STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 3987-4373 LABEL: Word 0688607920 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
The new look Anointed are now working as a duo following the exit of Nee Cee Walls who has gone off to pursue a solo career. Steve Greathouse and sister Da'dra Crawford Greathouse spent months praying about whether to continue and almost as long auditioning for a replacement singer before deciding to stay as a duo. It's been ages since their last, self-titled release and 'If We Pray' is once again top quality R&B with plenty of fine vocal performances and poppy hooks. The blend of voices is reminiscent of another sibling duo, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and it works really well. There's plenty of spiritual depth lyrically reflecting their recent return to Bible College and the usual fine selection of familiar R&B grooves. The title cut has the same sort of Latin undercurrents as "Under The Influence" whilst "One Fine Day" is an excellent example of how their intertwining vocals really cut it. For me though there are two songs that really get me every time. I just love "You'll Never Thirst", based on the story of the woman at the well and complete with a huge, gorgeous vocal from Da'dra. At the other extreme the explosive groove of "Rejoice" is supremely uplifting in the same manner as "Revive Us" from their last album. Other songs are also reminiscent of past Anointed glories: there's some acoustic soul on "Things I Wish" which has become a trademark sound of the band, and "That'll Do It" has a groovy funkiness about it. Now he's half a duo, it's great to hear more of Steve's sinuously soulful voice which just seems to get better with every album he makes. The only downer on the album is the inclusion of Steve's and Da'dra's children praying at various points. I guess it's probably conceived as cute but most Brits will find it distinctly OTT. Other than that, this is one hot R&B album!
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