Bishop Paul S. Morton
& The Full Gospel Baptist Church
Fellowship Mass Choir
Let It Rain

It's no secret that there's a close relationship between the gifts of music and preaching.

Few can merge these gifts as effortlessly as Bishop Paul S. Morton. After a 3-year musical layoff (see previous solo album), Bishop Morton is back on the scene with The Full Gospel Baptist Church CDFellowship Mass Choir. Their latest project, Let It Rain, is on Morton's new church-based label Tehillah Music Group and it's a powerful blend of anointed music with a potent message, wit Morton recruiting James H. Brown to produce.

This 10-track project kicks off with a contemporary vibe aptly titled "High Praise". Desmond Pringle lends his impressive lead vocals to this song and sets the project off with this energetic song that's guaranteed to get you excited. Pringle isn't the only high-profiled artist connected with this project.

Margaret Bell takes the lead on "Because of Who You Are". Penned by Martha Munizzi, the song, not surprisingly, takes a strong praise and worship vibe and definitely ushers you into God's presence.

The praise & worship flow of the album can also be found on the title track as Morton brings his passionate vocals to the forefront. Asking for the Lord's rain, Morton's impassioned plea for the presence of God is moving and is certain to touch you.

However, if you're looking to describe the vibe of this project in one word, the word is "churchy". Morton knows how to bring that traditional element into a project in a way that's relevant and impactful.

He brings songs of encouragement to the forefront like "Walk On By Faith". Morton and the choir breathe new life into this old-school hymn and encourage the listener to walk by faith and overcome all areas of difficulty.

"I Need Thee" is another hymn that gets a facelift with this special arrangement from BeBe Winans. Morton gets some vocal assistance from fellow Full Gospel partner and blood brother, Bishop James Morton, who throws in the old favorite "Yes Lord".

Bishop Morton picks up the pace with "God Is A Good God". Penned by Rev. Gerald Thompson, this hand-clappin', foot-stompin' song has that "barnyard" trademark of Thompson's that is fastly becoming his niche. You can't help but hitting the repeat button on this infectious track —it gets you real ready for Sunday morning.

Another catchy tune is "The Just Shall Live", written by the fabulous Rudolph Stanfield. It's another Sunday morning tune that will get you ready for a high praise.

Bishop Paul S. MortonWith all the church going on, credit Morton for abandoning any fear of taking on the contemporary stylings of the industry. In fact, he embraces it rather comfortably as he and choir tackle a rock vibe with "Somehow". The track catches you somewhat off-guard, for the choir makes the transition effortlessly.

Perhaps the surprise song of the album is Lauryn Hill's "On That Day". First recorded by Cece Winans, Morton and choir slow the down the tempo slightly and remake the song with their signature sound. With Morton on lead vocals, this song finds a place in your heart once again. Then the Bishop takes the chorus, adds a few key changes and suddenly, the song has a whole new sound. This is certainly a worthy cover of the song as Morton reminds us of the need to be ready for the Lord's return.

It's safe to say that Bishop Morton and the FGBCF Mass Choir is back and ready to take the world by storm. So if you've got some dry places that need to be addressed, scoop up this project and just Let it Rain.

Producer: James H. Brown
album release date: June 24, 2003
Tehillah Music Group

— review by Gerard Bonner

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