Somethin' 'Bout Love
Fred Hammond wears his proverbial heart on his sleeve on his latest release, a studio project titled Somethin' 'Bout Love.
Exploring the breadth and depth of God's love and the many manifestations of His love through us (one to another), Hammond serves up another gem album in the long list of them that he has offered over the course of his long career.
With lyrics that allow his persona to become transparent to anyone who chooses to ponder, Hammond ventures into areas that few artists are willing to reside. Musically, Hammond's wisdom in choosing who to collaborate with and on what songs, produces a sweet melange of material that is the essence of this project.
"That's Why" is produced by the team of Ivan Barias and Carvin Haggins who collectively have written and produced for Joe and Floetry and most notably penned hit songs for Musiq ("Love", "Don't Change" and "Who Knows"). Musiq offers his support here on backing vocals, along with R&B twin duo, Aaries.
The first single, "Celebrate, (He Lives)" is an infectious track with the perpetually relevant resurrection message of Christ. A handclap track and a bass line that begs to be up in the mix keeps it moving. The repetition of the chorus does its job and hooks you by the second time around.
Hammond joins with Danny Weatherspoon (see interview) and Juanita Wynn to write "Praise Belongs To You", which is a musical potpourri of a groove.
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Weatherspoon and Hammond also write probably the most compelling song on the project "I Will Find A Way". The place of loss and of being lost is one, at some time in your life, with which you will surely identify. This song speaks almost painfully eloquently of the hope that Christ or that a hope in Christ provides when you've completely lost your bearings and all things familiar. The ballad is both tragic and triumphant. Joey Woolfalk's guitar is as critical as the keyboard track, and he delivers like none other on lead and acoustic guitar.
"Lord We Need Your Love" brings Warryn Campbell into the production mix. Sure to be the one of the favored tracks, Fred is joined by Brian McKnight and the incomparable Pastor Marvin Winans, Sr., who following the entry on his verse and effortlessly shapes the remainder of the song. Errol Cooney provides the pretty circle guitar line on which the song is anchored, as it speaks to our lust for temporal material things and how the love of God is what we really need.
Campbell delivers again on "Loved On Me", a song that largely gives a nod to his love for the quartet sound. Marvin Winans, Jr. ,(aka Coconut) joins in on the pen-to-paper pow-wow, as well as on background vocals on this head-nodder.
Evidence of Hammond's penchant for all things Stevie Wonder is obvious, as he pulls Musiq out of the background to cover "Love's In Need". Verity labelmate Pastor Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir helps out on the chorus for a sho' nuff family affair.
PamKenyon M. Donald provides the vocal and co-pens on "Your Love Is A Wonderful Thing", which takes a traditional sentiment "He's a wonder" and brings it to the '04.
"How Do You Love That Way" asks the unanswerable question and addresses the incomprehensible manner in which God loves us.
On "Make Time For Love", Lexi and Hammond talk a bit about the side of love that is expressed by spending time. With the hustle and bustle of our day, and the chaos that comes with the overload of communication mechanisms can leave us overwhelmed. Another ballad, this one reminds us to pencil each other in for quality time.
Hammond, Noel Hall and Joann Rosario write "Your Name Is Jesus", a song that extols the love in His very name and the act of sacrifice that came with it. The Singletons (see album review) and The Straight Gate Mass choir (see album review) handle the choruses to drive the very point home there is no other Name and no other Love that compares.
Yes Fred Hammond, there certainly is Somethin' 'Bout Love.
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Producer: Fred Hammond
album release date: June 8, 2004
reviewed by Melanie Clark —
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