Youthful Praise - Thank You For The Change

Youthful Praise
Thank You For The Change

After establishing themselves as one of the millenium's hottest Gospel properties with their Awesome God debut (see album review), Youthful Praise ups the ante, if that's possible, with Thank You For The Change (hear audio).

(The choir is now known as James "JJ" Hairston and Youthful Praise, due to the recent decision by former co-director Shawn Brown to leave the church to follow his call to pastor.)

The sophomore live-recorded effort, guided by the production hands of James D. Robinson Jr. and John H. Smith, builds on the rock solid foundation that has tethered CDthe Bridgeport, Connecticut based church choir to the hearts and musical souls of Gospel fans across the land: tight, power-laden vocals, a band that lives 'in the pocket', serious vocals up front and unforgettable, ministry-soaked songwriting. (See detailed producer's commentary on the album.)

After a humbling intro from Ricky Dillard, choir leader James "JJ" Hairston puts YP through the paces on "Bless Him", a full-throttle rouser aimed to break open the very heavens with praise. Spot-on vibrato and swirling band grooves push the intensity, helped by Johnny "The Natural" Nateo, who stings the song midway through with an extended guitar solo.

Thank You For The Change
Click on this image for your audio-digital Flash card experience
Got Flash? Turn up your computer audio and check out the latest in our series of audio-digital animated Flash cards. Click on the above image to experience the new Youthful Praise CD.

Click on this image for your free Flash Software downloadYou need Flash 6 software to see the Flash card. If your computer does not have it installed, get the free download by clicking on the adjacent Flash icon.

Minister Kervy Brown guests on "He Rose", a traditional-minded stomp written by Hairston. Musical director Eric Davis guides the band into heavy chording and hectic rhythms as Brown's renowned pipes scald the composition. Youthful Praise adds power to the proceedings as they echo his telling of the glory of Christ's physical resurrection from the dead.

In describing the album, producer Robinson says that "we tried to give the people a hit on each song, instead of just three or four hit songs. We were going for every song to have a strong and versatile appeal."

That's not just hype, for the project indeed has a flow and depth that is rare.

"Up There", written by LFC's Joeworn Martin, features Cheryl "Coko" Clemmons, of SWV reknown, and brings a slight Carribbean twist to the set. The call and response between Coko and YP on the phrase "Yea Lord" recalls some great choir moments from days gone by. The cut is infectious.

The diversity continues into the Shawn Brown-penned "He Shall Be Praised", with its unusual ragtime piano-based musical intro. High choir energy follows.

On the same theme, "I Shall Praise" moves quickly with choir parts woven together to emphasize the theme of God's mercy. NotaYouthful Praisebly, near the end of the piece, the band jumps in with a 'choir voice', highlighting the message even more.

On "Balm in Gilead", Melonie Daniels returns to the fold to blend with Charisse Nelson-McIntosh on lead. The song begins softly with an understated, descending melody line before YP begin to open things up, building to the climax with a chorus of "yes's", as Daniels and Nelson-Macintosh fuel the proceedings. What began as understated, ends in a complex weave of musicality.

Other star cuts on the project include the title track "Thank You For The Change", which features Timiney Figueroa-Caton, and the balladic "Say Yes" with YP member Kenya Lee out front. "God Of All Comfort" delivers modulation and rides a near-club groove.

The album ends with a remix of "Deliver" (from the first project), served up by Tonéx's producer alter-ego, T.Bizzy. It's another danceable, hot joint that couples Nureau Ink with choir phat.

Thank You For The Change has a track listing that runs deep, and has the strength to catapult its way up the charts and into hearts of those who will hear. (Order from Best Buy)

CLICK HERE for your free RealAudio software downloadThere are four song snippets available from the Youthful Praise album, Thank You For The Change. If you don't have RealAudio, be sure to obtain your free RealAudio player software first, by clicking on the blue RealAudio icon on the right.

Audio DownloadsTo download the song snippets, simply click on the highlighted text below, let stream on RealAudio, and enjoy.

Email This To A Friend

Producers: James D. Robinson Jr., John H. Smith
album release date: June 29, 2004
Evidence Gospel / Light Records

— reviewed by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2004. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

New Releases
Message Board
Search Engine
Mailing List
About Us

Stellar Awards