Prime Cuts: He Welcomes the Beggar, When God Shows Up, I Trust
11th Moment's brand new album feeds a lacuna in Gospel music that has been vastly ignored. Music should not be just a ministry to the ears. Rather, music should engage all our senses, particularly our sight. The pride of 11th Hour's brand new Sonlite/Crossroads album "What a Moment" is that it is a record made for both the ears and eyes. On the majority of these 10 tracks, you will find the Southern Gospel music team taking us back on a time warp back to the narratives of the Bible. Like piquant tour guides, they pinpoint details of these stirring narratives that we often miss in our haste. They overturn every stone of emotions as they allow us to stand in the shoes of these characters again, bringing out a new dimension to these stories we have often taken for granted. And most important, vicariously through the characters, we meet Jesus again. Such an experience of meeting the Savior again face to face is worth every penny of this CD.
11TH Hour comprises of Amber Eppinette, Grant Gibson, and Jaquita Lindsey. Together, they have already had multiple top 10 Singing News hits, including "Steppin' Out" and "Room With a View." Through their songs, some of which are written by group vocalist Amber Eppinette, their first and foremost desire is to tell people about Jesus. "Wait A Minute" follows on the heels of 2014's "Picture This." With Jeff Collins on the helm again, "Wait a Minute" features one original from Eppinette, one from Lindsey as well as the songs from some of the best scribes in the genre, including Dianne Wilkinson, Jason Cox, Kenna T. West, Lee Black, Regina Walden and many others.
As soon as the reels of the album starts rolling, the cameras are setup for a close shot of Peter as he meets Jesus on the shores of Galilee. "Mountain Moving Faith," with brassy horn blasts and its jumping melody, details Christ's challenge to Peter to walk on water. Yet, the primal value of this song is that it is so engaging that we feel as though Christ's challenge also extends to us. With its bluesy-Southern-funk feel, "Look at Me Now" finds the team joining in the celebration of the adulterous woman in John 4 forgiven by Jesus. "He's Alive and So I Am," despite the song's elusive melodic line, brings us to the greatest scene in history - the resurrection account of Jesus.
More movie-like Biblical scenes abound: the stirring string-laden ballad "He Welcomes a Beggar," a co-write by Eppinette, zooms us right into the euphoria of Lazarus (in Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man) as he is being welcomed into the arms of our Savior. Speaking of ballads, a trio of them "Love Still Holds the Scars," "When God Shows Up" and "I Trust" showcases the team's mettle with those big-sounding slowies. The way the ladies fluctuate the tenure of their voices from those heartfelt whispers to those sky-holding elongated notes bring out the drama of each of these tunes drawing us in actively in trusting our Lord. In short, "What a Moment" is an album that gives pause to our hectic schedules; it allows us to be lost again in the stories of God's holy writ where we get to meet Jesus again in ways that are so real, so refreshing, and so life-transforming.