Brian Courtney Wilson: Just Love (Deluxe Edition)

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Posted November 2, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Gospel crooner gets deluxe treatment on expanded set for debut album

Extended editions are primarily designed with two objectives in mind: 1) to keep an act out in the front until the next album drops and 2) to stretch an album’s life span on the charts. And with music labels scurrying to keep their rosters in shape and to get every ounce of life out of a previously-released album, it is becoming the norm to see these expansions on record shelves.

Inspirational gospel singer Brian Courtney Wilson gets something close to a modest revival of 2009’s Just Love with a newly-expanded deluxe edition, including a bonus 30-minute DVD featuring Wilson in action. Albeit jumbled and rearranged from the original playlist, everything from the first installment returns like the ol’ skool R&B title track, the jazzy “Monday’s Pain,” the Tommy Sims offering “Simply Redeemed” and the popular worship ballad “All I Need.” Four new songs are inserted into the deck including the previously-released “The Word,” produced by The Bama Boyz and originally seen on a 2006 Spirit Rising compilation. Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” also taken from a previous Music World release, attaches itself to the album’s end. As much as its been covered over the years and with Wilson’s version coming off as a lightweight modern reduplication of the 1970 classic, “This Christmas” is presented some forgiveness since Wilson’s vocals are closely reminiscent of the soul legend.

Of the greatest surprises on board, Wilson reprises his Windsor Village radio hit “Awesome God” (lifted from the church choir’s 2002 project). While its missing the live enthusiasm and spark of the original, Wilson breathes his silky soul voice once again into the Luke Mercer tune. Stan Jones’ production also gives the song a fervent pop gloss that may help it squeeze into urban contemporary or mainstream R&B radio formats.

I’m not really sure how Just Love sailed on tranquil waters without the new tracks enclosed this time around. Although the album stll feels a bit too cozy in its AC posturing, the bonus tracks easily give the original a much-needed ointment and a complete feel. Even if the inclusions are mostly leftovers and rarities taken from previous collections, it’s pleasant to see and hear an update on the ten-track original.

Those looking for a ballad-induced gospel version of Donny Hathaway, in the style of Will Downing, may need to be introduced to the warm, cozy mature vocals of Brian Courtney Wilson.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 05 October 2010
  • Label: Music World
  • Producers: Stan Jones, Bama Boyz, Brian Courtney Wilson, Leon Lewis
  • Track Favs: Awesome God, Simply Redeemed, The Word, Already Here

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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