More, More, More
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Mar
Remember an album from Fred Hammond last year called In Case You Missed It … And Then Some? It was an excellent, varied album that served a variety of purposes. It marked the launch of Fred's new record label (FHammond Music) in conjunction with Verity Records, and it also served as a reworked greatest-hits album, with Fred and several other artists performing some of his older songs from his days with Radical For Christ and Commissioned. But perhaps most importantly,
More, More, More is an interesting blend of soft rhythm-and-blues/pop with Latin and gospel. You may recall the title track from
Joann's impressive alto voice is clearly well trained and road-tested, displaying lots of nuance and texture throughout the album. Also credit Joann as a budding songwriter, having contributed to the writing of every song on the album (with Fred Hammond helping out on most of them). It's a strong debut, but there are two things that kept this from being an outstanding R&B/gospel project, in my opinon. First, too many songs are basically about dedicating our lives to Christ because of what he's done for us. It's certainly a worthy subject matter, but half of the album seems to directly relate to that theme—"I Appreciate," "You Mean That Much to Me," and "Serve You Only" in particular. It also would have been good if Fred helped vary the sound on the album more. Most all of the songs have a light, low-key sound to them, which makes the album sound the same after 50 minutes. The album really needs a couple of up-tempo gospel/rock tracks to liven it up more. As if to prove my point, there are remixes on this album of "Serve You Only" and "I Appreciate" that come across as a breath of fresh air when compared to the other songs. This isn't necessarily because they're better versions, but because they sound that much different than the production of the other tracks. That said, the production is nevertheless sophisticated and well crafted. There's no denying Fred Hammond's skills as a producer and impresario, or Joann's talents as a vocalist and music minister.