New Creation “Live”
R2 Music 2009
Rafeal Ross’s debut CD, New Creation, is a praise and worship experience in a jewel case, the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Earning a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from George Mason University, Ross serves as director of music and arts at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Herndon, Virginia (Rev. Dr. James Graham, Pastor). Ross didn't have to go too far afield to find fellow travelers for his recording. The accomplished supporting singers on New Creation are members of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Mass Choir. Fellow Virginian Tifani Wilson, whose solo work has been featured on TBGB in the past, co-wrote a number of the songs with Ross and is the guest vocalist on “I’m Confident.”
From beginning to end, New Creation buzzes with the high energy and momentum of a praise and worship service, and even though certain tracks stand out, the album is best heard in its entirety. In its extended introduction, Dr. Randy Haynes sums up what it means to be a “new creation,” and the songs elaborate on the theme.
“I’m Free,” the current single, is an excellent selection for radio. Its bright, bouncy feeling and memorable melody are perfect partners in expressing the song’s subject matter. The title track features that simmering intensity that is a cornerstone of P&W performances. The hypnotic “Incredible” allows Ross nine-plus minutes to give his amazing vocal range a workout. Among the musicians, the standout is pianist Joe Van Buren. He has a beautiful touch on the ivories that is best demonstrated on the slower ballads.
Those who enjoy the music of Shekinah Glory Ministry will enjoy Rafeal Ross.
Four of Five Stars
gPod Picks: “I’m Free.”
Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog.