If We Pray
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2001 1 Jan
In just two years since the release of their self-titled album, the members of Anointed have undergone some significant life changes. The group ran themselves ragged from extensive touring with Avalon in 1999. Shortly after that, Nee-C Walls left Steve Crawford and Da'dra Crawford Greathouse to pursue other interests. Then Da'dra learned she had a dangerously large tumor that could possibly affect her ability to have children again. Despite the trials and frustrations, Steve and Da'dra turned to God for strength to carry on. God answered their prayers not only with the strength to carry on musically, but to also pursue ministerial education through their local church to become licensed ministers.
It's this newfound second wind for ministry and their testament to the power of prayer that serve as the thematic core behind Anointed's fifth album, If We Pray. Many of the album's ten songs deal specifically with prayer, such as the title cut, "Things I Wish," and "I'm Praying For You." There are even a few tracks of Steve and Da'dra each leading their children in prayer. These are cute moments, especially Steve's boy Monty, but time will tell if the clips will stand repeated listens. The other songs on the album are written to encourage people to come to the Lord through prayer. For example, "You'll Never Thirst" focuses on the discussion Jesus shared with the woman at the well. Anyone worried that the group's trademark soulful harmonies would be missing now that Nee-C has left the group need not worry. Steve and Da'dra's strong and soulful vocals carry the album, and they harmonize plenty with vocal overdubs and backing vocalists. You practically can't tell they're just a duo now.
I am, however, beginning to wonder how far into pop territory Anointed plans to go.
I realize Anointed has always straddled the fence between gospel and pop — that's been part of their charm over the years. After all, the group's big hit, "Revive Us" sounds a lot like Avalon. I just wish Anointed would keep the smooth, jazzy gospel sound of songs such as "Under the Influence." Though