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Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Declare Your Name

They have won countless awards including 5 Grammys. They have blessed thousands, have alumni that include Alvin Slaughter and Paige Strackman, all the while never downsizing to fit industry trends. Having sung at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, this choir needs no introduction. This is the diverse and refreshing choir, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, led by none other than Carol Cymbala. They are back with their new release, Declare Your Name, an album with all-original material.

CD Beautiful, heartwarming and passionate would be good words to describe the midtempo, "Made to Live for You". Strictly a choir number, Brooklyn Tab really shines, supported by wonderful strings courtesy of the Nashville String Machine. Listening to songs such as "Oh the Cross", lead by Karen Melendez, makes you think that you could have a black tie event —worship style, featuring this choir.

Cymbala picks two powerful worship leaders, musicians and singers to help breathe life into their songs. Israel Houghton and Jonathan Butler pack a "1 - 2" punch, leading "I'll Sing of Your Love" and the boisterous "It All Belongs to You", respectively.

Onaje Jefferson lends his soulful vocals to the soothing, "I Surrender". This is another song to take note of and to just enjoy over and over again. Jefferson's vocals mesh well with the choir and strings.

The balladic "New Jerusalem" is heavily arranged to give the same feel as those famous, award-winning songs from the popular Disney movies, except that this is a step up, since the choir sings of the beauty of heaven, and their longing to go there. Taranda Greene takes the lead with a flawless performance, her soprano vocals soaring over the lush orchestral arrangements, coupled with the breathtaking choir vocals.

Jonathan Butler steps back in to lead "Coming Back", which seems like it was written specifically for him. He has the choir and audience chant after him which is just a joy to listen to. When listening, one cannot help but dance and long even more for Jesus to come back soon.

Declare Your Name contains to so much to enjoy and meditate on. Even though earthly awards are not the focus of Brooklyn Tab, they might as well get ready for some, because this album is just that good!

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Production: Carol Cymbala
album release date: November 16, 2009
Integrity Music

— review and interview by Dwayne Lacy

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