Thursday, February 2, 2012

REVIEW: Fred Hammond "God, Love, & Romance"

What better way to start the new month than by doing a music review of one of our favorite Christian artists and a true pioneer in music. In the month of love (barely edging out my birthmonth July) I’m going to take some time and recap my listening session of Fred Hammond’s God, Love, and Romance. Now when I say take some time I really mean it because this is a double CD with a collective 34 tracks to go through. So let’s get right to it…

DISC 1

1) Write Something For Us - No! Next track…

2) When I Come Home To You – The previous track was a decent intro skit though, I just couldn’t help myself. This track however is a full song, and I like it. This project is necessary one in the vein of Kim Burrell’s “The Love Album” brought alive more with a storyline, skits, etc. Think of it as a movie or TV drama in CD form.

3) Jacob’s Love – Again, think of this project as a movie in CD form, in that respect I feel it could be groundbreaking. I will say though, my first reaction when the guy’s voice comes in reading Genesis out of nowhere is “Oh Snap! what happened?”

4) I’m In Love With You – Don’t you like songs that before the singer even starts singing you start jamming out to what you think the chorus will sound like even though you’ve never heard it before. Tight song, and a highlight track for me and we are only 4 tracks in….that’s always a great sign.

5) How A Man Loves A Woman – Once again, the guy with the voice for the win. Imagine the AllState commercial guy reading Genesis, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon on a CD. Women would love it and men would be thrown off every time the voice came on.

6) You Are My Love Come True - Songs like this are becoming a necessity for couples trying to do the right thing God’s way in love and life. As a young man, I think it’s important to invest in music like this that you can play with your wife that will be God glorifying and build your relationship simultaneously.

7) The Proposal – Just to say it again, that last song was #RealFire. “The Proposal” is just as hot at the end of the day. So far, I’m really digging the sound of this project. If you are looking for the standard Fred Hammond on this project you won’t get it BUT you will like what you get instead.

8) Love Will Find You – I have something against hearing crowds respond and react to things in coffee shop/open mic night settings. Just not a fan, not sure why.

9) Face It All – Beautiful song. This one is more of a ballad about true love that fits perfectly with the mood and flow of the project so far. Expect to hear this at many wedding receptions from here on out, as well as the rest of the CD as well.

10) Easier – It’s hard to review a project like this track by track and not be completely repetitive. This is another beautiful song and a perfect compliment to “Face It All”. For somebody normally not too hype about the slow ballad thing, I am into each one of these songs as they develop within the context of the entire album.

11) SOS 4:7 / Proverbs 31:10-12 – Seeing these scripture references as the title of this track, I knew what was coming here. I prefer to know when the AllState guy voice is coming so I know how to adequately prepare for it. This brother should be doing High Point Coffee commercials.

12) You’re So Beautiful – This song is straight out of Song of Solomon, single and saved women across will be using this as their “getting ready” song as they prepare to attend Friday Night Young Adult Services across the nations.

13) Pulling Up At The Crib – Let me tell you how my mind works, I read this title and automatically was a fan of whatever was going to happen next.

14) My Lady and Myself – This album is telling a great story, it’s wild that I am 14 tracks into a 34 track project and I’m glued into what is happening next. This track especially tells a good story and one that is lived out in relationships every day, it’s fantastic to hear a song from this perspective.

15) Give It Up For the Band – give it up for the band.

16) My Love Is Real – this feels slightly like a Commissioned song in many ways, or perhaps I’m just saying that because there is a male lead that’s not Fred Hammond on lead vocals. All this song needs is Marvin Sapp or John P. Kee to come in on the chorus.

17) Radio Fred – Why is it so uncomfortable when Christian people talk about their relationships? I guess it’s a necessary thing, it still weirds everybody out though.

18) One More Try – This song serves as the finale of the first CD, but don’t worry the story continues for 16 more chapters over on Disc 2. Good song for all of those “I’m So Sorry” brothers out there.

DISC 2

1) Put On Your Good Shoes – I’m going to start by saying that this album has been as entertaining as it has been uplifting gospel. With “Put On Your Good Shoes” the story continues…

2) I Am Not Alone – Very good song, a nice pick-me-up type of track that will make you bounce a little bit. It’s good to know that God will never allow you to be alone as He gives us friends, family, and His Holy Spirit to accompany us during discouraging times. I like this song, I dig it.

3) I See The Sunshine’n – Remember Young Ladies, whenever you’ve faced a tough breakup, all you need is “your girls and the mall”. Guys, when you’ve faced a tough breakup, all you need is the mall and some girls in that mall to pay you a little of unnecessary attention. Lesson learned, thanks Fred.

4) Better Love – Just to start things off the “Better Love” Fred is talking about in this song is the love of God. It seems as if on this half of the project Fred transitions from speaking primarily of the horizontal love between two people to presenting the vertical love between man and God and how they are meant to compliment one another seamlessly.

5) I Feel Good – I can’t seem to remember the song that they sample to provide the core of this track, but if you can PLEASE put it in the comments section because it will drive me crazy and it will drive you crazy too if you can’t remember it. I’m a big fan of this track overall, this 2nd CD has been one steady groove so far.

6) I Got A Good Woman – This track is very true to life, one of the funnier things in all of life is two brothers talking about their respective relationships’ to each other. This track isn’t meant to be comical and in its very nature is not funny, but I always laugh because I think that women would be surprised at the depth and vulnerability that many men speak with regarding the women in their lives.

7) Amazing Love – For those of you looking specifically for that classic Fred Hammond singing lead with a chorus behind him are sure to find that Fred in Disc 2 of this journey. Love this album so far, EXTREMELY CONSISTENT.

8) Let’s Take a Minute – Another crowd in a coffee shop track. Let’s take a minute then move to the next song. If you’ve kept track, my biggest complaint with this album is a “crowd in a coffee shop”, what an awesome testimony to how great this album is so far. I just don’t like how “Love Jonesy” coffee shops are.

9) I Will Lift Him Up – “Ahhhhhhhhhh…. SMASH!” If you’re really a Fred Hammond supporter you know he has a history of saying some pretty random yet incredible exclamatory statements at the beginning of song. Never know what you’re going to get in the first 5 seconds, and you know what, that’s his brand. It’s very easy to enjoy this song.

10) So You Just Gone Leave – This album is taking me through so many emotional highs and lows, all of my comedic and sarcastic comments are just a cover for the barrage of emotions that I’m forcing to stay inside for right now. Now that I’ve admitted that, we can move forward…

11) You Never Turned – Very simple song but it sticks; like I said before, many of the songs you’ll hear on this disc will remind you of the songs you’ve heard from Fred before without being too repetitive or familiar. I wonder what happened to Radical For Christ, that’s your homework, somebody go find them.

12) Call On Him – Ok, so this song starts with a little auto-tune and I didn’t really know how to react to it at first, so I just let it play through and I’ll determine my feelings later. There is a J.Moss sounding brother on this song, there are quite a few of them out there now… wait, is that actually J.Moss. One time for J.Moss opening doors for all of the brown-skinned brothers that’s trying to make it as Gospel singers. I’m not a singer, but I’m down for anybody making moves for our brown-skinned movement ( all the “not light or dark skinned brothers”, we in the middle of the Afro-American spectrum).

13) He Lives – This is the live album version of this song, and it’s wonderfully done. A music listener can really appreciate the time and care that Fred puts into the minor details of his music. High quality stuff with this track, this is a great alternative rendition of his hit song; I would have loved to be there, sounds like a great concert experience.

14) You’re Gonna Make It – Hey, this song right here is not real complicated and you might not even shout off this one or bob your head back and forth or nothing like that, because it’s not for everybody. It’s just for those that are going through and need to be encouraged. Everything I said before this sentence is just the intro that Fred gives for the song, James Fortune is also featured.

15) Love Song To The Lamb – This is another fitting outro/finale to the musical journey that Fred and his team took us one throughout this album. If I haven’t said it yet through this album review I think that this is an exceptional project that will do a lot to provide a necessary piece of music/media to the genre. I love albums that tell a story and are not just a bunch of good songs bunched together.

16) Girls Night Out/ Out Take – AWWW MAN, I was wrong, THIS IS THE FITTING OUTRO TO THIS PROJECT. I THOUGHT WE WEREN’T GOING TO HEAR THE ALLSTATE VOICE DUDE AGAIN FOR THE WHOLE PROJECT. I was complaining about him, but when he wasn’t on the entire second CD I was beginning to wonder what happened to him. Well, there it is.

Interesting Note: Let’s take time to remember the dude Don Cornelius, whose recent apparent suicide reminds us that people need Christ to fully cope with the troubles of this life and gain peace that passes understanding. Keep his family and friends in prayer. ... “…and you can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!"

Follow Him at @RealFredHammond
Follow Me at @JavonSL

Always Follow God.

*Please remember to visit CAnthony Entertaiment at CanthonyEntertainment.com for any of your artists booking needs.

2 comments:

  1. Some sequences in I Feel Good remind me of Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover. Great CD tho!

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  2. I enjoyed your review of this album I too was surprise by the different direction Mr. Hammond went in but I am glad he did very good. I was also wondering what happen to RFCJ the last two have had Warehouse or maybe three.

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