1 out of 5 party cups
I really hate the first Gospel album I’ve chosen to review is less than stellar in my opinion. Oh well. Sorry. Anyway. Let’s get after it.
Living legend Donald Lawrence has corralled the dynamic Tri-City Singers for a reunion album. I thought they retired but I guess that got bored and decided to slide in the studio. Let me just say I appreciate Donald Lawrence for his talent. He is one of Gospel music champions and no one can take that away from him. However, he should have taken a longer sabbatical before releasing his 13th album. My first question was, what is a Goshen? I never recalled hearing it in church and clearly I wasn’t digging in the word enough to be familiar with the term. Hmph! Shame on this heathen.
Deliver Me led by the powerhouse known as Le’Andria Johnson was the first song I heard from the album a few weeks before the full release. To my dismay, I was not sold! Don’t get me wrong, Le’Andria and Tri-City sound nice but the song doesn’t offer anything fresh. Gospel music has become predictable and dare I say stale while lacking creativity. The lyrical content was elemental.
The initial track Goshen Prayer was so off putting and left me with a stank face. It was like The Murrills were trying to tap into their African roots but it just sounds country and frankly speaking it was ugly. I love Sheri Jones-Moffett as she is always a great addition to any song. She is featured on the title track Goshen. The song bleeds of the signature Tri-City sound. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it before a pastor gets up to minister on any given Sunday in any black church. Now that talk box before the vamp was totally unnecessary. I will admit that Goshen is my favorite song from the album.
Many of the songs on the album are snoozers that don’t warrant another listen.
I am not suggesting that Donald Lawrence be the savior of choir songs but someone needs to take on the responsibility of bringing back great songs that choir directors can teach their choirs. The type of songs that will have you on your feet or make your granny have a full on Baptist fit. This album, like so many others from various artists, continue to lend themselves to a more contemporary vibe like the singles He Heard My Cry featuring Sir the Baptist and Arnetta Murrill-Crooms or Let My People Go featuring Tank and the Bangas. These songs tend to stray away from the theme of album. Additionally, they seem out of place and feel as though they should be on a different project. The talented Blanche McAllister-Dukes couldn’t even salvage The Voice of the Blood. Goshen as a whole, feels disjointed. It’s an afterthought that may fail to resonate with many Donald Lawrence fans.
I don’t know about Goshen. After my initial listen, I don’t want to go Goshen. I don’t drive through Goshen. If they selling catfish dinners in Goshen, I don’t want it. Don’t invite me no church service in Goshen because I ain’t coming. Miss me with happy hours in Goshen. I don’t want no parts of Goshen. Go away from me with Goshen!