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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

7 Days

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Oct
7 Days
Sounds like … a combination of R&B finesse and gospel fervor, reminiscent of Tonéx, J Moss, Dave Hollister, and Antonio NealAt a glance … not as compelling as all the hype preceding it, 7 Days is still a capable entry into urban gospel's ever-growing ranksTrack Listing 7 Days Intro … 7 Days Count Your Blessings Taxi Interlude Don't Go Heavenly Father Rest I'm the One Heaven Knows So Good to Be in Love Clap Your Hands Through It All Help Somebody Inspiration 7 Days Outro …

Much has been made of Deitrick Haddon's new album, 7 Days. Oft-associated with the "new guard" in contemporary gospel—Tonéx and Tye Tribbett also belong in that camp—Haddon has always had a knack for merging his choice style with strong R&B accents and thumping club beats. But with 7 Days, he chose to scale things back a bit, opting instead for a more soulful, slow-burning approach that falls into the urban-AC side of R&B music.

Verity Records used all sorts of adjectives and qualifiers in a press release describing the release—"gospel soul," "cutting-edge," "trendsetter," "blazing hot," "socially conscious"—you could've sworn this was the second coming of contemporary gospel music. Instead, what we have here is a demure set that's more meditative than anything in Haddon's typically in-your-face method. He wants to cater to the everyday man, bringing "the average person into the knowledge of God's love, mercy and grace."

To do that, Haddon brought in urban hitmakers Tim & Bob (Bobby Valentino, Tamia, Jennifer Lopez), and together they almost made a soul-music tour de force. All the ingredients are in place—the urban loverman's croons, the grooves, the soulful backup singers, the slow jams, even the classic sample (Haddon samples DeBarge's '80s hit "Stay with Me" on "Don't Go"). But the songs aren't all there, with a good portion of the album being so concerned with style that it loses sight of its own musicality.

That's not to say Haddon doesn't achieve his goals. There are times when he nails the gospel-soul hybrid impeccably, as in the mesmerizing "Heavenly Father" or "I'm the One" two tracks that ooze the cool of a Babyface production (the album was recorded at Brandon's Way, a studio Babyface owns in Los Angeles). But the where's or the who's of a recording aren't everything. Soul music needs soul—grit, passion, conviction. 7 Days has some of that, but not enough to beg to be heard.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.