Somethin' 'Bout Love

Somethin' 'Bout Love

The richly rolling tones of Fred Hammond’s voice have graced some of the best gospel recordings of the past quarter-century. 2004’s Somethin’ ‘Bout Love may be the most personally revealing of his works to date — the songs seem to comment both on the breakup of Hammond’s marriage as well as larger issues of hope and faith. The sound here is stripped-back, favoring intimate vocal settings over rafter-shaking choir arrangements. As on past releases, Hammond fuses traditional black gospel forms with contemporary R&B and hip-hop. Even a backslider can groove to smoothly-flowing tracks like “Lord We Need Your Love” and “Not Just What You Say.” Reflective pieces like “A Closer Walk” are balanced by a stirring reworking of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today,” the latter featuring Marvin Winans, Sr. and Brian McKnight on guest vocals. The most memorable moments come when Hammond acknowledges his own struggle to live by the Word. Testing his upper vocal range, he turns “I Will Find A Way” into an affecting confession of his need for God’s sustaining guidance. Tracks like this one make Somethin’ ‘Bout Love a very human celebration of divine mercy and eternal truths.

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