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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Sep
Sounds like … traditionally rooted, choral gospel for fans of Richard Smallwood and Sounds of BlacknessAt a glance … a pleasurable listen from a group with the rare versatility to capture several musical styles well, marred a bit by badly programmed/mixed drumsTrack ListingEven MeWon't He Make a Way Somehow?Blessing MeStandin'TogetherWorthyThere Is No WayIt Is a Good ThingIn the FaceHe Took My Sins AwayStay In the RaceKeep a Preachin' the WordI'm Not FinishedJesus Is a Rock

Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music's Standin' showcases the Washington, D.C. based choir's unusual versatility, with sounds including spirituals, R&B/pop and traditional Sunday-morning sounds.

Opening track "Even Me," a breathtaking choral arrangement of the traditional spiritual, begins with a sense of solemnity and builds dramatically, verse by verse. Fulsome strings, a bell and nature sounds, coupled with exceptional vocal dynamics, give it a sense of drama that belies the simplicity of the words, turning the title phrase into one alternately plaintive and bold.

"Won't He Make a Way Somehow?" features LeJeune Thompson's lead on a gutsy, uptempo gospel R&B number reminiscent of Sounds of Blackness. "Blessing Me" continues the fun party vibe, but retains the choir feel and showcases a nice blend. "Together" is a high-energy, processional-friendly song that highlights one of the choir's distinctives: their sound has more energy than most choirs, but it's well channeled. The exuberance here doesn't replace the professionalism and high quality that are evident even on a first listen.

"There Is No Way" is a goosebump-inducing cover worthy of the Tommies, and "In the Face" is soothing and sweet. Also check out the title track, as well as "Keep A Preachin' the Word" and the lovely "Stay In the Race."

The album is marred by overzealous drum programming on several tracks that gives these potential classics a dated feel. It's intrusive and distracting, and the choir just doesn't need it to sound good. They've got an amazing sound, leads are strong, and the group's versatility more than rivals most of the major-name choirs out there.