Donald Lawrence & Co. | The Law Of Confession, Part 1

Listen to song samples from “The Law Of Confession, Part 1” on our Gospel page by clicking here!

Donald Lawrence & Co. – The Law Of Confession Pt. I

It was extremely hard to say goodbye for the extended Finale with the Tri-City Singers, all documented with a 2 CD/1 DVD set and a tour filled with lots of gospel music adrenalin. This mass choir undoubtedly enjoyed a fifteen-year healthy relationship and recording career with their director, Donald Lawrence, a consummate producer/musician/songwriter that has a natural ability to raise the energy level of any concert environment he steps into.  Certainly the multi-tasking Lawrence left behind many joyous memories with Tri-City Singers with hits like “Testify,” “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “Encourage Yourself,” and “Giants.”   Yet Lawrence is far from ready to give a finale in his fulfilling journey, whether producing The Clark Sisters recent concert reunion disc, managing his Quiet Water record moniker, or in other directing roles – this time with Co. comprised of established worship leaders and church soloists.  This vocal ensemble features some of gospel’s under the radar talent such as Jason Nelson, Kim McFarland-Anderson, Floyd Wilkinson, and Blanche McAllister-Dykes.  This is not the debut for Co. as they worked alongside Lawrence for his 2004 solo effort, I Speak Life, but now with The Tri-City Singers current retirement status, they will probably be filling the backing choir shoes in the near future.  Besides his obvious talents behind the scenes, his relationship with vocal groups of any size draws incredible amount of respect as evidenced by multi-Stellar Awards for both I Speak Life and Finale: Act One & Two.   Not surprisingly, many of gospel’s royalty: Richard Smallwood, Percy Bady, and Smokie Norful, amongst others, came out in force during the Co.’s first concert recording, The Law Of Confession Part I.

Besides his ardent abilities to bring the best out in choirs, Lawrence can balance any arrangement in a classical, hip-hop, or jazz light, and bring the highest degree of class and exuberance to any performance.  Thematic wise, he delights mostly in the scriptural prosperity business admonishing audiences to speak the scriptural word towards any distracting experience they face.  The Law Of Confession Part I fittingly ties into the self-titled book by Pastor Bill Winston whose overture to the concert is included on this Quiet Water Entertainment disc.  Despite certain disconcerting issues on Confession, and the lack of praise and worship exhortation, the musical execution is rarely in question.    

Within the hour worth of musical material, certain tracks grabbed a hold of my listening ear on first attention.  “The Word of the Lord” lends a proper tone setter tailor made for a Broadway show opener with how the power of scripture upholds the truth: “So shall my word go forth and it shall not return void.”  Confession’s first single, “Back II Eden” -about the renewing of our soul and to live “a life that’s rich and plentiful” – cranks up the old-school bounce factor.  More than just a musical cheerleader, Lawrence is able to dissect the scriptures appropriately on the setup for the title track citing Philippians 4:13, and possesses a pleasing vocal quality by taking “The Blessings of Abraham,” first heard on Finale, into a contemplating place.  Any genre is taken into account on Confession, including a neo-soul taste from “Happy Being Me,” reminding the body of Christ to love themselves so they can enjoy the freedom as believers.  Finally, Smallwood’s “I’ve Got Something” is about the closest that Confession flows in a worship vein: “His word has taken all my fears away.”   As an aside, Tri-City veteran McAllister’s warm and proficient voice is always welcome with all her solo turns.
Through Lawrence’s recordings, especially the Tri-City collaboration Finale, Lawrence’s excellence and energy level with all the musical presentations are guaranteed.   There is also nothing wrong for speaking the scriptural word to empower our lives for the better.  But on The Law Of Confession Pt. I, I some have qualms regarding the instantaneous blessings that the believer will receive promised in certain lyrics; i.e. “Let The Word Do The Work” (“new homes affordable mortgages, a new job that doubles my salary I believe God will make it reality).  Even with this glaring attribute and the omission of worshipping God for His greatness, Lawrence possesses good intentions in reminding anyone who loves Christ to stray from negativity that is a tempting mechanism through our world’s currently pressing problems.   In the overall picture, I will administer a mild recommendation towards Lawrence’s first post-Tri City Singers effort. 

Peggy Oliver
The Urban Music Scene

Listen to song samples from the Donald Lawrence & Co. album on our Gospel Page, exclusively from amazon, by clicking here!!

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