Out Of The Shadows... Into The Light
Bishop T.D. Jakes
The latest in line of successful musical ministry projects from Bishop T.D. Jakes comes bundled in much the same way that his ground-breaking Sacred Love Songs album (see review) did in 1999 a book-inspired, collection of mostly new music with tight lyrical focus from some of the biggest names in Gospel.
Titled Bishop T.D. Presents God’s Leading Ladies, Out of the Shadows… Into the Light, the compilation revolves around song content that uplifts and encourages women to step into the place of honor and dignity where God desires them to be.
Jakes calls on the familiar voices of Patti Labelle, Karen Clark Sheard, Shirley Murdock, Kelly Price and several others to do so.
Labelle’s song gets the album going with energy and determination, as she brings her unique fire to “Always There” with all of the expected vocal thrills along the way. Support from the Born Again Choir and restrained instrumentation from Cedric and Victor Caldwell cement the song. Jakes’ spoken tones add resonance to the Labelle’s sung message that God never fails to come through.
In a first-time ever collaboration, Vickie Winans joins with Angie and Debbie Winans and also Mom Winans collectively called The Winans Women on “Praying Women”, a song about prayer written jointly by Jakes and Cedric and Victor Caldwell.
Mom opens the cut with a traditional exhortation before a seriously funky groove kicks in,
Jakes again adds his spoken touch to the song, adding just the right quantity of exhortation without disrupting from the flow of the song.
Elsewhere, the spotlight is on The Bishop alone, notably on the album’s closing track which is in the form of a spoken prayer, and on the mid-album dramatic telling of “Mary Magdelene’s Story”.
Karen Clark Sheard checks in with the intriguingly-titled “Fatal Attraction”. Production from Darin “Pianoman” Whittington (Mary J. Blige, Silk, Juanita Bynum), saxophone touches from Kirk Whalum, guitar from Carlos Pennell, and backing vocals from Angie Winans and Duawne Starling put this slightly funky urban number on edge as Clark Sheard uses her expected vocal finesse to tell of the importance of staying strong in resisting temptation.
Kelly Price and Shirley Murdock join forces to duet on “The Curtain’s Raised”, a dramatic guitar-kissed ballad highlighted by both the beauty of the interplay of these two vocal powerhouses, and the gorgeous lyricism inherent in the song. Helen Baylor's "Finally" is zesty and memorable, with Baylor's simmering warm vocal style sealing the song.
Also in the mix are the bouncy groove of Out of Eden’s description of triumph amidst family strife on the jammy “Rolling Stone” and Ann Nesby’s powerful “You Always Cared”, both previously released on their recent respective albums from earlier in 2002.
The project is rounded out with some soul vibe cuts courtesy Avalon’s Janna Long on “Call Him”, and a remake of Billy Preston’s “That’s The Way (God Planned It)” from the youngest contributor on the album, Stacie Orrico.
There are two songs available from the upcoming Gospel's Leading Ladies album. If you don't have RealAudio, be sure to obtain your free RealAudio player software first, by clicking on the blue RealAudio icon on the right. The links are also available in Windows Media.
To download the songs, simply click on the highlighted text below, let stream on RealAudio or Windows Media, and enjoy.
EMI Gospel / Dexterity Sounds
— reviewed by Stan North
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