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Sounds like … contemporary choir music featuring elements of R&B, with the occasional classical influenceAt a glance … a fitting send-off for one of gospel's best-loved choirs, Finale also seems packaged to force listeners to purchase both CD/DVD setsTrack ListingAct One The Blessing of Abraham You Are an Heir Giants Intro Giants Praise Break God (featuring Erica McCullough) These Nails Intro These Nails (featuring Blanche McAllister) Medley: Never Seen the Righteous Personal Friend I Walk with the King Stranger I Am God (featuring Arnetta Murrill-Crooms) O' Peter Cast Your Cares (featuring LeJuene Thompson) When Sunday Comes (featuring Daryl Coley)Act Two The Blessing of Abraham Encourage Yourself God Is Intro God Is (featuring DeWayne Woods) Matthew 28 Intro Matthew 28 Better (featuring The Murrills) Medley: God's Favor (featuring LeJeune Thompson, Sheri Jones-Moffett & Blanche McAllister When the Saints Go to Worship (featuring Erica McCullough) Bless Me (featuring Sharla Byrd) And Yet I'm Still Saved (featuring LaShun Prince) Seasons (featuring Walter Hawkins) It's Your Time (featuring Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, Darwin Hobbs & Karen Clark-Sheard) The Best Is Yet to Come
Recorded live last November, Finale represents the end of a 15-year collaboration between Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, a group whose dramatic vocal styles, interesting arrangements and ability to incorporate both R&B and choral music into traditional gospel makes them among the best representatives of the modern gospel choir tradition. New songs like the choral "Matthew 28"; "God Is," a jazz-inflected song that refers to, then expands on, the gospel classic; "Giants," reminiscent of an '80s-era mass choir; and "These Nails," featuring a deep, gorgeously full lead, remind us of the breadth and depth the Tri-City Singers brought to the industry. Medleys including favorites like "Never Seen the Righteous," "Stranger," "I Am God" and "When the Saints Go to Worship" remind us just how badly they'll be missed. Several gospel greats join the group to reinterpret Tri-City classics.
Act One and Act Two are being sold as two separate albums, each packaged with a live DVD of half of the final conference. Also available is the entire set, packaged as a limited collector's edition with liner notes. A listener's decision whether to purchase Finale—or to stick with 2003's The Best of: Restoring the Years—really depends on his or her level of fandom. Those who need everything the group's done—or who have just discovered the Tri-City Singers—will prefer the limited edition. If it's important to you to hear Tri-City's new material, well, it's pretty evenly split between Act One and Two, forcing you to purchase both. Listeners who are most interested in the groups' collaborations with celebrity gospel guests like Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Walter Hawkins will prefer Act Two.