Monday, April 16, 2012
REVIEW: Andrea Helms "Moving Forward"
1) The Heavens Are Telling – No, I haven’t made a mistake, this isn’t the Karen Clark-Sheard joint…. But I need to go back at listen to that again (been a while). Either way, this selection does a solid job of showing off the natural vocal ability of Andrea as she compliments the choir backing her. This seems like it will be direction that you’ll see from her as an artist as she grows and moves forward. Vocally, the song is strong although it tapers off towards the end. A track like this leaves you desiring to see how versatile an artist like Andrea can actually be…. Hopefully we’ll see in the upcoming songs
2) Yesterday – This song is Andrea’s rendition of the recently authorized classic “yesterday” made famous by MaryMary. Again, this is another solid vocal outing for Andrea and does a good job of showcasing her ability to maintain attention as a vocal lead. I tend to wonder aloud with artists and songs like this if it is really her style coming through or the best option given to her by handlers.
3) Because of Who You Are – Yes, this is the same Vicki Yohe song that you were probably expecting after seeing the title. If you heard her sing this song on the actual show, you shouldn’t expect anything different on this rendition. They do a few interesting things to change the tempo and musicality of the actual song, but in the end this serves as a serviceable interpretation of the original.
4) Moving Forward – You have to understand what CD’s like this really are: it’s a showcase. After being introduced to the world on a show like Sunday’s Best, the artist is usually presented back to the listening community as an amalgamation of what you saw from them on the show, same songs, same style, same everything. I fear that in the process you tend to lose who the artist, in this case Andrea Helms, is individually as an artist and musical talent. I wonder if she writes as well, would love to see it.
5) Encourage Yourself – I was hoping that this would be the Deitrick Haddon & VOU version of this song from the “Supernatural” album (it’s not, although we all need to go back and listen to that project… it was a good one, trust me). I believe this is the version popularized by Donald Lawrence and his choir. I REALLY WANT TO HEAR AN ORIGINAL SONG, or maybe that’s just me being selfish. Same feel as the other songs…. Great vocally, not much of a stretch from the other material.
6) Changed – Tramaine Hawkins, everyone. See I tell you, Albums like this are easy to review. You listen to this version, cross-reference with the original and thumbs up or thumbs down to the newer version. Thumbs up.
7) I Love The Lord – First thought, the choir is doin’ it on this track. I’m certain this was added post Whitney Houston trauma. Am I allowed to make jokes or make light of this song without being offensive? Any dig that I would rightfully have towards to this song would be misconstrued as a dig towards Whitney Houston herself, and I want no part of that. I’m not popular enough to withstand the backlash.
Interesting Note: Andrea Helms is an artist of the Music World Label featuring fellow Sunday Best Alum Le’Andria Johnson. Both Andrea and Le’Andria (names are suspiciously similar, don’t you think) starred in a stageplay of “Perilous Times II” in the most important city in the world: Jacksonville, FL (my hometown).
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