Adrian Medearis and God's Anointed People
Standing In The Gap

Texas-based Pearl Records doesn’t release too many projects, but when they do, history shows them to be top-notch. Take Kim Burrell’s Try Me Again for example. That low-profile CD stopped enough Gospel heads in their tracks that she now finds herself legitimately billed as one of Gospel’s top divas (now on Tommy Boy Gospel).

Pearl CEO Sadie Jackson unveils another Texas gem in Adrian Medearis and God’s Anointed People (GAP). Thoroughly contemporary and yet sometimes gilded with classic Gospel and traditional edges, the choir shines throughout the twelve song project, entitled “Standing In The Gap”.

Director and songwriter Medearis brings the maximum out of the GAP's 15 members, with the resulting sound being solid, heavy, and resonating with that unmistakeable East seaboard choir influence (as exemplified by James Hall and WAP or Craig Hayes and United Voices). It's unusual for a Texas-based group to take on the mantle of that sound, but they do it naturally, and they do it well.

Adrian Medearis and God's Anointed People CD Leading the way on the project is the standout urban title track, “Standing In The Gap”. The song brings glorious lyrics in the words of one saint interceding for another, in spiritual warfare: "I’m praying for you. I am standing in the gap". The groove features killer mass vocal heat (with an awesome tenor line), and a steady and recurrent melodic hook that snags instantly.

It comes as no surprise that the song from the pen of V. Michael McKay also makes waves. “You Are Worthy” begins with a nearly unaccompanied solo from Shundon Cooper before moving into a syncopated, tri-beat, piano-propelled, choir drive. Carnell Murrell also adds two songs to the project: “1 + 2” and the catchy, “See His Face”.

Street-worthy innovative vocal and instrumental arrangements make their mark on “No Greater Love” and “My Mind Is Made Up”, both of which carry song credits from Luke Austin. Newcomer Austin also makes a credible Adrian Medearisproducer’s mark on the project, showing that he can handle the slow, the upbeat, the urban and the rootsy with equal gusto and with good result.

Catch Shawn McLemore taking cameo lead vocals on the album-ender, “The Blood”. The former Verity artist pushes his patented urban call & response vibe onto the bouncing choir cut, making the number an enduring master cut.

With nary a forgettable track, and a good dose of stylistic mixes, Adrian Medearis and GAP easily makes this year’s list of four-star CDs. GospelFlava.com goes on record in calling Adrian Medearis and God's Anointed People an 'artist to watch'.

Producer: Luke Austin
album release date: late 1999
Pearl Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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