Voices of Unity featuring Deitrick Haddon
The Voices of Unity are most known for their ultra-dynamic director, Deitrick Haddon. On Supernatural, the choir’s first project since 1999’s Chainbreaker, the Detroit singer/songwriter/producer continues to carry the day, yet on this album there’s plenty proof that the entire VOU crew is talent deep.Producers: Deitrick Haddon, Damita Haddon, Cordell Walton, Marcus Devine, Gerald Haddon, Sean Carrington
album release date: July 24, 2001
Following previous successes, Haddon and crew continue to lay down superbly produced studio tracks laced with contagious melodies, joyous rhythms and some great vocals.
Recorded at the renowned Studio A just outside Detroit (where many albums have been recorded, including some of Commissioned's), Haddon knows how to have fun and at the same time deliver the no-holds barred Gospel message.
‘Remixes’ feature prominently, there’s five of them. Using material from previous albums, including VOU’s very first (Come Into This House from 1995 when Haddon debuted), they could more accurately be called remakes, since they are completely redone. The material is strong, to see it return so quickly is no problem at all.
The “Chain Breaker (Jiffy Cornbread Mix)” brings both Bishop Clarence Haddon and Prophetess Joyce Haddon into the southern-fried, guitar-special title cut from the choir’s previous album because as Deitrick shouts out, “See some of y’all don’t believe it, so I had to get my mama and daddy to help me tell it...God is a chain-breaker”.
“Raptured Away” first appeared on the Live the Life album, but gets the Isley Brothers treatment here, with Sean Hardin backed up by both Damita and Deitrick.
Melody Armstrong takes lead on the beats-soaked urban remix “Anybody Here”, while her mom, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, joins Deitrick in duet on “Rain On Me”, a richly orchestrated, electric guitar-splashed anthem which gets production help from Cordell Walton.
Other remakes are the hip-hop flava’d Rhythm Preacher Mix of “Come Into This House” with Calvin Golder, and “You Didn’t Let Me Fall (Thank You)” – inspired by “Don’t Let Me Fall” from the This Is My Story CD. Gerald Haddon produces this beautifully laid-back Deitrick solo.
As for the brand new songs, take your pick of the crop, they’re all fresh, they’re all appealing.
“Victory” fascinates as it locks down a familiar classical motif from nineteenth century French composer Bizet. VOU spells out V-I-C-T-O-R-Y on top of syncopated orchestral synths, an ensemble chorus that starts out unobtrusively but progresses to chirp out a chipmunks-like chorus (which despite what you may think, really works very well!), and a series of solo voices that includes Nakia McCarty, David Haddon and Rochelle Bates.
Bates delivers a smooth contemporary-vibe alto on “Praise Up” with Haddon tossing in producer raps throughout this R&P standout. Marcus Devine produces on “WWYD (What Would You Do)”.
Other songs range from soulful ballads ("Jesus", "Just Another Day") to funky break-outs ("Shake The World").
Deitrick Haddon’s projects have always been strong; Supernatural is his strongest yet.
reviewed by Stan North —
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