Darwin Hobbs

A new and distinctive voice has emerged, and is resounding in solo fashion on EMI Gospel on the album Mercy. The voice is Darwin Hobbs, and his debut is above the ordinary, considering that it is strongly supported by such producers as Fred Hammond and Victor and Cedric Caldwell.

Hobbs' voice has the rich tones of Rance Allen and the warmth of Luther Vandross, while retaining a distinctive and refreshing individual edge that draws the ear, and lingers in the memory. From the fluid smoothness of "Wonderland" to the urban groove of "You're the One", the 10-track album drips soulful musicality combined with personal, Christ-directed lyrics.

The promotional notes have coined a phrase for this album —'churban', a merger of church and urban. Whether this term catches on or not remains to be seen, however few will argue that Darwin Hobbs has made an impressive debut with his church lyrics and urban flair. Definitely a name —and a voice, to remember.

Producers: Fred Hammond, Victor and Cedric Caldwell, Chris Rodriguez
EMI Gospel

reviewed by Stan North

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