Karen Clark Sheard - The Heavens Are Telling

Karen Clark Sheard
The Heavens Are Telling

Karen Clark Sheard is back strong for her second release on Elektra Records.

The Heavens Are Telling is a broad-spectrum project with both live and studio elements, that shows the many faces of Clark-Sheard. With the live material produced by Donald Lawrence, Karen Clark Sheardthe vocal legend is allowed her to stretch out on some church songs, worship tunes and contemporary jams, and she does so expertly in all areas.

Lawrence pens the hype praise tune, “We Acknowledge You”. Some fancy string and horn work amp it up, and some stellar background vocalists take this one to jam status.

Israel Houghton and Martha Munizzi contribute two strong cuts. The picante tempered “Glorious” is a dance-inspiring reminder of our mission —to give Him glory. Joey Woolfalk is featured here on Spanish flavored lead guitar. Percussion and horns follow suit.

This same dynamic songwriting duo also contributes my vote for Praise & Worship Song of the Year, “God is Here”. The song also appears on Munizzi’s solo project, and is given a spin by Clark Sheard and company. With a slightly different twist imparted, but not straying too far from the original, the power of this one is in the song itself. Clark Sheard always enhances what is already there, and this is no exception.

The Heavens Are Telling
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The Smallwoodesque title track (actually written by Lawrence) “The Heavens Are Telling”, brings Clark Sheard to where she shines brightest. Though her vocal prowess and versatility allows her to do virtually anything, Clark Sheard is a church girl. Dress it up. Pump it up. Add some thump to it. We love all of that, but there’s nothing like bringing it back to church. To that end, Cedric Thompson and Woolfalk are crucial, providing the simple string and keys entrée to a full blown choral and orchestrated ending vamp.

Andrae Crouch’s “We Are Not Ashamed” with Mary Mary added to the mix is a beautiful ode with similar key and string structuring.

PAJAM kicks the hotness in on “Don’t Change” which brings daughter Kierra Sheard to the forefront in a one-on-one “talk” with her mom. Some chatting and scatting about being a Christian young lady and from mom’s perspective, the plight of raising a Christian young lady, is
Click for review "I was at death's door, but now I am able to continue serving God. I'm alive and am able to continue my ministry, which God has appointed for me......"

See full interview.

what this one is about. Karen and Kierra also share some weightier riffing back and forth on the Jill Scott drafted “You Love Me”.

Missy Elliott returns (see Second Chance album review) to join up with Paul Allen and J. Moss on “Go Ahead” for an unforgettable flow full of pounding beats.

There are too many twists and turns on this project to mention. Just know that this is one to add to your collection. Some great production, full-bodied song selection and trademark vocals make for another complete package.

Clark Sheard continues to be the darling of the industry, not just because of her indelible voice or the star quality she possesses. She has a real story, a powerful testimony and a sweet spirit.

Producers: Donald Lawrence, PAJAM
album release date: November 4, 2003
Elektra Records

— reviewed by Melanie Clark

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