Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise

Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise
Confessions of a Worshipper

There’s a need to reach out to the lost and there’s a need to nurture the redeemed.

Lamar Campbell puts his sights on the latter as he steps out with his fourth album for EMI Gospel, titled Confessions of a Worshipper and recorded live at the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis.

CDAcknowledging some considerable soul-searching on balancing being an artist with being a worshipper, Campbell decidedly weighs in on the worshipper side. And as God always does when we acknowledge his supremacy, in doing so, Campbell’s artistry is propelled to even higher levels.

With the increasingly busy Daniel Weatherspoon at his side as the album’s producer, Campbell and Spirit of Praise anchor themselves firmly to their church roots and the proceed to let the line out in exploration of other musical environments.

Weatherspoon holds down the band on keys and programming, with Michael Weatherspoon on drums, Otha Seals behind percussion, Sharay Reed on bass and the ever-present Joey Woolfalk on guitar imparting the vibe. Fifteen voices strong, Spirit of Praise saturates the project with their tight vocal presence.

With lead vocals, Campbell sets the tone from the opening cut, “We’ve Come To Worship”, the title alone dictating the theme of the project. Woolfalk’s guitar is up front as the cut percolates with praise.

Confessions Of A Worshipper
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The album unfolds into multiple memorable selections. Resilient church rhythms pattern “Nothing Too Hard For God”, featuring another outstanding performance from SOP’s beloved vocalist, Denise Clark.

Joyful Latin percussion pops on the syncopated “Oh Give Him Glory”, with Campbell out front, encouraging everyone into a “glory, glory service”. You know the feet are stepping and the hands are waving on this one, as modulation takes the song out to fade. Contrasting is “He Reigns”, penned by Weatherspoon. Slight rock elements imparted to the instrumentation and a good groove make the song a standout.

Moving on to other musical footing, “Keep Pressing On” is marinated in a digital funk-dance track, with choir delivering an ebb and flow of the dominant lyric of the song while Denise Clark clears the air with soulful ad lib wailing on top. Michael Houston’s “Praise Defeats The Enemy“ has an instrumental, bass-driven edge to it. Michelle Boner, Karen Williams and Valerie Lismon trade leads on the cut, which highlights the simplicity of our victory in Jesus —He’s already done the work, it’s up to us to simply praise Him for it.

Sounds of Praise then return to their balladic ways with Cambell’s composition, “Bless Your Name”. Tender in tone and filled with strings, Paul Logan sings of God’s character, with choir alternating on unison chorus. “It’s Over There” and “If We Ever Needed The Lord” will also garner attention as worthy ballad entries. Smoothly rendered vocals and sweet band rides mark both.

Campbell states that everything has come together just right on Confessions of a Worshipper, and that the album has particularly special meaning for him. With the confidence that he displays on this record, and with the coming together of the songs, the music and the vocals, it looks like the table’s set for the Gospel nation to join him in his confession.

Producer: Daniel Weatherspoon
album release date: August 19, 2003
EMI Gospel

— reviewed by Stan North

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