James Grear & Company
What Will Your Life Say

On his junior CD, What Will Your Life Say, James Grear & Company continue to revel in supremely solid contemporary Gospel writing and quality sound strongly rooted in classic Gospel feel. The project is stuck solidly in the Billboard charts, a place quite familiar to the group.

Hot from the start, the CD explodes with the groove, "He's Been Good". It's the type of song where you know within 20 seconds that you'll be loving it and James Grear CDrepeating it. The vocals are tight and tight again, with light keyboard sprinkled among sustained B3 organ stylings. The mid-tempo groove is unshakeable.

The tempo may slow slightly on "My Soul Loves Jesus" but that's only to make way for the fiery force of Angela Stewart as she scorches the tape in lead vocal role.

"Peace Be Still" is a slow-riser, beginning with meditative harmonies based on James Cleveland's classic. Grear's new arrangement lets the song build gradually to a complexity of vocal weaving and powerhouse of swells and intensity of modulation.

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Freman Darnell Davis (aka Baby D) arranges several of the songs on this project, as well as handling organ and keys. Credit him with the re-awakened vibe of familiar tunes such as "Walk In The Light" (which respects the original arrangement while putting on a millennial face), as well as original material such as that found on the urban ride "Get Your Praise On".

Company vocalist Roosevelt George also writes a couple cuts for the album. "Heaven" borrows Walter Hawkins' "Going Up Yonder" before freely venturing into an original interpretation strong on criss-crossing male leads. The laid-back "Jesus You're First In My Life" is another impressive inclusion.

Mike Scott's heavy lean on electric guitar is evident on some cuts, "Set Me Free" being one, and the nearly alternative/rock-fashioned "Celebrate" being another. Certainly the Company handles them well, with inspired vocals. It'll be a challenge to fit these edgy numbers into radio rotation however.

Arguably What Will Your Life Say is James Grear and Company's best offering to date. Vocals have never been tighter, and the grooves are locked.

Producers: F. Darnell Davis, James Grear, Jack Yates
album release date: July, 2001
Born Again Records / Diamante

reviewed by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava copyright 2002. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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