#MusicReview: ‘Ruins’ by Mandisa
#MusicReview: My Favourite Versions of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ Circa Kim Weston, as well as by Brandon Camphor and Oneway
#Events: Say Hellurr to Events in the month of June and July!
In celebration of Juneteenth (19th June), I present my favourite renditions of Lift Every Voice. Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of African Americans who were enslaved in the United States. The hymn lift every voice was composed as a poem
as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and set to music by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson.
Kim Weston, the first ever pop star to record ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’, chants the Black National Anthem at the 1972 Watts Stax benefit concert in Los Angeles, to a race of people, beautiful both in suffering and in thriving.
There are trumpets at the beginning, and her vocalising on D major has a reggae flavour, much like Bob Marley’s. Her intense vibrato throbs and pulsates through all three verses of the anthem. Weston indeed growls with heavy passion, in complement to the chimes of the organ, which is also intensified with the bass as the song fades out. My favourite notes are do ‘Do re me se la’ at ‘facing the rising sun’. I love how her voice bounces off the time signature as the instruments give a beautiful chord progression. The clip from Martin Luther King is inspiring, bring me to tears.
The rendition of Lift Every Voice by Brandon Camphor and Oneway is on E flat major. The group’s lovely chemistry, with yummy oohs in the mixed voice at the beginning is evident, with their group singing sonorously in chest voice, and then every member getting thechance to freestyle, belting and doing riffs and runs. The employment of dynamics throughout the song is very nice. I love the fact that this is an awesome addition to the different deliveries of the age old Black National Anthem.
The promised land in Martin Luther King’s time was about equal civil and political rights for blacks. Prior to that, it was literally about freedom for black peoples who were under the yoke of slavery. It was an arduous journey, but God was with us every step of the way, as Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation freeing slaves was enacted in 1863, and effected in all states by 1865. Today, it’s about the protection of black lives from unjust killings by police officers, as well as against general prejudicial behaviour against black peoples.
God is concerned and pained by everything that concerns and pains us. (Hebrews 4:15) Sometimes, it may feel as if God isn’t doing anything about certain things, but we must remember that the earth belongs to man and for God to act, we must ask him to. Therefore, we must pray. We must ask him to show new ways to attack this subject and bring out practical solutions. We need to ask for better and more effective ways to go about activism for legislature and behavioural changes.
Do you see the promised land in this situation?
Hey Guys, it’s two months of live concerts! No more being cooped up in the house for lockdown reasons. Looking for fun vibey christian events in the month of June? Check them out below
The amazing praise and worship power house, Bukola Bekes will be ministering at a worship concert at the Covenant Place on Monday 14th June at 4pm.
Catch Ada Ehi on Sunday Jun 27 2021 at 04:00 pm at the Palais de la Culture d’Abidjan, Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire for Motown Gospel Africa Festival!
Catch Tim Godfrey and his crew this Sunday, 11th June 2021 at the Eko Hotel & Suites for Fearless Devotion. Time: 5pm
More events coming up soon guys
…taking me back to Rita Springer’s ‘Defender’. I like the background vocals matching Mandisa’s energy. Mandisa’s vocals have a slightly operatic flavour and I love how she glides…
Laraa throws in beautiful melismas here and there in the second verse, with the digital violin also making its debut. The ‘sltdr’ from the piano takes me back to Chidinma’s ‘Jehovah Overdo’. Actually, it’s the other way round. #checckit! here. Laraa’s vocals are so light and smooth, I bet she has the whistle range…
Ada has an incredibly calming country twang resting on this worshipy pop beat. The back ups are mellow on this track, but I can hear Ada’s steady focus in every syllable as she keeps hammering on ‘Everything’. It takes me back to Ada’s live rendition of ‘Cheta’ at her London tour…
Chidinma’s palpable passion always shines through in her vocals, and she belts beautifully, switching to mixed voice in the same breath at ‘Hallowed be your name’. The back ups have a raspy effect, which sort of reminds me of Mercy Chinwo actually, especially when there is a match pitch at ‘Oya take my heart, I give it to you, it belongs to you…’
Drille sorta has a natural country drawl in his vocals, which is perfect for his ‘I Can Only Imagine’ cover. At the chorus, the quartet comes in richer, adding more colour and emotion to the piece. Johnny takes the chorus to the descant immediately, without…
Tori Harper starts the verse on her own and then does a response. I love how the back ups sing the bright and happy refrain and vamp along with Tori with so much energy of camaraderie. This reminds me of Hillsong jams…
Judikay’s lyrical style exhibits her exquisite Nigerianness in the line ‘It can never ever exist o’ and how she lists characters from the bible, making the song more colourful. Her harmonies are incredibly happy and bright. Her vocal style reminds me of Jekayln Carr and Mercy Chinwo a bit with rich highs and lows, but she is slightly…
Bunmi’s alto range is simply a breath of fresh air on this bluesy piece. Her cover of Elijah Rock is slower paced to Mahalia’s tap dancey one. The cover starts with notes from the organ and beats from the drums. Her tone is all round rich…