T.D. Jakes
Sacred Love Songs

A popular urban music mag has gone on record as stating that this project is all about “hooking up catchy God-speak with ungodly pop grooves”. I beg to differ in every possible way.

Sacred Love Songs CDThese Sacred Love Songs shatter the sometimes stated falsehood that Gospel music is limited in its subject matter. Listening to the project demonstrates that it is, in fact, limitless. With each song penned by renowned pastor and preacher T.D. Jakes, this album is inspired by Jakes’ companion book The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord, and also by the ancient Song of Solomon.

Jakes states in the liner notes that the songs “address the need to make Christ the center of our personal relationships”, and that they are “meant to provide strength by understanding that marriage is a ministry and children a precious gift.” With most songs intensely personal and written in the first person, marital and family relationships are explored from many angles: husband to wife, wife to husband, husband to God, mother to daughter.

Every soulful cut flows from either the compositional brilliance of Donald Lawrence or the dramatic musical creativity of Darin Whittington. When combined with a cream crop of featured soloists, both well-known (Marvin Sapp, Shirley Murdock) or future well-known (Jesse Campbell, Tamar Braxton, Arnetta Murrill-Crooms), this creates a power of both lyric and melody. Check out “Lord, I Lift Her Up To You” featuring Campbell, Murdock’s vocals on “You Are My Ministry”, and “Usher Me” with Murill-Crooms.

The musical theme of this project is definitely one of smooth urban balladry, interwoven with rumbling but relevant spoken word and interludes by T.D. Jakes. Very few can generate a legitimate spoken-word-over-music vibe.

Jakes is one of them, and he walks that fine line with great balance, providing a distinctiveness, but never an intrusiveness.

Producers: Donald Lawrence and others
Island Inspirational

— reviewed by Stan North —

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