Darrell Pitts and Chosen
Give Him Praise
Darrell Pitts and Chosen are not just another choir out of Texas, but yet another star in the Lone Star state’s contingent.Producer: Shawn McLemore
album release date: July, 2001
Pitts has been singing and ministering for years, and the seasoned mastery shines through on Give Him Praise on Gospel Warehouse Records.
Though this project is traditional in its direction, the instrumentation and many of the vocals follow contemporary patterns. Pitts’ experience coupled with some young producers and musicians makes for a winning combination on the production scale.
Shawn McLemore serves notice that his smooth praise groove skills are only getting better on “Praise the Lord”. Co-written by Luke Austin and featuring Barry Jackson on bass (who riffs his way expertly through the tunes on the project), this song also features Pitts on lead.
McLemore also scripts the classic drive on “He’s A Mighty God” where lead guitar and keys amicably spar. Chosen backs solidly on this and all numbers, from the traditional “Home In Glory” to the jazz chord sway of “Music In The Air”, a new-fangled twist on “Up Above My Head”.
The anthem “Lord Be Magnified” is balanced by the slightly more contemporary lead of Portia Fagan. Stately keys frame her voice perfectly. And the hymn “‘Tis So Sweet” is switched up a bit by industry veteran Theola Booker with Pitts lending a steady hand on lead vocals.
Pitts then amplifies a bit on “At the Cross”, but with intensity rather than volume. He puts a mature spin on solos by trimming with not too much busy-ness, just the purity and rawness of his voice and soul. As he segues from his original version to the hymns “At the Cross” and “I Need Thee” he finally transitions to “Father I Stretch My Hand to Thee” and is cut off way too soon.
“You Can Depend On God” is a little funktified groove and the steel drum-spiced “You’re Worthy” brings island flava to a mid-tempo praise song.
McLemore and Pitts share a brotherly lead exchange on the happy “Give Him Praise”. Indeed, much of this project seems to lean on the chemistry between them. Pitts has apparently impressively discovered that one doesn’t always have to run everything to be the leader.
It is that wisdom and his presence that is the glue to this traditional but wide-ranging project.
Gospel Warehouse Records
reviewed by Melanie Clark —
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