More More More
Joann Rosario emerges as the first solo artist to debut with an album after Fred Hammond Presents...In Case You Missed It And Then Some.Producer: Fred Hammond
album release date: March 5, 2002
More, More, More the project, is a combination of the musical dimension of Fred Hammond and the flawless voice of Joann Rosario. A PK from Chicago, Rosario mixes some elements of who she is a combination of church, Puerto Rican culture and youthful sound on this, her debut solo joint.
Evident from the first track of are two things: Hammond’s production hand and Rosario’s personality and flava.
It’s significant that Rosario co-writes on nine of the project’s thirteen tracks, a sign that she was involved in shaping the album on more than just the vocal level. In an obvious nod to her writing skills, Hammond lets her share the helm on this one, a special honor considering that his crew is thick with writers and contributors.
Yolanda Adams co-writes on the ballad “And We Overcome” along with Hammond and keyboardist Noel Hall. The song is a smooth sweep that ends in a mid-tempo tune built on top of live bass grooves set by Hammond. Percussive highlights by Darius Fentress crucially decorate, with guitar highlights from Darryl Dixon.
Hammond, Rosario and Hall pen “You Mean That Much To Me”, a strong ballad that is a synth/orchestral display with a mix of live strings. There is some seemingly abstract snare programming towards the end, that for a split second, seems out of place. But soon enough, it wraps you hypnotically into the cadence. After a minute, you get it and feel dumb for not getting with it in the first place.
Vocally, Rosario is a master of her own inflections. Each nuance seems deliberate and effectively sways each phrase to the right or left.
“Your Consuming Fire” is a Latin-flava’d jam with some interesting sounds bouncing back and forth. Synth bass and brass bass sounds play the backbone to a plethora of percussive elements. The vocals don’t get lost in the nicely busy track. Rosario on the lead, relies more on tone than trills and runs here. Marcus Cole’s background vocals are also noticeable along with Rosario and Bryan Pratt. Cole co-pens on this and four other songs.
“Serve You Only”, in contrast to its techno-funk remix of the same name, gives a mix with more synth drive and acoustic focus. And the happy “Since You Came My Way” is so nostalgically guitar-driven that it brings to mind some similarly evocative Lauryn Hill tunes from her 1998 release
Acoustic Latin guitar by Hammond and Joey Woolfolk, along with some congas by Fentress, set the mood for the flowing “Follow Me/Sigueme” with verses in English and Spanish.
And it is here that I think best represents how Rosario can help us understand and melt the lines drawn by race, denomination and culture.
As if a reflection, the project grabs a bit of the diversity she embodies, but is careful to exalt Kingdom culture above all else. In the strange space where culture, Christianity and chords collide, Rosario has found a space all her own.
FHammond Music / Verity Records
reviewed by Melanie Clark —
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