Gail Holmes | I Receive Your Love

Album Review: Gail Holmes | I Receive Your Love

By Peggy Oliver
current urban music industry’s thinking process mostly caters to a much
younger audience. In other words, artists who are searching for their
first recording break at — say age thirty and over — might be scoffed
at or simply overlooked. But somehow in that grand scheme of music, Gail
Holmes was not letting those factors become an obstacle course in her
ministry mission. While serving at her home church in Jacksonville,
Florida, she was sensing more of God’s presence in her songwriting
process. Holmes was also receiving more requests to participate in
various Christian conferences and workshops. With all those spiritual
life changing experiences, Holmes was more convinced that she was ready
to start her recording platform. This was major confirmation considering
her first effort was experimenting as a brother/sister duo with her own
brother (think BeBe & CeCe Winans). Needless to say, this path fell
far short of what she envisioned her true vocal approach should be.
Being content to continue serving as a music minister in her
congregation, her patience and maturity finally paid off in the long
run, signing with gospel independent company Habakkuk Music.

Her debut, I Receive Your Love,
mixes original material and established gospel pieces that zone in on
Holmes’ strengths as a praise and worship leader. Holmes is an absolute
natural as a communicator, shying away from excessive runs and screaming
which often can be a trap within a contemporary gospel setting. The
first single, “Whatever It Is,” co-written by Holmes’ daughter Ashley
Hicks, targets the younger audience with the mid-tempo R&B/hip-hop
grooves, but encourages people of all ages to release the garbage that
infiltrates their souls and attitudes. “Everyday” blends laid back
praise with a laid-back Caribbean flavor. The highly charged title track
is inspired by Holmes’ experiences in dealing with her brokenness
before God. Holmes maintains the melodic integrity of Donald Lawrence’s
composition – “God” (first performed by The Tri City Singers on their
2008 disc, Finale) and Natalie Grant’s “Breathe on Me” – while effortlessly generating her own vocal stamp of power and grace.  
There is very little to fault on the ten tracks of I Receive Your Love.
The only exception is that some songs fade a bit too abruptly, which
can be a downer considering the listener might still be experiencing the
worship mode. Otherwise, I Receive Your Love is a spot-on example of age not stopping Holmes from exercising her precious instrument to honor God wholeheartedly.
Peggy Oliver
The Urban Music Scene

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