Detroit-raised, Mississippi-nurtured and hailed nationwide as one of the strongest quartet outfits on the circuit, The Christianiares have nothing to prove as they put out their first project on their new label direct from the Ohio studios of Marxan Records.Producers: Various
album release date: May 29, 2001
Nevertheless, one taste of the proverbial pudding and you find proof a-plenty. Thank You is a masterwork on all fronts, from vocals to sound to song to style, frontman Paul Porter and his supporting four pour plenty soul, traditional zing and generous dollop of hot sauce into these thirteen songs. To zero in on winning sides is easy, because thereís lots to chose from.
Start with "Stand Up", a cut that many first heard on the televised 2001 Stellar Awards. Words by both Porter and Charles Woolfork are set to Jerome Padenís music, and the mix serves notice as one of the yearís standout traditional tunes. The mid-track chord resolution with its compelling dive into lower registers is beautiful, and Porter is at his best, on lead throughout. With lyrics that go, "Is there anybody here who loves the Lord like I do...Stand up!", listeners will rise to their feet to give response, to hail this marvelous composition, and in a gorgeous twist of meaning, to identify with Porterís testimony of Godís healing power on his body, as he stands free from cane and wheelchair.
The Christianairesí close ties with The Williams Brothers are demonstrated by two cuts in particular. Doug Williams pens the gratitude cut "Another Day" and Melvin Williams stops by to lend his voice to his own song, "The Blood". The interplay between Porter and Williams on this one is everything youíd expect from two of Gospel most renowned traditional male vocalists.
Other notables on the album include "Lift Up Your Hands" from Aaron Lindsey. The production and keys man also contributes backing vocals on this medidative and harmony-filled song that exhorts us to worship God even amidst trials. Charles Woolfork produces "Grace and Mercy" and also helps out The christianaires with some of his own vocal licks.
On the more contemporary side of the album, The Christianaires look back to their roots and bring in some fine motown talent. Marcus Devine is known for his work with Men of Standard (on their song "In Your Will"), and has also worked with Deitrick Haddon. Here, he pens "All Youíve Done", a harmony heaven and melody paradise gem of a tune that should stick around for a while.
Devine also appears on the most urbanized cut of the project, but on the production side along with Porter and Marxan head honcho Mark Ballard. The song is "No, No, No" and is sure to send announcers scurrying for telephone line cover, as the chorus hook flutters with soft drive as The christianaires testify that they cannot imagine what it would be like without the blessing, power and comfort of God.
PAJAM continues to groove the group into contemporary territory on "Look To Jesus". Itís the pick, and with J. Moss along with his new female group Ramiah on backing vocals, this is one nicely grooved, balladic cut.
On that same tip is another comfort cut, "I Found Life". This one comes from twins Arnold and Ronald Brown, former and current group members respectively, and says, "I found Life in this cold world, and His name is Jesus".
You wonít be disappointed with this offering.
reviewed by Stan North ó
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