STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11788-10562 LABEL: Verity 828765874427 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
This release proves once again Fred's place within gospel music's elite is well deserved. Producer/arranger and musician Hammond gives a contemporary soulful sheen to the 16 full-length tracks here, whilst also hinting at his roots with a few additional "interludes" of live, traditional gospel choruses. Most of the tunes are self-penned alongside co-writers and musically are built around Hammond's undeniably impressive bass-playing and programming. Vocally he brings to mind Stevie Wonder's later catalogue at times, a reference point not lost on Fred as one of the best tracks here is a version of Wonder's "Love's In Need". Other standouts include "Lord We Need Your Love" which features Pastor Marvin L Winans Sr and Brian McKnight, and the gentle "How Do You Love That Way", with some powerful imagery of God's amazing grace. A few offerings are forgettable or tend to meander somewhat (case in point, "A Closer Walk") and this tendency is not helped by Hammond's inclination to riff all over each song from the word go, rather than establish the melody and develop his vocals from there. However this is a small point and I have no doubt that 'Somethin' 'Bout Love' will be warmly received by Hammond fans and followers of the contemporary gospel scene alike.
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Over the last 20 years Fred Hammond has made a tremendous contribution to gospel music and sold over 1.5 million albums. His dynamic new release is full of fresh beats, profound words and impassioned vocals exploring the love between a man and his family, friends and God. With lyrics the church community will welcome and melodies his fans will adore, Fred Hammond's new CD is sure to have wide appeal. Includes: 'Lord we need your love, Closer walk, What can I give.'