Prime Cuts: Believe Again, Better, Voice of God
Gospel music has a long praxis stymied in family groups. Anchoring in the revered traditions of the Winans and the Hawkins, the Showers Family Group comprises of 10 real life siblings. The family caused a stir with their top-selling 2009 independent debut album 'Hear My Prayer.' Then they went on win the top industry honors from 'Rhythm of Gospel' to 'En-Sound' Awards, the album also courted acclaim from some of entertainment's most endeared critics. Now they have released their national debut which boasts Bruce Robinson, Jr. (Justin Bieber, Fantasia, Joshua Rogers), Myron Butler (Tamela Mann, Marvin Sapp) and Shawn Willis on the helm. And the album's lead single "Praise Your Way Through" has made its way through to the Top 30 on the Mediabase Gospel Songs Chart with an accumulative listening audience of over 1 million ears shortly after being christened Bobby Jones' October "Power Pick of the Month."
Unlike many Gospel albums which comprises of a couple of made-for-radio hit singles buried in a sea of interchangeable tracks, the Showers Family Group has made sure that each of these 10 songs have individuality of its own. Never one to be stifled by just one style, they have incorporated traditional Gospel, smooth Quiet storm R&B, jeep funk, string-laden AC, contemporary jazz and pop-centeric worship to make each song sound engaging yet maintaining its own individual characteristics. "Better," a call for personal and progressive sanctification, is easily the buzz song here. Featuring a smooth R&B sound with an inviting 60s Motown chorus feel, "Better" finds the siblings trading vocals with each other to great effect. However, one really can't comprehend why the original version of "Better" and its subsidiary remix version (which contains an added rap section from Canton Jones) appear back to back at the front end of the record. Wouldn't it be better if the remix version appears at the end of the record?
The album's lead single "Praise Your Way Through" accelerates the tempo a couple of notches incorporating an African tribal dance loop on what is an anthemic proclamation in the sovereignty of God through our sufferings. Prepare to have your box of Kleenex nearby when it comes to the tear-inducing "Believe Again." Anyone who has had suffered a setback in the faith will find "Believe Again" such a booster to the soul as the siblings sing with so much dynamism on this empowering ballad. "Voice of God" recalls those hook sinking Babyface ballads from the 90s with those gorgeous synth riffs. Rooted in Isaiah 40:31, the R&B flowing "Change is Gonna Come" speaks about the discipline of waiting on God rather than acting in haste and doubt. However, due to the song's constant chord progression, the siblings can sound a little off key when the song accelerates into the higher registers.
On many fronts, this isn't just your average Gospel album. The Showers Family Group have taken the care not to settle into one groove with floor sweeping recyclables. Rather, they have approached each song with individual attention making them work together to bring out their passionate and worship voices. The Showers Family Group is indeed a name to watch.
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