With nearly a decade of projects behind him, Tribbett realizes that when a formula works, you don't need to change it, you just need to keep it current and up to date. In the case of his fifth effort, and his first for the newly named Motown Gospel (formerly EMI Gospel), that's exactly what Greater Than does. And it works!
The album kicks off with the high energy opener "Nobody" which almost fools you into thinking he's starting off with a worship track until the four hi-hats and claps come into play, then off we go. The follow-the-leader style of this song makes it fun and easy to pick up and brings you directly into the experience as opposed to just listening to it (which goes right along with his social media "Greater Than" hand sign campaign).
The energy continues on the synth-heavy club/dance styled "You Are Everything" and "Stayed On You" in which Tribbett covers Rudy Clark's infectious "Got My Mind Set On You" (listen to soulster James Ray sing it here), which George Harrison covered and powered into a smash hit in 1988. Tribbett brings in a funny hint of the Austin Powers theme layered in the verses.
Another signature Tye Tribbett element to add to this formula is the fusion of rock elements, which comes into play with the ensuing track "You Are Good" which transitions right into... you guessed it... worship.
The invitation to worship is a work of art in its own right; simplicity in unison before complex musical changes and harmonic modulations drive songs like "Greater Than" and "Beauty For Ashes", two songs that you can expect to hear time and again from groups and praise teams at your local musicals.
On "Better", Tribbett's signature style comes to the fore with chord changes only a true musician could appreciate but settles back into worship mode. This song has elements of '06's "Everything will be all Right" and '08's "He Has Made Me Glad", and yes the triple "OOOO" is in there.
Tribbett covers the praise song "Overcome", originally by Jon Egan of the Desperation Band. The acoustic, folk-styled approach packs a punch with Tribett's twist added, and flows well with the overall worship experience, along with "What Can I Do" (written by, and featuring KJ Scrivens) and the anthem-filled "Worship Medley" which has a strong CCM influence.
Now the question is, what would a Tye Tribbett album be without the latest and greatest praise break sequences and patterns in song form and thus the already-fan-favorite "He Turned It". There's really not much to say about this song except it's fast, it's churchy, it's awesome.
Tribbett's element is served best in his live performances, and that's one reason this album works so well. It's the formula that doesn't need to be changed. With crossover genres, styles, and touching generations all in one offering as he's done in the past, Greater Than is one Tye Tribbett album that's perfect for any Christian music listener.
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— review by Andre Griffith —
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