Reviews

Israel Houghton & New Breed - New Season

Israel Houghton & New Breed - New Season

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There’s a spirit of excitement in the air: the sound of rejoicing and gladness like an army victorious in battle. Slamming into your eargate from note one, the spirit weaves through a tapestry of musical genres enveloping an alliance of unified sounds. What manner of noise is this you hear? It’s the roar of the allied army of Israel Houghton and New Breed wielding their musical instruments as mighty weapons and lifting their voices in a triumphant Joshua-like cry.

This energetic live recording rarely slows down for you to catch your breath. It’s full-tilt celebratory praise from start to finish. Even the worship ballads release such fresh anointing, rejuvenating the spirit to shout some more. At the end of this CD you might feel as though you’ve just completed the 4-minute mile dash, and now you’re ready for the Boston marathon.

Diverse and prophetic, New Season was recorded live at Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio. Home to Pastor Michael Pitts, the church celebrates its diversity much like the album. This diversity is truly reflective of Israel’s own multi-cultural background, his musical influences and those of the production team, radiating through a mosaic of styles including rock, gospel, CCM, salsa and reggae.

Production credits for the project showcase an equally diverse background with Israel and executive producers Don Moen and Chris Thomason (who’ve produced for Joe Pace & the Colorado Mass Choir, Ron Kenoly, Ireland’s dynamic worship leader Robin Mark who performs the popular and prophetic song These are the Days of Elijah, Bishop Clarence McClendon’s Shout Hallelujah, Alvin Slaughter, Gary Oliver, T.D. Jakes’ Live From the Potter’s House, Keith Staten’s Glory In The House and renowned evangelist Benny Hinn’s Healing) at the helm.

Additional production, engineering and keyboard help come from multi-talented Joe Hogue (credits include Gary Oliver, Carman, Michael McDonald, Babbie Mason, Chanté Moore, CCM’s Geoff Moore & the Distance, Angelo & Veronica, DC Talk, CCM’s maestro Michael W. Smith and BeBe & CeCe Winans) and additional keyboard help from Jerry Harris (Wayman Tisdale, Sonny Rollins). Musical Director Aaron Lindsay and Raymond Boyd round out the production team and set the stage for you to experience the convergence of their extensive musical expertise.

Each track is skillfully executed by Israel (on guitar) and his New Breed worship team. Joined by Ron Agee (trombone), Raymond Boyd (percussion), Vinnie Ciesielski and Danny Duncan (trumpet), David Ivey, Aaron Lindsay, Terrance Palmer, Tom Scott and Danielle Stephens (vocals) along with Derrick Thomas (worship leader), this band of musical militia really kicks, delivering the kind of devil-whoopin’ old Lucifer so richly deserves.

It’s always wonderful to find a CD where choosing favorites is difficult and this is definitely the case here. However, for the sake of CD-samplers and programming junkies, set your repeat feature to the urban-flavored jam “Who is Like the Lord”, the RFC-styled mid-tempo drive “There’s a Liftin’ of the Hands”, or the prophetic “New Season” (title track), “Your Latter Will Be Greater” and the salsa-seasoned “Suddenly”. If you’re a worshipper, perhaps the “Come Holy Spirit Medley” or the Keith Staten-lead “I Exalt Thee” and “You’ve Won My Affection” will bring you to the throne-room. For those preferring the lighter sounds of Christian Contemporary Praise, you might try the Darrell Evans penned “Trading My Sorrows (Yes Lord)” that jump starts with the intro motif from Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately”.

My suggestion (for what it’s worth)? Program the CD player for continuous play and crank up the volume. No matter what flavor, style, speed, or ecumenical point of view, your spirit will be lifted to rejoice and celebrate as you discover your victorious “new season” of worship with New Breed





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