Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir - Family Affair

Tuesday 1st February 2000
Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir - Family Affair
Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir - Family Affair

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Verity 1241431322

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

We've got used to Hezekiah Walker and his huge choir and mass vocals and stomping bits of gospel and al first sight, this appears to be more of the same -good stuff and everything but a bit vieux chapeau as the French might say - but then something happens! During the reprise of "Ain't Nobody Like Jesus" the song takes a sudden leap into red hot soulful gospel with a few urban grooves creeping in. Now there's a surprise! And that's just the beginning. "The Will Of God" is a swaying gospel feast, "Wonderful Is Your Name and "Never Leave Me Alone" and a couple of other songs could easily have been on any previous Walker album and polished though they are, they add nothing new. "I've Got A Reason" is a hand clapping, feet stomping slab of gospel happiness and then suddenly here comes the change! A few studio tracks and some are absolute crackers! "Let's Dance" is a bit of R&B that will get you up on your feet and incorporates a fat groove, some fine vocals and even a rap! Now that makes a refreshing change! "Give 'Em Your Life" is a slinky piece of percussive urban funk that just shows the Kirk Franklin factor has kicked his peers up the bum and into action. And to finish off the album, a wonderful ballad "Finally" where Walker talks Franklin fashion and no less than Blackstreet contribute a pile of juicy soulful vocals. Just gorgeous. This is a hybrid of an album and on the strength of the studio tracks here maybe Walker can totally break with the live album scenario and make a total leap into streetwise R&B gospel with his next release. This halfway house is a good indication of what could be - but it's not there yet!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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