Monday, 23 February 2009

James Ingram - Stand (In The Light) - 2009 - Intersing

It's a pleasure to be able to call James Ingram a friend, and having spoke at length with him throughout last year about this new CD, it's with great pleasure that we see the CD now available via all good outlets. I am a HUGE fan of James Ingram. I consider James one of THE voices of our time and one of the most expressive voices that you could ever wish to meet. His whole mind, body and soul goes into what you hear and his voice is a sheer catharsis of emotion that touches you on a soul-to-soul basis. Any artists who can move through the shallower, audible experience and touch your soul is a very rare artist indeed. This CD may have been a long time in coming but like the best, most unique things in life it comes just at the right time. The power of a real artist, singer, whatever is in getting their message across. And James Ingram is one of THE musical storytellers of our time. James is passionate and convicted in this album and he has stood back casting a critical, thoughtful - and soulful - eye over the world and daily events. Like myself, James knows we are at a VERY dangerous point in time and what James does here is offer a unique, inspirational - NOT Gospel - album to act as a salve for our time.

I would be honest and say that some material on here may not be the cup of cocoa for some listeners, but so versatile and talented is our James her can turn his hand to anything and bend it to his will. Helping James in this effort are a dearth of major talents - all hand-picked by James himself to craft the perfect product to serve his purpose on "Stand (In The Light)". Co-producers include the super-smooth hit maker Keith Thomas (BeBe & CeCe Winans, Vanessa Williams), Keith Andes, Rickey Minor and Jeremy Lubbock. Long-time collaborator Debbie Allen contributes on writing the second single release, "Mercy", and musicians include Hubert Laws, Paul Jackson Jr amongst others. The majestic and very poignant single, "Stand (In The Light)" has a VERY deep message if you are open enough to dig it, and the superb "Beneath The Snow" should knock you for six if you loved Vanessa Williams' "We've Saved The Best For Last" of "Let Me Love You This Way" from James' 1993 set (see 90s reviews.) This is BEAUTIFUL. The track that should slay you and have you scrabbling for the 'buy now' button is the gorgeous Leon Ware co-written track, "Everlast". My GOD! Leon and James have done it AGAIN. The lyrics are so beautiful and when you know that the song is dedicated to Leon's daughter, Laura, who tragically passed so young, the song takes on such a tender aspect...when he delivers the line "Too many moments slip away" and "this is a moment that will never slip away" I choke up. So Leon. Delivered by James. Wow. The spine-tingling versions of "Everything Must Change" and "For All We Know" follow up and should, by now have you very much inspired and emotionally moved. If you're looking for the latest urban dance groove, forget it. If you seek something very powerful and special then this will be exactly what you are looking for. Essential.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

Buy CD on Amazon