Marvin Sapp  -- Diary of A Psalmist

Marvin Sapp
Diary of a Psalmist

There are many Gospel singers out there, but everyone knows that some simply stand apart from the rest. For some it's the voice, for others it's simply the pureness of the anointing.

For Marvin Sapp it's both.

His latest solo project is perfectly titled The Diary of a Psalmist, a live recordingCD that took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan (see overview of Praise Place) mixed with some choice studio cuts.

Twelve songs in length, the album simply touches the soul, and is hands down, one of the best Gospel projects one could hope to find. There's nothing ordinary about it, from opener to the closing song.

Joining Sapp throughout are the Remnant Background Singers and the Reunion Ensemble, lending the same strength of backing vocals that Sapp has come to be associated with over the course of his four previous solo albums (see review of I Believe).

Things start off with a song from Myron Williams titled "One Thing", inspired by Psalms 27.4. Building slowly to a fiery finish, the song is sure to keep the worship and praise team late on Wednesday and up early on Sunday with its punchy bottom and never-ending bass drive.

Diary of A Psalmist
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Then Sapp turns again to songwriter Jonathan Dunn for penmanship, and he delivers on "Miracle". Sapp encourages the saints of God to stay the course until it's your 'time for a miracle'. This gut-wrenching cut is the Doctor at his finest. With stellar background vocals directed by The Potter's House' own Steven Lawrence, the song sets up a one-two punch of "You Are God Alone" and the "Worship Medley". In one word, it is simply awesome.

"You Alone Are God" has enough power to knock out the strongest, with its clear focus on God's supremacy, coupled with Sapp's ability to convey intense, unfettered worship. The lyrical strength and the stickiness of the melody make the song stand out as an album high point in an abundance of high points.

On the uptempo tip, newcomer Troy McIntosh writes the energetic "Lift Those Hands", and Daniel Weatherspoon injects his dose of urban on "Hallelujah", with both songs remaining wholly consistent the worship theme of the project. Tommie Walker joins with Sapp to write "Unrestricted Praise", a nice ride of a praise.

Kevin Bond pens "We Worship You Today" and the near-acoustic beauty of "Glory To The Lamb", both of which Sapp turns into balladic gems, characterized by his combo of churchy grit and smooth. Sapp closes the project with a familiar praise and worship tunes —Lenny LeBlanc's and Paul Baloche's "Above All".

Photos From The Live Recording
Click for feature Click on the links below to take you to the Photo Features from Marvin Sapp's Praise Place.

Concert Action (1)

Concert Action (2)

Concert Action (3)

Concert Action (4)

The Band, featuring Kevin Bond

Family and Friends

Oftentimes a project's live anointing and ambience gets lost in post-production but, as Elder Sapp himself says, you can "Lift Those Hands" because not only has that vital element been retained on wax, it's been perfected by the production of Kevin Bond.

We always give Bond much-deserved accolades for his consistency in producing the Gospel music industry's finest with often-flawless work, for he is clearly in a class of the few in this ever-expanding genre of music.

But there's another facet to his work that is so very evident from Sapp's project —the fact that like the artist he produces, Bond is a worshipper too. It translates onto the record. Relationship is the key here, as Bond allows God to use his production skills to assist Sapp in creating what is a must-have project.

Like Pastor Donnie McClurkin's Live in London and More before it, Sapp along with Verity Records have every right to be ecstatic about the possibilities of this unit, twelve tracks of absolute glory to God.

Producer: Kevin Bond
album release date: July 1, 2003
Verity Records

reviewed by James D. Robinson Jr. and Stan North

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