Deitrick Haddon - Church On The Moon (2011)

Deitrick Haddon

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Futuristic, funkdafied and full of praise and worship: if you have a hard time connecting those adjectives with sanctified music, then perhaps you've never heard the phenomenal Deitrick Haddon. Ever since his professional debut in the 1995 with The Voices of Unity, the 37-year-old Detroit native has taken his elastic vocal range and enthusiastically-eclectic production style beyond his home church to a worldwide audience. Church on the Moon, his first musical project in nearly three years, is one of Mr. Haddon's most imaginative offerings yet, blending spiritual and soulful messages of hope and healing that will move practically anyone within hearing range.

Futuristic, funkdafied and full of praise and worship: if you have a hard time connecting those adjectives with sanctified music, then perhaps you've never heard the phenomenal Deitrick Haddon. Ever since his professional debut in the 1995 with The Voices of Unity, the 37-year-old Detroit native has taken his elastic vocal range and enthusiastically-eclectic production style beyond his home church to a worldwide audience. Church on the Moon, his first musical project in nearly three years, is one of Mr. Haddon's most imaginative offerings yet, blending spiritual and soulful messages of hope and healing that will move practically anyone within hearing range.

With 19 tracks, ....Moon is an ambitious undertaking, but thanks to his prowess, it's a creatively cohesive one, pairing conventional-sounding songs with more modern offerings. The first single, "Well Done," is a fervent plea to leave his sins behind to join his Heavenly Father after he passes on: "I just want to cross the river, I want to be free from sin/... and when this life is over, I just want to have eternal life." "You Are My Strength," which could be about his Lord or his woman, pours out the contents of his heart as he offers praise for that person's devotion to his life: "When I felt like dying, you made me feel better/took me by the hand, and told me ‘we can make it through this together.'" And one would have to ice in his or her veins not to feel the redemptive power of "Baby You're a Star," an uplifting anthem for those feeling beat up by life's choices and seeking His approval and grace: "But because you've had some setbacks in your life, it doesn't you should let, just let your dreams die/ Baby you're a star, don't you know who you are? Don't you let nobody tell you nothing different/from what you know is in your heart."  

Is all choirs, crooning and keyboards? Not quite. He wouldn't be the Deitrick that fans have come to know and love if he didn't bring the jams, and that's what the first half of ...Moon is: "Power," with Fred Jerkins behind the boards, is an infectious techno-funk hybrid that echoes Mary Mary's "God In Me" as it tells the envious to get connected to his Higher Source: "...Don't look at my whip and look at my crib, thinkin' this life's easy, had to walk by faith and had to struggle everyday to get to the point you see /This life I'm living is a battlefield, when it comes against me, I've got my shield/ don't get it twisted, the enemy's real and he don't want to see us win." A hard-hitting hip-hop track is what anchors the message in "Reppin' The Kingdom," an Auto-Tuned and ‘chopped-n-screwed' track featuring Tye Tribbet, J. Moss, Canton Jones and the rap debut of Deitrick's cousin, T-Haddy, while his wife, Demetria, joins him on the trippy-pop duet "Save Somebody." If there was ever an anti-groupie song created, it would "Fighting Temptation," where Deitrick outright tells a temptress to take her goodies and get gone: "Can't believe what I'm seeing, I'm speechless, all I see is your booty and cleavage/you're just trying to find my weakness, and I'm determined to pass your test."

Bold, brilliant and never boring, ....Moon demonstrates that Deitrick Haddon is a performer unwilling to rest on his stellar past achievements, one who uses each project to reach new souls and to strengthen the conviction of believers already on the team. Except for the fact that there's waaaay too much Auto-Tune present throughout (which is unnecessary, gimmicky and annoying, considering that everyone can actually sing), there's no reason why this CD shouldn't cement his superstar status and enable this newly-anointed pastor (of Detroit's Kingdom Culture Church) to continue spreading the Good Word across the generations.  Church on the Moon will take listeners off the beaten path, but like the title indicates, the music is out of this world and guaranteed to send folks into orbit. Enthusiastically recommended.

By Melody Charles 

 
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