As one of R&B's classiest artists, Howard Hewett consistently includes a Gospel cut on each project. That in itself is not unusual; for example, we've all heard some of soul's biggest names frequently reference God in thank you speeches.
Have you touched somebody...it's all a journey...
Think about it.
I feel you running from Jesus our Lord..."
Breaking into spoken word mid-track, Hewett expounds on the lyrics with a impacting sermonette. Bond's streaming, cascading scales, repeated motifs and drip-drop effects evoke travel and continuity.
Other starry cuts include "Pieces", a tune written by Harmony head honcho, Raina Bundy, along with Skip Scarborough. Hewett puts it together easily, with his ethereal falsetto marking the cut. Occasionally he drops to the
On "Potter's House", Hewett digs into some serious soulful funk, with some edgy help from guitarist Jeff Mironov. "Mercy" is a power jam, packed with Hewett's ballad prowess and laced with a sticky melody.
The first radio single from the album is "Angel". Hewett elaborates in his atmospheric falsetto, with a rhythmic track grounding the composition. Written and produced by Hewett along with Monty Seward, the song praises God for sending an angel to watch over him, acknowledging that it is He alone and not the angel, who is to be worshipped.
Another gem on this disc is "Somebody's Watching Over Me", a lullaby-esque comfort that Hewett unfolds with stacked vocal harmonies on simmering strings and keys from Wayne Linsey and acoustic guitar stylings from Paul Jackson Jr.
Hewett ends the project with a version of his signature hit, "Say Amen". Working with longtime musical colleague Monty Seward (who also co-wrote the song with him), he stays true to the original version. The production gets a 2001 makeover, with the same live instrumentation feel that Hewett comes with in recent live performances. It's a perfect ending to a wonderful album.
Go ahead, say it....Amen!
Harmony / Epic
— reviewed by Stan North —
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