Thursday, October 21, 2010

Catina Rosemond - Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken

Catina Rosemond
Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken
Selah Jah Records, LLC (2010)

Nearly ten years ago, gospel singer Catina Copeland Rosemond was in a car accident that left her horribly disfigured and nearly blind. Take a look at the back cover of her CD, Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken, and you will see several of the shocking before photos. Gaze again at the front cover, and you will think nothing ever happened.

Talk about a testimony.

Not surprisingly, the CD’s theme is about not giving up, realizing who is really in charge of your life, and the importance of prayer, praise and being thankful.

Rosemond was raised in the COGIC church under the musical tutelage of Mattie Moss and Twinkie Clark. She is a versatile vocalist, one of gospel’s new wave of multi-talented and eclectic female singers. Capable of lung-expanding gospel singing on the atmospheric “Perfect Peace,” Rosemond can also deliver Damita-style R&B swagger on “Neva Give Up” and combine a pillowy neo-soul texture with evangelistic fervor on a number of other album tracks.

Give Me Your Heart,” a song featuring sharply-constructed rhymes from Kingdom Diplomats, turns up the heat to techno-dance intensity as it instructs the lost to return to Jesus, like a child to a parent, for direction, because He’s waiting. A bonus remix is included on the album, but it should also be given an extended version for gospel DJs or gospel skate nights (skate nights, do they still exist?).

Several guest vocalists complement Rosemond’s creamy style and bring out her best, too. Fiery duets with Shawn Bigby on “I Wanna” and Brandon Groves on “The Worship Never Ends” unite soulful crooners who open the performance in a mellow mood and close with luminous explosions of impassioned hard singing. “The Worship Never Ends” is especially interesting lyrically, as it tackles the perplexing question of how to make the Sunday praise experience last all week long.

Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken is expertly produced, thanks to a team of pedigreed producers including husband (and Selah Jah label owner) Alfred Rosemond, former Atlantic Records artist James Owens, and Stellar-nominated Alphaeus Anderson (Pure-N-Heart).

The incomparable title track features Chiccy Baritone’s spoken word chronicle of Rosemond’s auto accident and recovery. With lines such as “a misplaced eye/That was visibly hanging on securely to an optic nerve,” it’s not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, by the time Rosemond is singing her thanks to God for the miracle in becoming “whole and complete” again, you are shaking your head in awed disbelief and joining in her gratitude.

Four of Five Stars

gPod Picks: “Give Me Your Heart,” “Perfect Peace.”

Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog.

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