Songs For The Soul
If you’re not careful, this compilation gem could easily slip by you. That would be your loss, because not only are there some great recent hits assembled, but also an assortment of newly interpreted material from some pretty big names.
The concept is evident from the title Songs for the Soul. Comfort from the Word of God is the theme, and naturals such as Yolanda Adams’ “Through The Storm”, Richard Smallwood’s “Healing” and Hezekiah Walker’s “Second Chance” are obvious and welcome inclusions.
But there’s a wealth of brand new music here too some new songs, and some familiar ones re-done.
Start with “Present Help”, a new cut from Commissioned. Here, Mitchell Jones and Gary Crawford put their pens to this mid-tempo prayer, with Tim Bowman lending his conspicuous guitar to deliver an acoustic sound coated with those well-known harmonies.
On “If Loving You Is Wrong”, the youthful new group Image (composed of the four Mathis brothers) showcase their stuff, highlighted by an appearance from Marcus Cole and sax meanderings from Kirk Whalum. Co-written by Joey Kibble of Take 6, this joyous jam will perk ears looking for that new flava.
As a bonus, Fred Hammond and RFC’s “All Things Are Working”, first heard on the studio disc of his Pages of Life album, comes as previously unreleased live version.
Donnie McClurkin’s “Stand” reappears, this time freshly delivered by the potent combo of Marvin Sapp, Helen Baylor, Maurette Brown-Clark and Daryl Coley. Needless to say, with voices like these combining and intertwining, the solace from the song easily pours out again.
There’s also an instrumentally jazzed take that hit made popular by McClurkin, “We Fall Down”. Here it's knitted together by the Quiet Time Players.
We also hear Chris Willis reworking “Church Without Walls”. The song is pulled from his much-overlooked self-titled project that came out in 1996 and is fashioned into a soulful number here courtesy production from Paul Wright III and full-service instrumentals from the Harborwood keyboard mainstays and Fred Vaughn, plus Kirk Whalum on sax again.
A wonderful new song from Duwane Starling and Tiffany Palmer (“Angel For Life”) and something nice from Lisa Shipman (“I’ll Be There”), plus the soft strains of Ben Tankard’s previously released, guest-filled, version of “You Will Know” and Maurette Brown-Clark’s “Follow Me”.
Songs for the soul, indeed!
album release date: October 23, 2001
reviewed by Stan North —
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