Producer: TaRanda Beene, Wayne Haun, Jason Webb, Keith Everette Smith, Virgil Stafford, Jim Hammerly, Carol Cymbala, and Bradley Knight
Record Label: StowTown Records
The world is filled with millions of “singers” who can sing and you’re left unchanged. But in that sea of singers, there are those who are more than just singers…they are true artists who can deliver a lyric and melody like no other. Many of these artists hone their craft with practice and with great diligence. And while there is nothing wrong with that, as you should practice hard on your craft, many of these artists are borne by trials and tribulations and they live the songs they sing and can deliver the lyrics with power and passion and the listener is affected and changed. TaRanda is that artist and this recording has been a lifetime in the making and she has delivered each lyric flawlessly and meticulously; thus creating an elegant masterpiece that lingers in your heart and soul long after the music stops!
The recording starts off slowly with the delicate and vulnerable delivery of “MERCY HAS CHANGED ME” and is a beautiful throwback to the female balladeers from a by-gone era such as Barbara Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald and the like, and is a highlight of the recording, as is the dramatic, “WHEN THE HEALING COMES”. I love the stark picture this lyric creates, reminding us that there will not be any true healing for this world until Christ comes. Listen as TaRanda sings with much anticipation…”when in love the Father says, no more tears, no death, no fear no suffering, then Jesus will appear…graves burst open wide, and His glorious bride, in majesty we’ll rise, one day soon when the healing comes, all heartache will be gone and we’ll be gathered Home, to sing Redemption’s song…when the race is run, and the crown is won, we’ll hear Him say “Well Done”…when the healing comes!”. TaRanda literally blows the roof off with this one and it is the true triumph of the recording.
The tempo picks up for the peppy, “THINK ABOUT YOU”. This is one of those happy songs that you’ll immediately crank up the volume and sing along with before the tempo slows down a bit for the soulful feel of “THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY”.
The tempo slows down further for the emotionally reflective tune, “UPHILL CLIMB”, reminding us that sometimes love isn’t easy and it is truly an uphill climb. Penned by Joel Lindsey and Janet Paschal and originally recording by Paschal back in 2004, TaRanda makes the song her own and is a highlight of the recording.
The tempo picks back up for the encouraging lyric of “NEW KINGDOM RISING” before moving on to “NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD MEDLEY”. Done up with a soulful flare, TaRanda weaves her way through “Are You Washed in the Blood”, “There is Power in the Blood” and “There is a Fountain” with “Nothing But the Blood” as the focal point of the medley. This will no doubt be a fan favorite!
Keeping things in “soul mode”, TaRanda kicks it up a notch with the Andrae Crouch penned, “SOMEBODY TOLD ME ABOUT JESUS”, and she really shows her chops on this one with its syncopated lyrics!
The recording closes out with two excellent covers. The Talley’s classic anthem, “HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LAMB” and a standard from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, “HE’S BEEN FAITHFUL”, which TaRanda recorded live at Brooklyn Tabernacle.
TaRanda has always been such an amazing singer but this tops anything she has ever done! This is the recording she was destined to make and as I stated earlier, was a lifetime in the making. If I may make a comparison, Reba Rambo-McGuire, during her prime in the mid/late 70s and early 80s, was a beast of a singer. There was literally nothing Reba couldn’t do and there was seemingly no end to her talent. TaRanda is the Reba Rambo-McGuire for this time. Make no mistake though, TaRanda is her own voice and her own person and is leaving a remarkable legacy today, for tomorrow! In 20-30 years from now, we’ll still be listening to this recording and saying “WOW!”
(stars denote personal favorites)
Mercy Has Changed Me**
When the Healing Comes**
Think About You**
The Stone is Rolled Away**
New Kingdom Rising**
Nothing But the Blood Medley
Somebody Told Me About Jesus
Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb**
He’s Been Faithful