Some 23 years and now 12 albums later, Walker has created a catalogue of music that has become the stalwart of church choirs everywhere. After a three-year recording layoff, the accomplished pastor and newly consecrated bishop returns to the recorded scene with his established choir on their 13th release titled Souled Out.
Running twelve tracks deep, Walker and LFC return with their trademark New York funk coupled with some new twists and turns. Famed producer Donald Lawrence returns to head the production efforts, handling eleven of the album’s twelve tracks. Walker gets help from other industry friends who lend their talents to the effort.
Labelmate Marvin Sapp and DJ Rogers, Sr. lend their vocals to the urban ballad, “God Favored Me, Part II”. In addition, Tri-City Singer alumni Blanche McCallister-Dykes, Latrice Pace, and DeWayne Woods add their vocals to that of the powerful LFC aggregation.
Yet, the strength of any Hezekiah Walker album is always found in the material and its delivery. Certainly this album delivers.
Walker revisits “It Shall Come to Pass”, originally recorded on the “Live In London” effort, some twelve years ago. This time, Walker adds Shawn McLemore on lead vocals on the song’s reprise, making it another classic recorded moment.
Paying homage to his Tri-State roots, Walker gives a worth cover to the Sunday morning classic, “Oh Give Thanks”, penned and originally recorded by Craig Hayes & The United Voices.
Staying in the Sunday morning vein, is “Triumph (Already Done)”, the upbeat dance cut featuring Suzette Montgomery on lead vocals.
You can’t afford to miss the trademark Walker grooves such as “All of My Help” and the title cut.
New and exciting ground is covered as Walker and LFC move into the pop arena with the infectious and soon to be classic “You’re All I Need”. Another can’t miss is “Moving Forward”, penned by Israel Houghton and Ricardo Sanchez. Sanchez handles lead duties and helps showcase the vocal dexterity of Walker and LFC.
Once again, Walker and LFC deliver another gem of a project. Showing comfort in both the familiar and new areas, Walker and LFC remain leaders within this genre and cement that with this effort. Souled Out is destined to be another sell out at local stores. It’s another definitive add to your musical collection.
Production: Donald Lawrence, Clarence Singleton, Hezekiah Walker
album release date: Nov 4, 2008
– reviewed by Gerard Bonner for Gospelflava.com –