The Singletons

The Singletons
Better Than That

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The Singletons are family in more ways than one. Both blood-related to each other, and musical siblings to the FHammond Music roster, The Singletons come in full throttle on their sophomore project, a jam-laden set produced by Fred Hammond and featuring a special guest shot from Kirk Franklin. Better Than That is the disc's title, and its not only its bright all-orange packaging that captures attention.

CDEleven tracks in length, the Lansing, Michigan bred family collective move from ballad to jam and back, their soulful vocals intertwining with the ease expected of a family-based group, and yet with great and distinctive solo work from individual members as well. Consisting of eight members, The Singletons are sisters Camilla, Andrea & Catrice, neices Crystal, Carmen and Tia with nephews Ryan & Alfred.

Hammond intros "Dance In The Spirit" by saying that "you can't sit down on this one", and if you're ready for a jazzy jam, it's an understatement. Claiming up front that "the Lamb has given us a reason to rejoice", The Singletons revel in the jazzy chord changes and intricate melody line as various members of the group interact with Hammond on traded lead vocals.

Better Than That
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"Created To Worship" is a balladic groove in the finest tradition of Fred Hammond's musical lineage. Jointly written by Hammond, Darryl Dixon and The Singletons, this mid-tempo rides on a keyboard-branded melody and praise, with Hammond tossing in liberal ad libs. Other ballads on the album include the tender "For Me", featuring Ryan Robertson out front, and the prayerful "Keep Holdin' On To Me".

Kirk Franklin joins in on "Give Him The Praise", a cut with a three-note bass thump theme that's impossible to miss. Alfred Singleton has lead songwriter credits. "Worthy To Be Praised" is slow praise with heavy emphasis on vocal harmonies.

Other songs of note are "I Need You" with Camilla Singleton-Dodd and the worship jam, "Savior Lord and King".

Make a note, Better Than That is a keeper, and serves to further highlight the presence of The Singletons on the scene. Don't miss this jazzy-funk-Gospel mix that highlights musical family chemistry. .

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Producer: Fred Hammond
album release date: April 18, 2006
FHammond Music / Verity Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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