Live at the House of Blues - New Orleans
This highly anticipated live presentation fails to disappoint as McClendon’s strong artistry continues to build momentum, showing immense growth.
For one, McClendon sheds the purely "neo-soul" moniker, aiming for a more soulful approach to her music and she quickly finds success from the first note of the project. The Florida resident continues to partner with longtime producer Maurice "Mo" Henderson, who does a masterful job once again in his department.
McClendon introduces the group Soul (Tabitha Brown, Michael D. Brown, LaTasha Dorsey, Cortney Robinson, Arrianne Thomas) along with Kevin Green and Evelyn Keene to handle background vocals, adding the perfect soulful backdrop to this effort. And away she goes!!
The 13 cuts build on McClendon’s innate ability to present and produce music that impacts the complete life of the believer. The opening track, "Made", reminds all that they are beautiful because of God’s creative design. Empowerment and encouragement are recurring themes on this project, as evidenced in songs such as "Right There" and the rocked-out "You Can" which also showcases the power of accountability and partnership.
She addresses the single listener with the encouraging "Who Can Love You More". The worship cleverly flows with remakes of "Just Another Day" and "Joy of My Desire", featuring a heartfelt and passionate duet with the talented Leon Timbo (see album review).
The "Soul Music Medley" is a must-hear, as McClendon offers live versions of her previous hits, "Hey Now" and "Stuck", melded together with a blazin’ rendition of "You Are Holy" that will leave you speechless. Couple all of that with the New Orleans-tinged "Move On Over" and you’ve got another gem of a project from this soulful singer who proves that she’s at the top of her game.
This album already has dibs on being one of the most notable releases of the year. Don’t miss it.
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— reviewed by Gerard Bonner —
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