Hezekiah Walker & The LFCC
You know how things change, but remain the same? This is what
Hezekiah Walker and The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir manage
to do on their latest release, Family Affair, which also serves
as a celebration of 15 years of music ministry for the Brooklyn-based pastor.Producers: Hezekiah Walker, J. Moss, Donald Lawrence, Teddy Riley
album release date: November 9, 1999
Truly, the table is spread and the feast of the Lord is going on,
as Walker calls his entire family, and indeed the whole world,
to feast of his latest and perhaps most delicious meal to date. Partaking are
The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, The Love Fellowship Celebration Choir,
Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir), Hez's newly formed contemporary ensemble Love
Unlimited, and a noted assembly of family friends.
The first course of this family feast brings samplings from
Hezís tried and true Gospel recipes, ensuring that Hez fans will be satiated with their comfort
food. As Pastor and artist, Walker often talks about his
very strict and traditional church upbringing. Look no further than the very
churchy "Wonderful Is His Name", a live LFCC cut dedicated to church choirs everywhere. The
track, written by Melvin Crispell, includes a splendid harmonica keyboard sound, and mixes it effectively with
incredible infectious choral hooks.
Also hit-bound is the Hez and David Frazier composition,
"The Power Belongs to God", which includes the famous (church) house
beats and those contagious modulations that this choir has become synonymous
for throughout the years. And as with any LFCC set, the family's first lady
makes her presence felt. Not only is Monique Walker back, she's back better
than ever with an anointing and clarity that continues to tug at the soul. Her first of
multiple appearances on the album is on the nearly 9-minute cut, "The Will of God",
which she tackles with the gusto and the energy required of this
A newcomer to the recording scene, but not to the Love Fellowship Tabernacle church,
The Love Fellowship Celebration Choir takes center stage on "Patiently Waiting". The choir, which is
one of three of Hez's church choirs, ministers monthly at the services, and shows that they too more than
hold their own on modulations with this song, which also
gets an prominent, jazz-like piano touch.
But there's more to the first course. After a two-project hiatus, cousin and Associate
Pastor to Pastor Walker, Kirvy Brown,
returns to the table with "Never Leave
Me Alone". This one hearkens back to the day when Walker and Brown would simply tear down the
house with a mere first verse, let alone an entire song. Those days are
back with this cut.
tribute to the late O'landa Draper, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir remakes Draper's classic "I've Got A Reason".
With Love Fellowship Tabernacle Head Choir Director Craig Wiggins taking lead, the choir and band successfully season the number with
all the accents required of a Sunday morning vocal burn-out. O'landa would be proud.
Walker serves up the second course with a hefty portion of studio-produced urban rhythm and praise, effectively
ushering in the new millenium. With strong ties to the R&B community
the still-young man of God has accepted the Call by taking the mantle
into the mainstream. Proof on this latest effort is his recruitment of some
of R&B's biggest names, along with some of Gospel musicís
To kick it off, Hez gives the nod to Gospel superproducer Donald Lawrence, who prepares
the palate for the second course with a gently soulful
"Oh I Feel Jesus". Written, produced and directed by Lawrence, the song features Love
Unlimited, a nine-member ensemble of clearly
refined voices. With a heavenly lead by Heather Covington, the cut is a beautiful blend of light
vocals focusing on worship and meditation.
On the J. Moss-penned and produced
"He Can", Monique Walker
gives us a great
example of how different producers can bring out different things
in artists. She
starts out in her lower register, giving an absolutely buttery-smooth tone. Kirvy Brown
joins the first lady midway through the cut, with restrained (for Kirvy!) sounds. The resulting
duet of contrasting
voices is incredible.
J. Moss adds three more songs to the album (production included), including the upbeat "Let's Dance", a groovy hip-hop celebration
featuring the vocals of Dave Hollister, J. Moss, Hezekiah and Monique. (Look for an upcoming
remix of to feature some well-known Love Fellowship church members). Ayana George is featured
on "Give 'Em Your Life", a song which joins with the best of today's urban flava'd Gospel music.
As a concluding after-dinner touch, the Hez-BLACKstreet collaboration first featured on Blackstreet's recent album of
the same name, is included. If you haven't heard it before, you won't miss it now, as producer (and church member)
Teddy Riley adds layer
upon layer upon layer of vocals (LFT Church Choir included) to give an
ear-tingling creation of inspiration, with
Walker's spoken exhortation added over it all.
For those Hez fans who have come to love the endless choral drive and
modulations, that will be found here. For those who
respected Hez, but the New York thing just wasnít their groove,
a hot new vibe for the Pastor of Hip-Hop might have them rethinking
things. No, itís not a case of split personality, but a display of
versatility, for what is a good feast without variety?
reviewed by James Robinson, Melanie Clark, Stan North ó
in GospelFlava © copyright 1999. Any information reprinted
or broadcast from this site
must be credited to GospelFlava.com