Tina Wilson
Yet Will I Praise Him

Heads are turning to San Diego as the place to watch for gifted new Gospel artists. Already, the impact of artists from the area is being felt, with new artists such as Tonéx (and associated groups), Sackcloth Fashion, Unity Klan and Jah Word all hailing from the area.

Tina Wilson, hailing from Texas but claiming San Diego as home more recently, slams into the scene with a contemporary blitz of mostly solo cutsTina Wilson CD on “Yet Will I Praise Him”, which is the first of an ambitious series of Gospel projects from Topic Records, based in...San Diego.

It would be a mistake to pin Wilson as a new artist, since she was previously heard as one of the lead soloists in The Voices of Fulfillment, a community-based choir lead by Minister Eddie Baltrip (you can catch their 1997 release Glory to His Name on Fortress Records). But this offering is a departure from the choir scene, and takes on a completely different edge.

Her style is no-doubt mellow contemporary, and Wilson carries the album on the strength of her vocals, which showcase her gift for acrobatics and inventive turns of phrase. With an impressive 15 tracks, there really is no room for second guessing. This girl can sing.

Song collaborator and producer Greg McKinney writes much of the material, which Wilson interprets freely and soulfully. Songs making an impact include the title track (“Yet Will I Praise Him”) which begins with a simple melody line, moving to an increasingly intricate weave of lead and backing vocals on the chorus. It's nice.

“I Surrender” is another chill vibe that is set off by the catchy chorus hook sung by contrasting vocals from Kenny Turner (Not my will, but thine / Let self be crucified, every day I have to die / I surrender all / No more I, but it’s Christ / I surrender all).

The short acappella cuts “Victory Is Mine” and “Real” are quite fine, and there’s also some nice re-arrangements of a few church classics thrown into the mix (“I Need Thee”, "Awesome God", “Have Thine Own Way”).

The vibe on the disc is consistent throughout, so much so, that shaking in some more variety of beats and sounds would make the project more spicy. But that’s a small point, in an album that is bound to make more heads turn westward, San Diego way.

Producers: Greg McKinney, Glenn McKinney, Tina Wilson
album release date: August, 1999
Topic Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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