God @ Work

God @ Work

by ExcelsiorExcelsior


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The enormous success of impresario/producer Kirk Franklin's various hip-hop/gospel hybrid endeavors ensured that there would eventually emerge some wonderful imitators. Excelsior, an enormous vocal choir which performs under the songwriting and production leadership of multi-instrumentalist F. Darnell Davis, is so effective at capturing that vibe that the group often "out-Franklins" Franklin. The first track, "He Changed Me" -- featuring a chunky throbbing groove, vocal effects, and a powerful choir -- is like listening to Franklin's biggest hit, "Stomp," sideways. The only difference is that Davis' narration
ap is distant and filtered, rather than up front in the mix like Franklin's. Davis wrote or co-wrote many of the other lively, slickly produced jams here, most of which give various solo vocalists a chance to shine. Most effective of these are Jewel Green ("Keep Your Head Up"), Robert "Eddie" Robinson ("Prayer Changes Things," perhaps the disc's most emotionally compelling track), and David Hurst (the seductive, electric guitar-enhanced "Calvary"). There's a lot of stylistic variety, including rappers (Damon Washington over an acoustic guitar on "Hold On," Stacy Jones on "You're the One") and a spicy Latin instrumental jam ("Latin Praise"). Mostly, though, the approach is a powerful lead vocal backed by thick production tracks and an echoing choir. If you're hungry for the next Franklin opus, Excelsior will definitely keep you satisfied. But if God was really at work in this ensemble, wouldn't he have inspired a wholly original approach?

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2001
Label: Verity
UPC: 0012414317827
catalogNumber: 43178
Rank: 214142

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