All Star Edition
Perish the thought! Thanks to some creative contracting and co-operation from the good folks at Tyscot and Verity, The Voices of Unity are still very much alive, and with Deitrick still there along with Damita, to generate their ever-ready hype into the mix (see interview with Damita).
All Star Edition marks the first recording for the group since 2001's Supernatural, and features a smaller crew of vocalists nine in total. They remain as tight as ever, and serve notice that they have several more rising stars within their ranks.
Perhaps the highlight of the album is the very worshipful "We Invite You In". Clarita Jackson sings with such passion that it will take you into the presence of God instantly. She also shares writing credits with husband Horace Jackson and her brother Deitrick Haddon. Be prepared to wear out that repeat button, for this is a wonderful song that will be a favorite of many worship teams.
"Encourage Yourself" is a motivating, scripture-grabbing composition that is notable by the feature of guest Vanessa Bell Armstrong who duets with daughter and VOU member Melody Armstrong. Mid-song rap from Andrew Hall nicely follows the light groove of the mid-tempo song.
The praise party continues with equally bumping "Who Is It", with VOU members Horace Jackson and Kelly Kinney sharing lead vocals as they ask what factors in life try to separate believers from the love of God. Several VOU members take the mic on the ballad, "Standing in the Need of Prayer" as Deitrick weaves his exhortation throughout the song.
"My Soul Says Yes" is for those who love choir music with a contemporary edge. Damita takes the lead on this horn-heavy, live band jam. The end of the cut even features Damita and crew "taking it to church" with a little chorus of "Yes!"
Deitrick steps in again on the guitar heavy, midtempo R&B groove, "I Can't Praise You Enough". Check out Haddon's staccato falsetto at the end of the song. "Wonderful Change" continues Voices of Unity journey into R&B, with Clarita Jackson leading this head bobber.
Welcome to Summer 2004. Welcome to All Star Edition. Welcome back Voices of Unity.
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— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy and Stan North —
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