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A Piece of My Passion

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
A Piece of My Passion
Sounds like … overly produced adult contemporary pop with hints of soul and gospel, most reminiscent of CeCe Winans, LaShun Pace, Yolanda Adams, Sandi Patty, and Celine DionAt a glance … this is a passionate effort, but excess and sameness keep this multifaceted auteur from delivering a distinguishable albumTrack ListingDisc One: Break Forth Praise Above All Else Heart's Desire You Are Great Psalm 23 Holy Jesus, What a Wonder He's a Wonder in My Soul Yes My Soul Seeks to Please Him Change (feat. Myron Williams)Disc Two: Any Crown You Are You Are I Will Wait for You We Wait I Don't Mind Waiting Overflow My Life Wonderful Is Your Name

Speaker, media personality, bestselling author and self-proclaimed prophetess Juanita Bynum can now add to her résumé the title of "gold-selling recording artist," as A Piece of My Passion recently hit that mark. Released on her own Flow Records imprint, it's unclear how the effort has so quickly climbed the upper echelons of the Christian and gospel music charts, but it's probably due to branding and name recognition more than anything else.

No stranger to the realm of recorded music, she has toured with Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary, and has two other worship albums—Morning Glory I and II—under her belt. And with A Piece of My Passion, she furthers this side gig with grandiosity and overindulgence, a formidable two-disc set with a lot of music. Though opener "Break Forth Praise" gives the proceedings a churchy, gospel-tinged false start, this collection is definitely not a gospel record. More ballad-heavy than anything else, this Passion's 19 tracks all brim with orchestrated splendor and drama, as if Barbra Streisand or Celine Dion had suddenly found God.

The music is fine as far as adult contemporary pop is concerned, but it is too over-the-top—oversung, overlong, overblown, oversized. Bynum can certainly sing—think a cross between LaShun Pace and an understated CeCe Winans—but most of the time she does in a way that exaggerates the simplicity of the source material, which curiously consists of obscure selections from the likes of Jason Upton, Hillsong Australia, Stephen Hurd, and Vicky Beeching, among others. Take the Hurd track, "Overflow," which extends for 17-plus minutes of vocal, choral, and symphonic showboating. It's quite a daunting listen, one that grows more homogenous and indistinguishable with every spin.

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