STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20938-11662 LABEL: Verity 828768817629 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Simon Redfern
Fred is a heavyweight in more ways than one and the songs on his latest album, recorded live in his new home city of Dallas, Texas, have that magical bit of spice that makes a massive difference in separating it from the bounds of mediocrity. If you've yet to be exposed to the sheer exuberant joy and passion of African American worship this is a great place to start. Each track has a sense of individuality about it which is very unusual to find in any musical genre, such as "L.O.U.D." which has a great dance beat, "Lord Your Grace" which is far more chilled-out with some highly effective gospel vocal backing, and "No Greater Love" which is so laid-back, it's horizontal! Musically this is well produced and even though Fred has a substantial band and complement of backing vocalists, the offering is never overdone. The lyrics are highly original and combined with some funky bass lines plus great vocals from the man himself (occasionally reminding me of Alexander O'Neal), this is a worthy addition to any CD collection. The three track live DVD is very professional and an added bonus.
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For Fred Hammond it has been that kind of year. The end of 2005 saw his first co-executive produced movie The Gospel become both a hit movie and a soundtrack. Then he moved lock, stock and recording studio from his home town Detroit, Michigan to Dallas, Texas. In addition, his brand new release this year marks the 25th anniversary of Fred’s career as a recording artist.
According to those in attendance at TD Jakes Potter’s House Church in Dallas in April, it was a praise party like no other. The reason was clear, Fred Hammond was recording his new CD and DVD, Free To Worship.
Joining Fred Hammond on stage that night were several gospel and R&B luminaries. A special highlight on Free To Worship is the duet Fred did with Ruben Studdard, Just a Closer Walk.