Stand On The Word
The Gospel legend that is Dorothy Norwood continues to put out Gospel projects at a pace and consistency that belongs to only a very few.
With Stand On The Word, Norwood collaborates with several notable vocal peers namely Albertina Walker, LaShun Pace and Evelyn Turrentine-Agee and calls upon the mass power of Prince Yelder and the Disciples For Christ to back her up.
Norwood enhances her reputation for being "The World's Greatest Storyteller" with the album's title track, "Stand On The Word". Without spoiling the plot, let us simply say that Norwood's penchant for a memorable story filled with humor and relating of old-time ways to relay scriptural truth remains undiminished. The melody that serves as the subtle backdrop to the story comes into full appearance on the followup cut "Stand On The Word (Part II)".
Put a star beside "Heaven's Door", it's one of the album's standout songs. With a serious band drive and one of those traditional melodies that while new, it creates instant appeal to all who hear it. The Disciples For Christ propel the cut with a combination of explosive unison lines and harmony-laden bursts.
The stompy, acappella beginning of "Holy Spirit" soon unfolds into a powerful trade of vocals between Norwood and LaShun Pace, with Pace providing a sky-high delivery as the two work back and forth.
Albertina Walker enters on J. McNeal's stately "God Is Our Creater", a down tempo reflective cut suited to Walker's laidback vocal style and alto resonance. With a melody line frequently resting on a single note, the song recalls some of Walker's much earlier work.
"Trust Him", The Disciples of Christ methodically break down the lyrics over a relentless, guitar-inflected band groove, as Norwood and Yelder toss testimonial lines on top. Evelyn Turrentine-Agee drops her cameo vocals on "One Prayer Away".
On "Old School Blvd", Norwood connects with the crowd through her mix of spoken word and hymn singing, and continues that right into "God's Delay Is Not a Deny", where she uses the account of Jesus healing of the woman with the issue of blood to explain the importance of waiting on God. The song is jointly written by Norwood and Prince Yelder.
Yes, Dorothy Norwood comes through again. Stand On The Word is a keeper.
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Producer: Dorothy Norwood, Derrick Lee, James Perry
album release date: May, 2004
review by Stan North —
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