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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Your Will

  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Oct
Your Will
Sounds like … contemporary and traditional ensemble-based gospelAt a glance … Your Will is a mixed bag, with a few outstanding songs and several middle-of-the-road onesTrack ListingYour WillMy Mind's Made UpDanceGraceI Had to Trust YouLock DownHezekiah MindNo One but YouHigh Lift HimAmazingArrival at the CityMe AgainThis Is Your Land

For more than 20 years, Darius Brooks was a key part of the Chicago-based Thompson Community Singers, one of the most influential choirs in gospel music history. As the writer of songs like "Over and Over," "Safe in His Arms" and "My Mind's Made Up," Brooks was a major contributor to the success of the group. He's also worked with Shirley Caesar, Vickie Winans, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Your Will is his major-label debut.

Several tracks are re-releases of songs that appeared on Brooks' independent projects, Your Will and I Had To Trust You. Here, Brooks is joined by his vocal ensemble, SDM, from the Simply Darius Music organization, a talent discovery and mentoring organization he founded.

Without a doubt, the standout track on the album is the gripping, poignant pop-gospel "Your Will," which has a classic, timeless quality likely to make it a favorite among gospel choirs. Other highlights include "My Mind's Made Up," an upbeat remake; "No One But You," a tender, acoustic ballad; and the slightly jazzy "Amazing." Well-known musicians like Maurice Fitzgerald on bass, Jonathan Dubose on lead guitar and fellow Tommies alum Percy Bady contribute to tracks that would sound great even sans vocals.

Other songs on the album can be taken or left, with a few sounding dated—for example, "High Lift Him"—and others merely bland. Several tracks would sound better with a fuller vocal ensemble. SDM is serviceable, but sometimes sounds spare, lacking full power. Other times, they sound detached from what they're singing—almost bored. Your Will is a mixed bag, worth picking up only if you're a longtime fan of Brooks' work.