Joann Rosario

Joann Rosario
Now More Than Ever ...Worship

She's back.

After enduring the total loss of both her singing and speaking voice following her debut project, God has healed Joann Rosario and her faith has become stronger, culminating CDin the release of a stunning sophomore release, Now More Than Ever ...Worship.

Rosario enlists the help of her mentor, Fred Hammond, along with Kene 'Ghost' Bell, Asaph Alex Ward, Donald Lawrence, Michael Anthony (Mookie) Taylor and Steve 'Stone' Huff to fashion the project.

And it’s Rosario again showcasing her solid writing skills, writing ten of the thirteen songs on the album.

No matter the tempo, the theme of the album is worship, and clearly, Rosario shows herself to be a worship leader first, and then an artist. "Sing of Your Goodness", produced by Hammond, is a beautifully written R&P ballad that features a few of her old cohorts, with Noel Hall stepping in on keys, Tommie Walker securing the programming and Joey Woolfalk handling guitar duties. Throw in some smooth RFC-like vocals, and you have a hit.

Joann Rosario
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"Never The Same" is an uptempo Latin-tinged jam that enlists the help of Hammond on background vocals and a brief entry rap from Hammond as well. Michael Ripole adds Flamenco guitar while Bell adds programming prowess. Just hit the repeat button, it’s one of those!

The fiesta continues with the Huff-produced "Open My Heart Lord". Rosario’s lead and background vocals weave wonderfully throughout this urban cut as Huff adds a flute sample alongside a percolating drum beat.

The collaboration with Alex Asaph Ward works marvelously, with his work on the lead single, "I Hear You Say", being a diverse musical journey all in the space of the one song. Starting with contemporary pop vibe, Rosario sweetly sings to Ward’s keyboards and strings, with a soft pocket beat by Marvin McQuitty, before the song smoothly flows into a gorgeous Gospel chorus, making it beautiful from start to finish.

Ward protégé Edward Brown writes the chill, "My Desire", with Rosario expressing her utmost desire to live and stay planted in God’s presence. "Life So Wonderful" is a funky midtempo song produced by Ward what demonstrates Rosario’s ability to flow with any style. Daniel Johnson and Mary Shaw add polish with background vocals.

Interview with Joann Rosario
CD Things start up with "Alright", which moves in a sprightly tempo, spiced with a funky track and some nice backing vocals from Butler's ensemble, Levi, as Mann encourages and ad libs freely through it all.... Full Interview

"With All My Heart" is a lovely ballad that features Tim Aker’s piano work melded to a soft string arrangement. Rosario makes this Babbie Mason remake her own as she passionately sings of her intention to know the Father more. "God" is another powerful worship song with hit potential. The words are powerful as Rosario’s vocals soar over Donald Lawrence’s flawless production and vocal arrangements.

"Cuando Reposo En Ti (When I Enter Your Rest)" is a live song recorded at Rosario’s church. It is evident that she is connecting with audience and leading them into the presence of God, and even if you cannot understand Spanish, the spirit of the song will move you.

This is a triumphant return by Joann Rosario. Her voice back and she has built upon her debut release. How can we not realize the urgency to worship God more than ever before when we listen to Now More Than Ever ...Worship?.

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Producers: Various
album release date: July 12, 2005
Verity Records / FHammond Music

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

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