24th Oct, 2013

Album Review: Joshua Rogers – ‘Unconditional’


Artist: Joshua Rogers

Album: Unconditional

Street Date: 10/29/13

Record Label: Music World Gospel

Genre: R&B

iPod Pick: Never Alone

Sometimes it can be like being asked to walk in high heels across a ledge for music competition (e.g. American Idol, The Voice, Sunday Best e.t.c) contestants and winners after the show ends. I mean the expectation and demand just because they got to win the show. But these contestants and winners are also humans who long to tell a story through their songs.

On my first listen of Joshua Rogers’ Unconditional I clearly heard some confidence and a young man leaving the demands and expectations cause he won a show behind to sing his heart out and tell the story of his own walk with God.

You Alone would sure fly for a Sunday morning rendition in a church but it works best for the radio. It’s kind of mellow; the BGVs are so tight and remind us of all we loved of the 80’s boy bands such as Boys 2 MenRance Allen Group and say 98 degrees. The title track Unconditional also follows in the same musical vein as it. Great tunes!

Some songs do take it all the way to church (Your GraceThe Blood, Draw Me Nearer) with the hard clap gospel and crooning but Joshua’s intended urban might just resonate based on the styled delivery on these ones. R&B gems in the style of veterans such as R. KellyFred HammondJ Moss and Mario are also scattered across the album plate (He isI Got Joy, Never Alone).

More Than Enough is a highlight as you might be taken back by the sweet old school Motown sound introduced on it. Get ready to do some dancing and maybe swinging. And lyrically it takes on the truth that even if God doesn’t do one more thing for us, He’s more than enough. And I must say, Never Alone is a great song. It’s worth mentioning.

In a time when mainstream R&B is taking backstage and going indie thanks to Hip Hop, pop acts such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Will.i.am, Lecrae and Lil’ Wayne taking center stage we need more artist who can deliver pure rhythm and blues like Joshua Rogers.

And this is why I conclude on this; though Mr. Rogers leaves his inhibitions behind on this project, I find it hard to hear a clear voice or style. Sophomores can be slippery but for the potential this great artist inhabits we must give this a listening chance and also keep our fingers crossed still for his next.

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