Deitrick Haddon and the League of Xtraordinary Worshippers (LXW)
After all, Haddon's early works before launching his superstar solo career were with the Voices of Unity; and their coupling resulted in hits such as "This Is The Day" and "Hold On To Your Faith". Haddon even tried his hand at mass choir efforts in the early 90s with the Detroit Sings Nu Hymnz projects (see box below for our reviews of those projects).
It should be duly noted that the innovative, trend setting Deitrick Haddon NEVER does anything ordinary and this new project follows that precedent. Deitrick Haddon and the League of Xtraordinary Worshippers (LXW) make a bold statement with their self-titled debut.
Haddon says that in the putting together the project, he was reminded that during his formative years, every 5th Sunday was Youth Sunday at church. So you could call this project a sort of 5th Sunday youth musical.
Recorded live in front of a capacity crowd at Bishop Noel Jones' City of Refuge Church, Haddon assembled 150 voices, an impeccable rhythm section (fronted by brother Gerald Haddon) and selectively handpicked some of gospel's greatest artists for guest appearances. (Herein is a true confession, if Deitrick Haddon called and asked you to appear on a record with him, you wouldn't say no either).
"Great God" gets the party started with great fanfare and in true rock fashion with blazing guitars set against the promises of God recorded in Psalms 91:5 and 11. The song is a testament to the greatness of the God that we serve and the ensemble offers a celebratory choral response.
Even Ricky Dillard gets in with the syncopated live horns infused dance track "God Stepped In". However, the winner for best solo on the disc goes to special guest Haddon's "baby sis" (can we still call her that?) Clareta Haddon-Jackson. Clareta takes us to CHURCH on the rapture ready "Just Like He Said He Would". The Haddons' Apostolic roots are on display in the official shout song. Clareta preaches her sermonette and is ready to make the altar call by the time Deitrick comes along to add his two cents. Then Deitrick gets the mic and takes the song into another vein for the reprise continuing the pick 'em up and put 'em down for another 2 minutes.
Jessica Reedy gets the summer drive, top down, music-on-ten groove with "Do Not Pass Me By". Even at 6 minutes, there is no such thing as getting enough of this.
Haddon gets in his tributes to Prince and Michael Jackson all around the disc, but more evidently on "Change is Gonna Come". The unforgettable tribute to the Jackson 5 (complete with choreographed dance moves by the choir on the DVD) comes in "We Need Your Power". Bishop Hezekiah Walker takes the lead and after the 5th escalation, he puts his "affectionately Love Fellowship" insignia on the song with a rousing reprise of "Jesus Is My Help".
Deitrick Haddon succeeds in bringing new music and vitality to the 5th Sunday youth choir musical and the LXW debut and makes them stand out as a bold new superpower.
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— review by Gregory Gay —
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