Reviewed by Andy Cooper
This is Brenda's second album, who's main claim to fame is being co-founder and pastor's wife of the Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, California. So naturally the ministry aspect of this release is very strong: "With You" is about living with the love of Jesus, "O Taste And See" is straight from the Psalms, "Sweet Adoration" is indeed a song of adoration to our God. This album's producer is Levi Seacer Jr, who has previously worked with Sounds Of Blackness and Prince, so the quality is guaranteed: the rhythms are strong and funky, soulful brass and organ punctuate the grooves, and the bass lines go deep. But unfortunately the weakest link in the whole set is perhaps the most important: the lead vocals. Brenda is surrounded by so much songwriting, arranging, producing talent that it shows up her own lack a bit too much. Some computer trickery is brought into play to improve things, particularly in the ballads, but even so, she lacks the sparkle and presence needed to raise her above the fine foundation provided by her friends. Pitch is not a problem (though it's the easiest aspect to fix), but general ability of expression, dynamic range, confidence, pitch range and personality are all areas where more work is needed. It's like the finest, fruitiest wedding cake. . .with the plainest of decoration. So there's no great reason to make this purchase unless you have been touched by Brenda's ministry first-hand and are sure you would like more.
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