Artist: Anthony Brown & Group therAPy

Album: Anthony Brown & Group therAPy

Label: Tyscot Records

iPod Pick: Better Days

Okay here’s the deal, the first thing that caught my attention on first listen to Anthony Brown & Group therAPy’s self-titled debut was Anthony’s voice. Wait, it’s not the typical Deitrick Haddon orChris Brown type but it’s got this crispy, husky and soothing feel, (think Bebe mixed with a bit of Donnie but more organic and raw). I absolutely loved it even as he opened up the Jazz styled first track (Group Therapy). He effortlessly sails through personal sounding lyrics that discuss satisfaction and where it can only be found. Even in this song, his voice soars from the low to the high again and again. ‘I Will Be’ utilizes the church clap style a lot of gospel tunes are accustomed to but the vocals remain sharp throughout. The song lyrically talks about being all God’s called one to be. ‘Better Days’ which opens up with Anthony’s great voice in an animated way and also with hopeful lyrics (Open your eyes. Today’s a brand new day and those tears you cried are all in yesterday) would sure get you off your seat on getting to its chorus. You can’t be still with this one.

For me ‘Water’ gets a five star, not that it brings anything new musically to the table but there’s a strange worshipful moment on that song no one would want to miss. The track overflows into ‘Overflow’ which might almost be mistaken if left alone as a chant by one of those very big voiced choirs. Simply said; innovative. ‘Harvest Song’ musically is a free bird. On hearing it, I’m like ‘why didn’t this start off the album?’ The choir modulation which was also utilized on ‘Better Days’ makes ‘Your Way’ shine. ‘Beyond Beyond’ showcases beautiful vocals from different members of the group and kinds of soar with different melodies.

Listening to Anthony Brown & therAPy for was an adventure though I knew there was something more to this group even as I listened to the songs. Some songs had a leg out of the boundaries already explored by gospel music and some had both legs in. It feels like Anthony Brown and his friends have loads of creativity and stories to tell in their hands but hold back all in the name of a genre. The stories behind some of the songs are personal but fall back into clichéd lyrics we’ve probably heard before. I hopefully wait for their sophomore release, this is one musical group that has the potential of walking the red carpets of the Grammys to receive an award very soon, only if they allow God tell and paint at the same time the unique voice he wants the world to hear through this them.

P.S – All the same this is still a great work any lover of classical gospel would love and those who embrace the contemporary scene too. Good efforts Anthony Brown & Group therAPy.

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