G Wright - Spread Love this Christmas

G Wright
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G. Wright is a young man, so it would have been no surprise if he had sought to bring some contemporary sheen and production techniques to some classic holiday tunes on his latest project, Spread Love This Christmas. It would have been even less surprising considering his work in the R&B field during the 1990s. Wright’s previous gospel album, All Things Are Possible, had a contemporary feel made complete by Wright’s vocals, which are clearly a step (or two) above much of what you will hear on R&B radio these days. 

G. Wright is a young man, so it would have been no surprise if he had sought to bring some contemporary sheen and production techniques to some classic holiday tunes on his latest project, Spread Love This Christmas. It would have been even less surprising considering his work in the R&B field during the 1990s. Wright’s previous gospel album, All Things Are Possible, had a contemporary feel made complete by Wright’s vocals, which are clearly a step (or two) above much of what you will hear on R&B radio these days. 

But while Wright makes several nods in contemporary gospel direction on Spread Love This Christmas, the album has more of a traditional sound – especially on the vocal arrangements on well-known Christmas fare such as the duet with Eureka Wright on “Oh, Holy Night.” The track features keyboards and digital percussion, but the vocals on the cut could have as easily laid in front of an organ or other more traditional instrument. The same can be said of Wright’s renditions of “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Wright didn’t seek to totally avoid reimagining of some mainstays on the holiday canon. Those efforts featured some successes and failures. Wright’s up-tempo arrangement of “Away in the Manger” has a Caribbean feel. However, the Go Go styled remix of “O Come All Ye Faithful” is overproduced to the point that it overwhelms Wright’s vocal. If any track on the album cries out for a more traditional reworking, it’s that one.

Simple works best on Spread Love This Christmas. The straightforward arrangement on “Let Me Be the One” matches the song’s back to basics message of not forgetting about The One who is the most important part of our holiday celebrations. Wright’s vocals are what distinguishes the numbers with sparse arrangements. Wright sports a mature tenor and he knows how to sing with passion and sincerity without resorting to the over singing employed by lesser vocalists. And while some of the more contemporary numbers are hit or miss, the overall restrained approach and excellent vocals on the album allow Wright to truly Spread Love This Christmas. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

 
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