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Music Review: Donald Lawrence's 'Confession' CD

The Associated Press, Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 11:30am (PST)

Donald Lawrence, "The Law of Confession, Part I" (Verity)

Even the most devoted gospel music listener sometimes tires of oft-repeated encouragement to "hold on" and "be strong" in the midst of various troubles.

Songwriter, producer and all-around hitmaker Donald Lawrence has skillfully avoided that rut on his second solo effort sans the Tri-City Singers: "The Law Of Confession, Part I." And he does it by putting the power for a victorious life on the tip of the listener's own tongue.

"Confession" is a live recording filled with the giving and sharing of new ideas. The setting is Lawrence's home church, Chicago's Living Word Christian Center. The album's theme was inspired by the pastor, Bill Winston, who briefly details his teaching in a video included on the CD.

The album starts with the swinging "The Word of the Lord," which typifies the joyful sound of this album. It's built upon squealing horn hits, synthesizers, live drums and top-notch vocals from the backing group Lawrence calls his "Co.," including Dewayne Woods and Latrice Pace of the Anointed Pace Sisters. Each song takes complex ideas and, in a feat of songwriting prowess, boils them down to catchy lyrics. Biblical terms are defined and even scripture citations are sung without missing a beat — no worn-out cliches here.

Much like Lawrence's 2004 solo effort: "I Speak Life," "The Law Of Confession, Part I" is therapeutic and filled with empowering numbers like the funky "Back II Eden" which has already earned a well-deserved slot in regular gospel radio rotation. "Confession" is a treat for the soul.

CHECK THIS OUT: "Let the Word Do the Work," is a fun and gritty New Orleans-style foot stomper. Note a rapper inserts a prayer for lower gas prices. Let's hope it works.

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