BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR – I AM REMINDED: REVIEW
Music Review by Luchae Williams
The latest album from six-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir was recorded live at The Brooklyn Tabernacle and released in April 2018.
Headed by Carol Cymbala, wife of Pastor Jim Cymbala, the 400-voice choir has five Dove Awards and six Grammy Awards under the belt, after more than 40 years of recording and singing together.
The offering, titled I Am Reminded boasts five original tracks written by Carol Cymbala and members of her team. The album holds an almost nostalgic familiarity for those who are well-acquainted with the BT sound. However, elements of jazz and soul make it more than just another Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir album, and fans will be pleased to find that the collective has kept their eyes firmly on the prize with one mandate: to praise the name of Jesus!
‘I Am Reminded’
The latest offering from the vocal troupe is an eleven-track album, featuring the dynamic vocals of Shane & Shane, Christian soul singer, Nicole Binion and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir soloists.
Binion is featured on title track, I Am Reminded, adding a soulful flare to this powerful worship song. The song speaks about the faithfulness of God, with the majestic choir vocals really driving home the message.
BT soloists, Brandon Camphor and Durell Comedy bring such a sweetness to the blues-infused Psalm 34. As the title suggests, the song is based on pure, unedited scripture — a welcome breath of fresh air, when compared to some of the more watered-down offerings available in the Christian music market, lately.
The duo deliver a stirring performance, with dips and peaks at just the right time, helping to set an atmosphere of pure worship. In fact, the congregation and choir was so moved, that once the song had ended, they spent the next two minutes simply praising the name of Jesus.
Other songs that feature verbatim scripture are the jivey track, Psalm 150 — a typical BT praise song; and moving worship song, Psalm 23. The latter, written and performed by Shane and Shane, features a stunning violin solo in the intro and a really impressive vocal delivery by the duo.
Vocal dynamo, Karen Rampersad, is featured on two tracks. Thank You is a re-imagined version of a 1990 classic by Walter Hawkins. Soulful ballad, called That’s Why God, is a worship song and one of the few that had been written by Cymbala and her BT team. The track reminds us of Christ’s work on the cross.
Another original offering, God Surprised Me, features singer Pamela Pettaway, who brings a more jazzy element to this mid-tempo praise song. It’s a bit of a throwback to Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, circa 1990.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir certainly has quite a few powerhouse soloists in it’s arsenal. Aiysha McCarthy certainly is one of them. She leads the uptempo Sing a New Song — a track that encourages you to sing a new song to God and “shout it out louder than before!”
Indonesian worship leader, Sidney Mohede, leads worship song, Jesus, It is You. The song is a beautiful ballad that prompts the listener to surrender all.
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir followers will enjoy this eclectic mix of songs that point the listener back to God, despite the obvious level of excellence in the writing, production and vocal arrangements and delivery. I appreciate the spirit of excellence that has been poured into this album, but more than that, I am thankful that the Cymbalas have protected the calling and mandate on their ministry, by keeping their focus on Jesus. If you’re new to BT, I suggest you give this one a go. You will not be disappointed.