Diary of a Psalmist
For Marvin Sapp it's both.
His latest solo project is perfectly titled The Diary of a Psalmist, a live recording 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.
"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".
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.
— reviewed by James D. Robinson Jr. and Stan North —
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