Youthful Praise featuring JJ Hairston
Resting On His Promise

As the gospel genre has evolved, the lifeblood and foundation of the medium remains the choir. While praise teams and ensembles have risen in popularity, the church choir keeps the genre vibrant on a weekly basis. (Download the title track MP3 here, for free!)

Perhaps America's most recognizable church choir is Youthful Praise. Led by the energetic JJ Hairston, the Connecticut-based choir has taken the genre by storm, releasing four albums this decade that have made them one of the industry's most popular and prolific choirs.

CD Hairston and his aggregation return with their fifth release "Resting On His Promise", a twelve-track project that is arguably their best work to date.

Recorded live in March 2009 in their hometown of Bridgeport, CT, the multiple Stellar-nominated choir combines their trademark Northeast vocal style with authentic praise and worship, resulting in the proverbial "best of all possible worlds".

Hairston handles the bulk of production on this effort in addition to penning or assisting with eight of the album's twelve tracks. Joining Hairston on the production end are longtime collaborators Eric Davis, John Smith, and James D. Robinson, Jr.

This effort is chock full of incredible collaborative efforts that are definitive hit makers. Pastor Shirley Caesar joins the choir on the Sunday morning favorite "High Praise", with a special intro by Pastor Jamal Bryant.

Image Gallery
  Donnie and Dorinda with Youthful Praise Relive the live recording with our pictorial recap of the evening's festivities.

Photo credits: Gerard Bonner.

View Image Gallery.

Myron Butler joins Hairston on the Jules Bartholomew-penned "Great Expectations", a song based on Jeremiah 29:11. This infectious track is certain to be a favorite for most choral connoisseurs. Dorinda Clark-Cole lends her powerful lead vocals to the choral gem "Still Mighty, Still Strong", which is guaranteed to be another favorite.

Troy Bright and Stephen Hurd lend their worship-filled leads to the Trent Cory penned "Awesome Wonder", which is a guaranteed favorite for worship fans. "Lord You're Beautiful" showcases the unlimited vocal range of Lorraine Stancil.

Hairston continues several longtime partnerships on this album. Bishop Eric McDaniel joins Hairston on the album's title track, a song that reminds all to rely on God's promises even in the face of economic decline and changing situations. Hairston continues his partnership with Deon Kipping as the pair share vocals on the fun "Lord You're Mighty".

One of the album's most memorable moments is found on the Hairston and Kipping penned hit "Powerful God", led by David McClure. McClure's incredible and "powerful" vocals remind all of the omnipotent nature of the Father and His ability to provide victory in any and all situations. This one is a guaranteed tear jerker and is good for several spins on the iPod.

Hairston and Youthful Praise have amassed a twelve song effort that showcases the absolute peak of their potential and the essence of their hearts. Fusing worship of the Father with encouragement for the believer, "Resting On His Promise" is arguably the year's best choral album that is both timeless in its content and presentation.

Chalk up another hit for JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise.

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Production: JJ Hairston, James D. Robinson, Jr., Eric Davis, John Smith
album release date: September 1, 2009
Evidence Gospel / Light Records

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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