Prime Cuts: The Stone is Rolled Away, When the Healing Comes, Uphill Climb
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
TaRanda Greene calls to mind the golden era of the 90s when Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey ruled the airwaves. These divas do not just sing. Rather, they take us on a ride, roller coasting through the extreme lows and the highs of notes. And when they crescendo right to the pinnacle, they hold us breathless as they linger for the longest time on those sky scraping notes. To be able to be transported to such an Everest is itself worthy of every cent we spent on the CD. Moreover, the array of variegated of emotions that such singers packed into each note are enough to leave us in absolute awe. Just when you think such an era is over, we meet TaRanda Greene. Greene may be a petite lady, but she sure has a big and booming voice. And like the aforementioned divas, she takes us on such rides.
If you need evidence of Greene's dynamism behind the microphone, take a listen to "When the Healing Comes." Be sure to put on your seat belts as she traverses softly and slowly as the song commences. The she starts building up her intensity and volume and she doesn't let us off until she hits the penthouse. A stellar cinematic piece, "When the Healing Comes" is purely epic. Her frequent involvement as a vocalist for the famed Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has been the influence behind "The Stone is Rolled Away." A track that could easily sit comfortably in the choir's canon, this power-packed choir backed-ballad gives worship to our resurrected Christ in glorious proportions.
Speaking of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, they join Greene on the album closer "He's Been Faithful." Everything seems spot on: from the use of strings to Greene's impeccable vocals, but the song is letdown by its melody which doesn't seem to have a strong enough hook for Greene and the choir to latch onto. The same can be said of "Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb." Much much better is "Uphill Climb." Here Greene takes on a more subtle and gentler disposition which is in accord with the more plaintive theme of finding hope in the midst of sufferings. Then Greene gets all funky with "Somebody Told Me About Jesus." Don't abort the song until you get to the end. The ending of the song is gold: here Greene packs in so much passion and excitement that it is simply contagious.
Programmers looking for a radio darling may want to take a listen to "New Kingdom Rising." Silencing all naysayers who may doubt Greene's ability to take on a contemporary pop-centric uptempo, Greene sounds so much in command as she celebrates Christ working his ways today. Nevertheless, the pride of this record is still in Greene's three dimensional vocals. Regardless of the songs' tempos or themes or styles, she shows that her voice is capable of bringing out the songs' nuances and meanings. This is a talent that is extremely rare today. So, get this CD and be awed by the Voice.