Helen Baylor, Giving God Her All

My Eveything; Helen Baylor, Diadem Records
by Mark Weber

Helen Baylor
If you haven't heard of Helen Baylor, now is the time to pick up her new disc, My Everything. She creates a vocal tour de force, especially on "Lord, You're Holy."

Weaving between elegant supper club music and all out rock 'n' roll, "Lord, You're Holy" is a triumphant ode to God that sweeps listeners up into an intensifying beat with ecstatic proclamations about His holy name. Words such as "wonderful," "glorious," "victorious" and "mighty" follow one after the other in a torrent of praise. It's been five years since Baylor's last studio release, and she re-emerges with a bang. Imagine Gladys Knight, dance diva Martha Wash, Babbie Mason and CeCe Winans combined into one vocalist. In addition to her duet with Marvin Winans, Baylor sings with label-mate Bob Carlisle on the danceable "Harambee." Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the two singers, as they emote similar-sounding, soulful vocals on this upbeat R&B track co-written by David Mullen.

The classic James Taylor hit "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)" gets dusted off and given new meaning. Baylor signs from the heart about how sweet it is to be loved by Jesus. "Outside These Walls" is a rallying cry to churchgoers. The ballad challenges listeners not to forget those who are lonely, searching or hurting outside the church walls.

Helen Baylor is the type of artist worthy of promotion. Good songs, lyrically and musically, mixed with her rich, consistently heartfelt vocals make My Everything a standout release. If you like contemporary gospel, this disc is a must-have.

Reprinted with permission from Charisma, March 2002. ? Strang Communications Co., USA. All rights reserved. www.charismamag.com

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