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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Aug
Sounds like … funky, futuristic soul gospel for fans of Montrell Darrett or Tonéx. At a glance … Crossroads is full of interesting, enjoyable gospel music that goes in a truly different direction. Track Listing7 Ds (Intro)7 DsGod Is GoodU.N.I.T.YHad Not BeenIt's Over NowGod Didn't Give UpWhat Love?You Have a FriendAmenDon't Wanna Let You GoCrossroads (Interlude)CrossroadsEverytimeWon't Stop PrayingTrusting GodStir the GiftPrayer Changes ThingsHappyWalls Are Tumbling

Deitrick Haddon has built a growing following over the last few years. As the leader of Voices of Unity and as a solo artist, he's known as a musician who blends the traditional with funky R&B to craft a unique, familiar-yet-futuristic sound, similar to that of labelmate Tonex. Other comparisons include Montrell Darrett and mainstream artists Raphael Saadiq, Joe or R. Kelly.

Crossroads is full of old-school gospel meeting soul, slick and rich as Motor City oil. The album starts with "7Ds," featuring the playful voices of children over a bass line, reminiscent of early Jackson 5. "God is Good" is party-worthy, with layered vocals and lots of interesting changes and modulations. "U.N.I.T.Y." is high on funk, with an absolutely amazing young-Michael Jackson-meets-Stevie Wonder vibe. It's insane, the kind of song you put in and hit repeat until you've heard all of what's going on-and there's a lot there.

Rance Allen brings his molasses-sweet, throaty lead to "Had Not Been," which features a smooth, updated take on the well-loved, plodding quartet sound. Songs like this demonstrate why this form is enjoying a resurgence among the Gen X gospel crowd. It's got the sho-nuff old school vibe, with a little something extra. "Amen," a ballad about accepting God's will, features the youth choir from the Haddons' church over driven strings.

Other noteworthy songs include the title track, an enigmatic rock/R&B/gospel song about points of decision in one's life; "Everytime," with a clubworthy step sensibility; "Won't Stop Praying," with retro synth horn, sax and flute; the pensive "Trusting God"; and "Prayer Changes Things;" which mixes a classic quartet sound with handclaps, foot stomps, and a twittering vocal reminiscent of Bobby McFerrin.