|Vashawn Mitchell is Back to Bless the Masses Again | Posted September 05, 2012
Vashawn Mitchell scored a colossal and impactful hit in "Nobody Greater." Although Mitchell had previous releases and he has written songs for many artists, "Nobody Greater" propelled him to one of the premier Gospel artists. So as a Gospel music fan, I would be tempted to look for a follow up song on his new release, Created4This. However, as a journalist and one who has followed Gospel music for a long time, I know that it is a lot to expect out of an artist. You want to see Gospel artists write songs for more than the purpose to score a "hit". He has grown and has new songs to share. Mitchell wrote the majority of the songs on the album. He, Phillip Feaster, and Calvin Rodgers worked together to produce a well-rounded album.
"Psalms 150" is a song that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The title makes it obvious that this will be an album of praise and adoration. It encourages you to join in and worship God, and it doesn't help to hear the instruments such as nice guitar work by Lawrence Jones and horns arranged by Lloyd Barry. "Faithful" is a driving number that is self-explanatory in meaning, but continues in the anthem of praise to God.
Often times, artists (including Gospel artists) will do a song that may crossover into another genre for the sake of gaining more fans or getting a "hit". Although there have been some great songs written, it does not seem authentic, even forced at times. With Mitchell, this is not the case. He tends to incorporate various styles with Gospel music being his basis. "Lost" has a pop rock feel as Joey Woolfolk's acoustic guitar weaves through the verses. Lehman Gray and Shemia Crawford step in to share lead vocal duties with Mitchell. Israel Houghton, a person who definitely knows about diversity in music, guests on the Contemporary Christian-styled, "Greatest Man." I just get a sense of triumph as they sing of God's greatness.
For those who are needing encouragement, sit back and listen to "Turning Around Me" and "His Record." The latter is just a good reminder that Jesus has the best track record so we can rest assure that he will come through for us. Mitchell and Clifton Ross so effortlessly ad-lib in a way that is so smooth and accents the song.
Fantasia Barrino (season 3 winner of American Idol) and her mother, Evangelist Diane Barrino, guests on the Walter Hawkins/Tremaine Hawkins classic, "The Potter's House." Of course with the Barrinos, you are going to hear some squalling, but they were not singing over one another. They did some good "sangin" on this, even adding their own touch to it. My favorite lyrics of this song says, "Give Him the fragments of your broken life, my friend / The potter wants to put you back together again." Selah.
Closing Thoughts:There are songs for the church, songs for Gospel music lovers, and songs to encourage those who just need that extra push or reminder. Vashawn Mitchell is a mainstay in the Gospel industry, and even underrated as a singer. For those who want to check out some Gospel-styled songs of praise and worship, pick up Created4this.
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