Restine Jackson & Grace
Praise Party Live in D.C.
Restine Jackson & Grace had a praise party, and they put it on disk.Producer: Restine Jackson
album release date: June, 2001
The DC area group, under the direction of diminutive 23-year old dynamo Restine T. Jackson IV, carries a intense, hyper and contemporary vibe, filling their sound with all-out praise lyrics and severe rhythmic potency.
On this sophomore project delivered by Wondrous World Records, Jackson and crew continue in much the same vein as on their debut from 1998, with great new stuff and some reworking of that cut loved by head bob seekers everywhere, “Suuper Duuper”.
From the top, the praise is pumped hard, with an ultra-brief “Back in the Day” intro serving to set up the vigoursly delivered, “Get On Up (He’s Worthy)”. Here and throughout the album, the effect you hear is ‘ultra live’, along the lines you frequently get from Deitrick Haddon, with Jackson exhorting and encouraging congregational support.
Everybody grab a praise partner for “I Command My Soul”, a groovy, reprised number that uses island rhythms to maximum effect for dance ‘n party praise. Also on the party tip is the title track “Praise Party” which pounds out kicking funkiness while all in earshot do the “saved man shuffle” (check out Jackson's own take on his ministry in an It's Your Flava segment).
Those familiar with Jackson’s first project will be thrilled to find remixes of their heaviest hits. “Suuper Duuper” comes reformatted with upbeat melodic elements of “Jesus Loves Me” introducing the live cut before it moves into its wonderful complexity of interwoven phrases and catchy drives, with subsequent reprise. The group’s other major hit, “Feel”, is also recast in studio (with beat redos), and appears as the closing cut.
Mid-album, the tempo slows down considerably, as layers of soft and simmering keyboards backstop Jackson’s vocals on “Beyond the Veil”. Split into three tracks, Grace’s ten voices bring in backing vocals that rise in intensity as the song builds in to the segment concludes with fellow DC psalmist William Becton stopping by to exhort and sing.
Also in the mix are some quality studio jams: “I Love To Praise” and “He Loves Me” stand out among these with their significant R&P vibes and contemporary tracks. And “Raise da Praise” impacts with just the right touch of melody intregrated into a dominant hip hop base.
As with all live albums (or partially live, in this case), the tradeoff is that the occasional imperfection is captured along with that desireable ‘right there’ hype and intensity of tone. So sure, this Praise Party hits a vocal airpocket or two, but these are soon forgotten as the power, the passion and the intensity of Restine Jackson and Grace’s praise stylings bring you straight in to contemporary worship.
For that extra visual zing, check out these praise party pics from the recording. That’s right, this is a party you don’t want to miss.
Wondrous World Records
reviewed by Stan North —
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