Derrick Starks & Today's Generation
You always hope for improvement on sophomore projects. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, usually the upgrade is incremental.Producers: Sanchez Harley, Derrick Starks
album release date: August, 2001
Not so on Sacrifice, the second entry from Derrick Starks & Today’s Generation.
While the 1999 debut from this Detroit choir was worthy, and came bundled with a smattering of cameos and a memorable hit or two, Sacrifice is on an whole different level.
Why? Top notch production for starters. Recorded live at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit, and enhanced with studio overdubs, Sanchez Harley combines with Starks in that department to do a wonderful thing with choir vocals, bringing out a consistent, textured and distinctive sound with just enough rawness and girt to enhance the appeal.
Then there’s the choice mix of soloists such as Lena Starks, David Ybarra and Eric Taylor in addition to Derrick Starks, who also writes most of the album’s thirteen songs. The band, with the Brantley brothers, Jonathan DuBose Jr., Fred Palmer and Jaron Wilson kick heavily.
Songs to star include “Two Little Fishes (Fishes)”, a stunning redo of the Dixie Hummingbirds' hit about Jesus’ miracle. It’s a father/son effort as the younger Starks joins with his father (Pastor C.J. Starks) on the song that makes use of horns and some punchy and grooving choir parts.
The Commodores' “Jesus Is Love” penned by Lionel Richie also stands out, the ballad interpreted in duet by Lena Starks and Eric Taylor, with string support and occasional choir assistance.
Twinkie Clark stops by on “Joy Unspeakable” with her trademark clear vocals on the traditional-touched song wow, it’s good to hear Twinkie again.
Lena Starks sings out compellingly on “Only A Test”, which comes enveloped in a funky arrangement of synths, blurting horns and guitar.
The album comes wrapped in rather non-descript artwork, as if to emphasize the contrast of what you find inside. From bland to ballistic, the choir pours out some entirely soulful Gospel. The song reservoir is deep and you find yourself quickly tapping into plenty of pure and satisfying delights.
Starks & Today’s Generation find their very own groove, and it’s nearly impossible not to join in with them.
Crystal Rose Records
reviewed by Stan North —
All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2001. No
information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed
written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.