Music Review by Luchae Williams
Fans of smooth R&B Gospel will be thrilled to find that crooner, Dietrick Haddon, has recently released a ‘Best Of’ anthology, including hits he penned as far back as 2002. The album features highlights from Haddon’s albums Lost and Found (2002), Crossroads (2004), Revealed (2008), Church on the Moon(2011), and R.E.D. (2013). Haddon is one of the stars in the reality television show, Preachers of LA, which chronicles the lives of six Los Angeles preachers. He launched his solo music career as a Christian R&B artist in 2002 and has since worked with pioneers in the industry to create Christian music that has a contemporary Gospel sound.
In 2002, Haddon peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Charts with the critically acclaimed hit, Sinner’s Prayer. This track, with its haunting melody tells the story of a sinner who escaped death and found grace. Another hit featured on the compilation, God is Good, landed Haddon an appearance on the long-running series Soul Train. With its “feel good” groove and catchy melody, this song had my head bopping! Gospel legend, Donnie McClurkin, makes his appearance in track 5 titled, Heaven Knows. This self-produced track is a well-written ballad that speaks truths about the world’s mindset vs the Kingdom. McClurkin also features in ballad, Stand Still. The song’s chorus, which immediately made me think about our amazing home church choir, says “Stand still and know that He is God/There’s no need to fight/The battle is not yours/The battle is the Lords.” I’m a sucker for a good hook, a powerful declaration and an easy sing-along melody! Another notable collaboration is a duet with vocal dynamos Mary Mary and former American Idols winner, Ruben Studdard on the track Love Him Like I Do. This song, released on Haddon’s 2008 album titled ‘Revealed’, is a classic R&B track complete with the silky voices, appealing harmonies and laid-back beat.
Devoted fans will be pleased to know that there are two new recordings: Real God, Cold World and My Soul Says Yes. I was really taken with the lyrical composition of Real God, Cold World. It speaks about a fallen world and reminded me of the hope we have in Christ. Well Done is another thought provoking track. Musically, it actually reminded me of Prince’s “Purple Rain”, much to my amusement! But, wow, Haddon’s strong vocal on this song really gives power to the message he wants to share! What a treat to those who appreciate raw vocal talent. My Soul Says Yes also falls in that category (in my humble opinion), and with its simple lyrics and piano accompaniment, I really enjoyed this one.
As a newcomer to Haddon’s music (shocking, I know!) I must admit that I immediately likened his voice to that of Prince and R.Kelly. I really enjoyed the fact that he knows he has a God-given gift and he really uses it to its full capacity. I am impressed with his writing and production skills as well and wish that I had heard his stuff earlier! So for all you other Haddon newcomers, I can only imagine that “The Best of Dietrick Haddon” is a good introduction to his work. I always appreciate excellent vocals, honest lyrics and a heart after God’s and in Dietrich Haddon’s music I have found all of this and then some.