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Helen Baylor
Live: The Testimony Continues

Helen Baylor makes her Verity Records debut with a sometimes lively and certainly eclectic praise and worship album that touches on the great theme of her life: her deliverance and her gratitude for being kept by God's grace.

For those who have followed the remarkable testimony of Baylor (her rise to secular R&B stardom, her spectacular fall into drugs and her subsequent restoration and salvation by Jesus Christ), this project is an expected continuation of the vibe from her previous projects which she recorded on Word Records. And for those for whom Helen Baylor is a new name, this project is a fitting introduction.

As has come to be expected in these projects, Baylor's distinctive rich and soulful voice is again combined with layer upon layer of sound from some of Gospel's finest psalmists. The crew for this live session, recorded in Denver, Colorado, includes Jason White on keyboard, Abraham Laboriel on bass and Bill Maxwell on drums. White is particularly prominent on the very lengthy "Worship Medley" cut. Laboriel, while present throughout the album, shines strongly in the groove-heavy "Lord, I Love You". As for Maxwell, this stalwart of Helen Baylor recordings once again pulls a double-shift by handling the production work as well.

Highlighted on the project is the often-covered classic by the late Rich Mullins, "Awesome God", which is given a solid Gospel treatment, choir included. Perhaps with a little more originality in arrangement, it could have been pushed to an even higher level. There is also a spoken word segment, where (true to the album title) Helen presents her testimony, continued in much the same vein as heard in her now-famous testimonial track on a previous album.

In short, while not breaking much new ground, Live: The Testimony Continues serves as a worthy follow-up in the continuing God-honoring musical ways of Helen Baylor.

Producer: Bill Maxwell
Verity Records

reviewed by Stan North

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