Somethin' 'Bout Love
- reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Jun
- I Know It Was the Blood (interlude)
- Celebrate (He Lives)
- Not Just What You Say
- Praise Belongs to You
- Lord We Need Your Love
- God Is a Good God (interlude)
- Loved on Me
- A Closer Walk
- I Will Find a Way
- Love's in Need
- Your Love Is
- I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord (interlude)
- That's Why
- It Just Gets Sweeter
- What Can I Give
- Your Love Is a Wonder
- How Do You Love That Way
- Make Time for Love
- Your Name Is Jesus
Fred Hammond's latest album,
The way people see this album will depend on their point of view. For some, this album is more of the now-familiar style of R&B-flavored, funky-but-reflective gospel and praise-and-worship music Hammond pioneered. While there's nothing with the live energy of "Daily Bread" or "That Ain't Nuthin'" from
Others will see
"I Will Find a Way" is easily the most compelling song on the album. It's written from the viewpoint of one who finds his life broken, yet retains hope. Lyrics include: "I've lost some joy/ I've lost some time …/But I will find a way to lift up my hands/I will find a way to worship you Lord/And though my heart is low …/I will find a way to love you more." Beginning with piano and soft strings, the song has a pop feel and builds to a pained but hopeful triumph. "Make Time for Love" is perhaps the most heartbreaking, focusing on the need for a husband and wife to cherish their relationship.
That's not to say the album is focused only on woundedness. "Not Just What You Say" has a strong message for such a laid-back, easy groove. "Praise Belongs to You" features rumbling, funky bass, soaring background vocals, sweet percussion, and a cool, split vamp. "Loved on Me" is an amazing blend of traditional and new classic sounds, featuring meaty lead and guest appearances by Marvin Winans Jr. and Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell. It alternates between a retro, quartet-style chorus and a channel tinged with hip-hop.
Marvin Winans, Sr. and Brian McKnight join Hammond for "Lord, We Need Your Love," and Musiq and Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir guest on a sleek version of Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need." Hammond's version includes verses reflecting on current events. Protégé JoAnn Rosario makes an appearance on "Your Love Is." Easy trumpet, prominent percussion, and dreamy vocals give "That's Why" a light, retro feel. "A Closer Walk" has a meditative sensibility.
On the more uptempo side, "It Just Gets Sweeter" and "Your Love Is a Wonder" are light and danceable (although it feels a little weird to have Hammond singing dancing directions on the former). The album includes several interludes, presumably from Hammond's Worship Alive tour. They don't add much, but do provide a touch of more traditional gospel.
There's enough that's new and fresh to make up for the occasionally slow pacing. If you're a diehard fan, you'll definitely want to add