Jevon D. Brock & Restoration: Urgent Messages

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Posted September 13, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

jevonbrock00Stirring gospel choir vocals attracts, vocal leads distracts on new project from 11-member ensemble

The influence of Chicago and Detroit gospel choirs reigns heavily on Jevon D. Brock and his group Restoration. The eleven-member ensemble, small in number, are still full-throttle singers; seasoned with big sweeping harmonies and noticeable doses of vibrato. They’ve been hanging on the wings of three independent album releases (Beyond Limitations, 8 and Another Opportunity). Now with their fourth, Urgent Messages, the Milwaukee-based group are remaining consistent with their gospel ministry as a buzz indie.

Although small in stature, they prove to be highly capable of the big gospel choir offerings – proving just that on spunky uptempo contemporary gospel (“All Things,” “Look Up”) and on Sunday morning workouts (“Jesus Is Coming Back,” “Nothing’s Too Hard for God”). Breathtakingly added to the mix is the soulful Crockpot burner “No Questions Added;” which slowly moves from serenading traditional gospel into a powerhouse performance primmed and ready for someone like Beverly Crawford. Wisely inserted into the dominant gospel tunes, “Cry Out” proves to be one of the better mood adjusters with its calm acoustic guitar plunks and Thomas Whitfield-influenced vamp.

What hurts the album the most, although it is an evidently fast-paced offering, is its heavy burden for stronger and better lead vocals. Some of the songs are loaded with playlist potential, yet some of the leads, probably caught up in the logistics of the live recording setting, stand in dire need of extra studio overdubs and a better mix. In the right hands, “Nothing’s Too Hard for God” or “No Questions Asked” could have been, without any question, superb radio singles. Thankfully, the choir, I mean group, has “All Things” to fall back on. It’s the perfect reminder that the best gospel choir music, like Rev. Milton Brunson’s Thompson Community Singers proved on “Great Things” or “Jesus Rose,” doesn’t need the reliance of lead vocalists.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 05 May 2010
  • Label: Brock Music Group
  • Producers: Jevon D. Brock
  • Track Favs: All Things, No Questions Asked, Cry Out

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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