The Porter Brothers and Genesis have created a gospel album that gives new meaning to “making a joyful noise unto the lord.” The energy that The Genesis Choir brings to this album is enough to bring the most staid listener to their feet. Together is an album that’s more than just a gospel album, as The Porter Brothers and Genesis combine traditional gospel sounds with more modern R & B sounds to create an album that will have universal appeal. The R&B flavor permeates the best tracks on the album as it showcases the strength of the choir and the soloists that step up to sing with Tecoy and Ellington Porter. This is a choir that deserves all the accolades that they receive, and over the years they have received many.
The album opens with “God Is With Us,” a rousing tune that is full of energy and life. It is a perfect start to an album that seeks to get everyone praising the Lord. “Still Here To Praise Him” reminds everyone that when times are tough there is still reason to praise God. The Genesis Choir is front and center on this song, demonstrating how perfect a choir can sound, when filled with passion for the music. “Oh Give Thanks” has a very modern arrangement, keeping it smooth and mellow. The choir handles the backing track admirably, highlighting the vocals of a soloist that just may put Toni Braxton to shame.
“Emmanuel” is a more traditional gospel song. The Porter Brothers shine on this track against the choral background, giving the song a stand up and give praise element. The song seems to compel anyone listening to get to their feet and let the music move them. Another gem is “Jesus Is The Answer,” a vibrant piece that touches the soul with its simple message.
The title track has a great R&B arrangement that, at its best moments, evokes Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.” “Worship” can best be described as a love song to Jesus while “New Born Soul” recounts how someone has found their way to Christianity. Each song on Together touches a different aspect of faith and the album as a whole presents a well-rounded expression of a life with Christ.
“He Is Your Friend” is a surprising closing number, not because of the message, but rather because of the vocals of the Porter Brothers. As they sing their praise, it is hard not to think of the deep rich vocal stylings of Barry White. The song offers hope that even in times of trouble and distress, God will be there.
If this album accomplishes anything besides giving its listeners the enjoyment of hearing some fantastic music, it really helps to remind everyone that music is prayer, and The Porter Brothers and Genesis offer up thirteen energetic prayers. Together is also a reminder that spiritual music doesn’t have to be conservative and restrained. When The Porter Brothers and Genesis offer up their songs, it is hard not to feel closer to God. They give hope and inspiration through their spiritual message, and thus this is an album that can’t be easily forgotten. There is too much energy exploding from the songs for that to happen. Once you listen, it will stay with you, sharing a message far deeper than just music.
Review by Andrea Guy
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)