HITS & CRICKETS FOR 2012!! FIND OUT WHICH CD RELEASED IN 2012 MADE THE LIST!!
After taking a look back at 2012, I think many would be surprised at just how many Gospel artists dropped new projects. It was a year full of new faces and voices and also a year where some of our favorite artists finally dropped new music! Which is why this year in particular, was even harder than previous ones! Some were outstanding, some were good, some were just ok, others were bad, and some weren’t even worth mentioning.
So every year here at Da Gospel Truth, my team and I (myself and Kristin Gregory lol) compile our end of the year list of CD’s aptly titled, “HITS & CRICKETS of 2012.” We tried to keep the number to 10, but we went over just a little because there were a few we absolutely couldn’t leave out!
Some will agree and MANY will disagree, which is to be expected, but make your own list and see how it measures up with ours! The list is in no particular order.
James Fortune “Identity”
Arguably one of the best CD’s of his career, Fortune hit this out of the park with songs that touched on every spectrum of a real relationship with God from depression, self esteem, overcoming, encouragement, love and who else, the Master! With a whose who of features from Monica, Fred Hammond, Le’Andria Johnson, Zacardi Cortez, Eric Dawkins and his elite group of background singers, Fiya, this one was an easy yes! Could this one bring him home a Grammy?? We’ll see!
Fred Hammond “God Love & Romance”
There’s never been a project like “God, Love & Romance” and I venture to say there will never be another one in the years to come. With his signature crooner vocals and poignant lyrics partnering with newly invigorated production, Uncle Fred and crew successfully pulled off the concept of bridging eros and agape love together, seamlessly!
Anita Wilson “Worship Soul”
Anita Wilson is proof that when God says it’s your time, IT’S YOUR TIME! Couple that with a fresh new sound, memorable songs and a genuine spirit that can be felt throughout all 12 tracks, it’s a win all around! Who new worship could feel so easy and breezy, yet pierce the heart at the same time. If anyone is deserving of all the hype and accolades, it’s Anita Wilson! Let’s bring home that Grammy!
Trip Lee “Good Life”
Rapper, author and pastor, this guy is one of Reach Records’ best and brightest and this record proves it. “Good Life” lands a heavy blow lyrically with tracks that crush anything that you’d hear on top 40 radio. With tracks like “I’m Good” and “Robot,” you get rap that is musical, not cliche’ and full of impact.
Mary Mary “Go Get It”
Clearly there is something about the Mary’s! Yes it’s a greatest hit’s CD! And you’re asking, “How does a greatest hit’s make the list, when it’s a CD full of previously released songs?” Well, because they did what only Mary Mary can do. They re-mastered and remixed some of the their best songs from their previous CD’s and made them even better! Most can’t do that, but when you do, that deserves to be recognized! Oh, and that “Go Get It” goes kind of hard too!
Jason Nelson “Shifting The Atmosphere”
There are some artists who need great songs or it just won’t work. Then there are artists that can make a bad song amazing, because they just have “IT.” Jason Nelson has “IT.” Making his national debut this year, amidst a heavy amount of buzz, I think we can say he’s going to be around for good! Luckily he had some good songs and when he added his touch of vocal genius to them, he made them GREAT! It’s always nice to see a genuinely good person receive success!
Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago “The Best of Both Worlds”
This project is a new classic for those looking for material for your home church. You get a good and healthy, cohabitation of old school gospel and the new school praise and worship in a way that won’t lull you to sleep. Simply put, very solid, very good, and it will remain very much in your rotation if you get it!
Jonathan McReynolds “Life Music”
No other artist released a CD this year in Gospel or R&B that truly defined what “life music” is until now!! At only 23 years old, this underground sensation is single handedly adding a whole new sound and vigor to Gospel music that has been so desperately needed! McReynold’s talent oozes effortlessly through his fingertips and vocal chords fusing his love for God, everyday real life struggles and sharp intellect creating sheer magic!
Anthony Brown & Group Therapy
I recall being instantly wowed by this group. The genre is gospel, but we get a taste of classical, jazz, and rock styles as well. Best of all, this group is imitating no one, setting a new standard, and raising the bar for music that is as good and interesting for the ears, as it is, for the spirit.
Troy Sneed “All Is Well”
Hands down, one of the best projects of 2012! No other CD captured a maturity, likability and a relatable, palatable spiritual message like this project. Over half of this CD could be sung in any church on any weekend! And that’s rare. Sneed’s ability to create a body of work with a sound that is inclusive of all ages is to be applauded and admired.
J. Moss “V4”
J. Moss is that artist you find yourself saying, “Now how is he going to top that? That’s got to be the best he has in him!” Then he drops “V4” and that theory goes out the window! It’s urban, it’s funky, it’s fun, contemporary, consistent, and different! And through all that…the message of Christ is never lost.
Lecrae “Church Clothes Mixtape”
Even if you’re not a big fan of Christian Hip Hop, Lecrae’s “Church Clothes” mixtape is one of THE BEST! With unapologetic lyrics that lift the covers off of the little ‘c’ church and exalt the Christ of the Big “C” Church, you get a taste of the best of all hip-hop styles on this record with lots of truth. And to think, it was free!
BREAKOUT ARTIST OF 2012
Sensere “The Soul of Future Worship Vol. 1”
This FL based soul band is delving into uncharted territory with their own brand of Gospel soul and vintage style that no one has ever completely got right, until NOW!! Whether you’re into Gospel music or not, “The Soul of Future Worship Vol. 1” will make you a believer in real soul music with an inspirational message. If you’re a fan of Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze or Mint Condition, then add Sensere to this list! Keep your eye out for this band!
Brian Courtney Wilson “So Proud”
The project started off so well with the old school, feel good single “So Proud,” but the rest of the CD didn’t hold the same weight. Overall, Wilson’s sophomore release felt lack luster, slow and familiar. He’s a great singer, so hopefully next go around, he’ll branch out and work with a variety of new producers!
Forever Jones “Musical Revival”
Hate to say it, but this is the definition of a sophomore jinx. Coming off such a massive hit like “He Wants it All,” the Jones family had a lot to prove in my opinion and fell way short beginning with the lead single “Every Moment.” Despite a few bright moments on the CD, it felt all over the place.
Byron Cage “Memoirs of a Worshipper”
We just want the old Byron Cage back…you know the “I Will Bless The Lord” Byron Cage. Lately, Cage’s last few CD’s have missed the mark. While it’s not a bad CD, overall there is nothing memorable that will make you want to keep this project in rotation. “Great & Mighty” was a great start, but it couldn’t save the whole CD. Despite that, we’re still huge fans and to see Byron perform life is a definite treat!
Deon Kipping “I Just Want To Hear You”
The anticipation was very high for the debut release of Kipping’s first project on Verity Records and unfortunately it didn’t deliver. Kipping has proved to be a great songwriter, but great lyrics aren’t the only things that make a great song. Many of the songs felt like album fillers and were difficult to relate to musically. I still believe we’re going to hear great things from him in the very near future.
Chrystal Rucker “You Deserve”
She can sing, she can sing, she can sing!! Now that we’ve got that out the way, that’s ALL the more reason she should have had great songs on her project. Half of the songs that made her national release were from her previously released indie project, which should have stayed right there. And yes there were a few new additions, but it needed more new and less old. BUT, she did keep one gem “You Will Be My God.” GOOD CHOICE!!