Ricky Dillard & New G keeps things fresh on latest LP Amazing
Ricky Dillard & New G • Amazing • Entertainment One • US Release Date: June 10, 2014
When something is characterized as ‘amazing’, the portrait sketched is one that’s incredible and undisputedly awesome. On latest gospel LP Amazing, that is the sentiment Rick Dillard & New G draw-up in reference to God – he’s the greatest and truly is awesome. Over the course of 13 tracks – 11 of which are full-length songs – Dillard and company direct all attention towards magnifying ‘his holy name’. The results of this faithfulness are magnificent.
Following “Ricky’s Interlude”, Dillard & New G kicks things off spiritedly on “Celebrate The King”, which does what its title suggests – “celebrate the king”. Setting the tone for a dynamic LP, the enjoyable “Celebrate the King” is outshone by juggernaut “Grace”, which exemplifies ‘funk-gospel’ at its best. Intact with sick keyboards, sharp riffs, and pronounced horns, the production itself is enough to characterize “Grace” as a standout. And the harmonic progression – superb! The lyrics are equally noteworthy given their prudent message.
Continuing offering thanks, “Grateful” slackens the tempo, keeping emotions high. While it doesn’t trump “Grace”, it continues to minister, providing sound inspiration. Similarly, “Amazing” finds Dillard and New G in utter awe of God’s awesomeness and ‘wonder-working power’.
“Everything” accelerates the tempo, infusing even more energy into Amazing. The message is simple: “He is my everything”. Even given its simplicity, the angularity of the production coupled with the electrifying performance makes “Everything” shine. Also considering its compact packaging (under five minutes), “Everything” packs a mean punch.
“Always There” slow things from the rollicking “Everything”, but the theme is similar – God is omniscient. Confirmation and encouragement in faith proceeds with “I Believe”, where Dillard addresses all believers: “to all of the believers, in the kingdom of the Lord / continue to believe God because he’s going to do, just what he said he’s gon’ do!” Brassy, energetic, and spiritual, “I Believe” is another winner.
Following “Father Charles G. Hayes Interlude”, Dillard infuses some ‘go-go’ into highlight “Higher”: “Aw yeah, I’m gonna dedicate this song in memory of ‘The Father of go-go, the late Chuck Brown”. The go-go inspired groove and soulful, funky production are fantastic, as is the song. New G sounds incredibly invested, as does Dillard.
Balancing things, while “Be Weak” doesn’t advocate intentional ‘weakness’, it does assert that it’s okay to ‘be weak’ sometimes; God will provide and be ‘strength’ in other words. Penultimate song “Stay With God” is a self-explanatory, quicker cut, not far removed from “I Believe”. Essentially, Dillard and company reprise the notion of being strong in one’s faithfulness.
“The Covenant Medley”, clocking in at an ambitious 14 ½ minutes, closes the LP with a number of different worship songs. It’s too long, but the intentions are great.
Overall, Amazing is a fine gospel offering from Ricky Dillard and New G. Dillard keeps things fresh but also doesn’t wander too far from traditional gospel. The album is too lengthy approaching 80 minutes, but at least it is 80 minutes filled with consistency and of course praise! The quality is top-notch, no questions asked.
Favorites: “Grace,” “Everything,” “Higher,” “Be Weak”