Oh, The Lamb
Daryl Coley has done much to impact the Gospel music industry.Producers: Daryl Coley, Kevin Bond
album release date: May 15, 2001
Remarkably, he has done so not by flowing with whatever the latest trend is, but by standing rooted to his signature, jazz-oriented style (download your souvenir audio-digital postcard by clicking on the image at the bottom of this page).
On this most recent project, that mark prevails but in many variations. Coley stamps these
tunes, interpreting them his way in a manner that nearly defies definition. And it’s not really that different it’s just done differently, if that makes any sort of sense.
Look at “Because He’s God”. It’s a mid-tempo, testimonial tune in which the chorus is built on chord modulations. This song effectively illustrates the perfected vocals you will hear from Beloved on this project, providing a plush bed of choral carpet on which Coley strides across. Each member of the chorale, in addition to being an accomplished singer, is a minister of the Gospel in some other capacity.
As ministers hopefully do, other cuts reach for biblical inspiration. “II Chronicles” is a smooth glide of admonition taken obviously from the title’s text. In our interview with Coley (see sidebar below) he comments that this song first appeared on his 1995 solo debut. In putting this album together, he said to himself, “this message is true, the Lord will heal the land if we remain true to Him.’ And I’ve always wanted to do something with the bossa nova rhythm.”
Lyrically, Coley makes ‘plagiarism’ a good thing. On the tune he directly ‘bites’ the Bible. No confusing metaphors or situational witnesses here just the unadulterated word of God. Straight scripture over a slow samba, which features the notable percussion of Andre Hickman.
Other key cuts include the title song, “Oh the Lamb”, written by Coley’s wife, Jenell. It starts out in a worship whisper and ends up in an all-out, stacked holler of praise.
DARYL COLEY INTERVIEW
Daryl Coley comments on the state of Gospel today, offering his veteran perspective, and much more in our interview with him.|
You can check out the full discourse by clicking on his image above.
Coley’s son, Te’ also contributes on a strong cut in “He Will Make A Way”. His first effort out as a songwriter, he proves the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, making apt example of the impartation of the gift from his father. He's someone to watch as he perfects his gift and comes into his own.
A welcome cover is “For the Good of Them”, courtesy The Tommies circa 1988. The classic that was written by Darius Brooks was not in need of a facelift, and Coley and Beloved work it relentlessly in its original form.
Gifted writers abound on the project; in the Gospel community, even the elitest of writers count it an honor to work with Coley. Among them are Keith Crouch who scripts the funk driven “Lean On Me”, previous Coley contributor James Brown (with "Because He's God"), and the renowned V. Michael McKay who delivers lyrical genius
on “Silent Scream” that cuts like a two-edged sword.
Then of course there’s Brooks’ tune as well as Kevin Bond's. Though Bond only pens one tune for this one ("He Can Work It Out"), it’s not surprising that it’s his handiwork at the overall production helm, making the best their best one more time.
Coley has never been one to hog the mic. This time out he concedes and shares the platform with some stellar soloists. Ranking high among them is surely Psalmist Gwen Townsend. Painting a spiritual scape on “Exchanged”, she soars to the rafters in her signature sweeping soprano. The words, Coley’s own, are the testimony of the saints. If you get through this one without a tear, (or at the very least goosebumps), surely you are dead.
What’s more exciting about II Chronicles than the hybrid of classic music stylings that Coley presents, the corps of exceptional writers, the mind and spirit challenging songs, or even the luminous group that ministers with him, is that Coley is there.
He marks this project with his presence as well as with his golden voice; with his stately but down-home demeanor, grandeur and humbleness all at the same time.
reviewed by Melanie Clark —
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