Prime Cuts: Higher Place, Famous, Testify
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
Few acts can cross-pollinate genres with ease and success as Angelo and Veronica. In a culture of segregation where black Gospel radio and the rest of CCM have tacit lines drawn between their artists and songs, Angelo and Veronica were one of the first artists to have hits in both camps. In fact, when they were first scoring hits right left and center in the Gospel charts, few radio personalities even realized they were not blacks. Not only was the husband and wife team successful in crossing racial boundaries, they were able to impact beyond the bounds of religious music. Back in the 90s, when Diane Warren was having her name credited to copious #1 hits such as Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," she even requested that the duo cut one of her compositions. Privy to devoted fans, Angelo and Veronica have even cut a scintillating version of Celine Dion's "The Prayer" that remains one of their finest performances to date.
"The Truth" is the couple's first album together since their 2009's "Still in Love." Though Veronica has had been releasing her own solo albums and a new biography since 2009, this is their much anticipated new album together in eight years. However, instead of resorting to today's (mainly) tuneless templates, "The Truth" is filled with lots of richly textured melodic songs. "Testify," one of the album's outstanding cuts, finds Veronica showcasing her multiple octave reaching vocals. Here she takes the time to nuance each syllable with emotions on what is a superior power ballad. Calling to mind the 90s divas like Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston, "Famous" is beat-driven R&B ballad that functions as a prayer to make God big in our lives.
Then the duo go back to their Gospel roots with the hand clapping "My God is Better than Your God." Angelo and Veronica show they aren't locked into any genre with the guitar heavy rock influenced "Bold." Lest impressed though "Don't Worship Your Worship," there's something cringe-worthy about the lyrics that make this song sounds amateurish. While Veronica is an outstanding songbird by herself, her hubby doesn't trail too far behind. Angelo really shines on the touching "Abba Father." An A+ song that demonstrates both depth and dimension, you can feel the love of the Father brimming on the surface of each note that Angelo puts his voice to.
Two of their earlier hits get reprised: "Higher Place" and "God Knows." "God Knows" has some of the earmarks of 90s CCM where songs drag on longer than they ought to be in order to accommodate the message. Much better is their signature hit "Higher Place." Long before worship music was cool, the duo have already know how to worship in ways that draw all of us in with them.