Musically speaking, Anointed has been a difficult group to define in recent years.
They debuted with Spiritual Love Affair in 1993, and were known as a
contemporary quartet with a no-holds barred urban sound, sliding to a decidedly
pop-styled trio with their third album Under the Influence in 1996.Producers: Various
Myrrh Black Music Division
With word spreading that noted urban producers such Keith Crouch, Tony Rich
and Kern Brantley
have been recruited to play a role in their fourth
project, there has been some curiousity as to how far Anointed will turn back
to their rhythm ‘n praise beginnings at this point in their ministry.
The answer can be found on their new self-titled album, and in the words of
Anointed’s Steve Crawford, the music is not compartmentalized, rather “it’s
all one big room, and everyone is invited”. The listening ear tells
you that the trio, who also includes Nee-C Walls and Da'dra Crawford Greathouse, has
found something of a middle ground, with an interesting merger of pop-tinged
urban Gospel cuts with urban-edged pop/dance songs.
Perhaps predictably, the
material on the album produced by Tony Rich (“Take It Eazy”, “It’s All Good”)
takes on the acoustic guitar driven urban sound that is characteristic of the popular artist,
while the work of noted CCM hit-makers Mark Heimermann and Chris Harris
(“Godspot”, “Revive Us”) has much the same vibe as much of their work with
the group on their previous Under the Influence project. Kern
Brantley also contributes a welcome, bass-heavy driving urban remix
of “Revive Us”, which works very well.
Keith Crouch comes into play in his production and song-writing of the some of
the album cuts that have ‘cross-over’ written all over them (“Ooh Baby” and
“Head Above Water”). With these songs especially, but with others as well,
some may be uncomfortable with the lyrical absence of a straight-up Gospel
message. Will this be the center of the next round of debate on the old
but important issue of lyrical content in Gospel music? That has yet to
Overall, this project demonstrates that Anointed is not resting on past
successes and previous laurels. Instead, they have ventured into new areas,
and into territory that will be interesting to see them chart.
reviewed by Stan North —
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