothing but original.
In fact, originality is the hallmark of this entire project. Run and find it, you will not be disappointed.
Producer: Cedric Thompson
album release date: Fall, 2000
reviewed by Stan North —
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