James Grear & Company
Don't Give Up
This choir album in urban style deserves a review.
It has surprised many with its strength on the Billboard gospel
charts, but particularly by its vault up the R&B
charts (having hit a high-mark of #34 with a bullet
in May 1998). That's right up there with the likes
of CeCe Winans, God's Property and Karen
Born Again Records
There are a number of things that
popped out when going through this project.
Firstly, there are some big names attached. For
example there is former Sounds of Blackness lead soloist
Ann Nesby who is featured on the track "Lord How I
Need You". (Her daughter, Jamecia Nesby, takes many
of the solo leads in the rest of the album, showing a
greatness and power of voice directly comparable with
The link with Sounds of Blackness
continues with the inclusion of the beat-driven,
bass-heavy "You Said" penned by Billy Steele (who is
known for his song-writing for the group).
is also a gospel and an urban/pop mix of the Diane
Warren tune "Because You Loved Me". The familiarity
of this song, combined with the inspirational,
non-gospel cut "Beautiful Black People" (which was
released as a radio single to gospel and urban radio
to coincide with Black History Month) probably goes
some way to explain the R&B success of this album.
James Grear & Co. are more than simply a cross-over
wonder however. Gospel heads obviously are appealed
to by the strong urban vibe of cuts such as "Song of
Repentance" and "Adversity".
Quite the interesting
reviewed by Stan North —
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