With near weekly appearances on BET's "Bobby Jones Gospel" as a prominent soloist with the Nashville Super Choir, perhaps Leanne Faine's face has become nearly as familiar as her voice.Producers: Various
album release date: February 13, 2001
With over forty years of solo experience behind her, most memorably with The Tommies, Faine finally gives us a full project, a twelve-tracker that showcases the diversity and the blow power of her musical gift.
Lining up behind Faine are several songwriters and producers, each of whom work to show us her different sides. Perhaps surprisingly to some, it's Charles Woolfork who brings out the most traditional, and maybe the sound to which we are most accustomed to hearing from her.
"Well Done" is one of the most striking of her traditional set. Written by Woolfork (he also adds backing vocals), it's a smoothly harmonized number with a glide par excellence, where Faine testifies of her desire to hear the Lord tell her "well done, good and faithful servant". While the studio mix could have been a little stronger for Faines's vocals, this nevertheless is a wonderful cut.
The Faine/Woolfork combo also works well on multiple other songs, including "Been Good" and "Peace In the Storm". On "Determined", slow traditional balladry from the pen of Lavelle Lacy is enhanced by a stellar crew of psalmists that includes Wendell Lowe on organ and keys, Al Willis on guitar, and Anthony Harmon on bass. The Brown Sisters add some appropriately subtle vocals in support.
Shirley Caesar stops by for a traditional diva fest, and delivers a few gritty vocal licks with Faine on the Michael Mathis-penned "My Help Comes From the Lord".
Daniel Weatherspoon slips his SpoonFed Music production vibe on a couple of contrasting cuts. "Power In The Blood" is an awesomely funked, contemporary power groove, with Weatherspoon providing production vocal ad libs, while "Holy Is The Lamb" is a slow ballad praise.
One of the project's star cuts is "Holy Ghost", written by Percy Bady and produced by Woolfork. If your stereo system is portable, bolt it down as the shudder factor is heavy on this one, with its thick bass line, nicely intrusive organ synth chords from Jerome Paden, and mass vocals from Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver and The Hallelujah Singers.
With a nice mix of traditional and contemporary, uptempo and laidback, this pleasing project is certain to generate Leanne Faine even more respect than she already has. It's well deserved.
reviewed by Stan North —
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