Album Remarks & Appraisals:
BET's Sunday Best second season winnerY'Anna Crawley has released her first solo CD project, The Promise. The title track and single, "The Promise" reminds listeners that Jesus is the way and the promise, and that if you keep trusting in His Word and keep persevering you will attain the goals He has placed in you:
Y'Anna Crawley On "The Promise"
"With everything that I've gone through, all my ups and downs, with people talking about me and saying that I would never make it because I had two kids, I was resting on God's promise."
"I'm hoping that people who listen to this CD will be uplifted and encouraged. I want them to realize that dreams do come true, so you should never give up on your dreams. When you get knocked down you get back up and just keep pressing through."
Y'Anna also wants to use her blessings to bless others through THE PROMISE Foundation. This initiative will seek to provide, health, wellness, fitness, self-esteem building, social services, as well as scholarships to young women between 18 and 35. She also is planning a second initiative called Momma's Boys, which is intended to be an agent to encourage, teach, provide guidance and information and assist with connecting young boys with positive male role models and mentors in their communities.
"Long before she was on center stage, Y'Anna was singing background vocals for soul heavyweights like Angie Stone, Jennifer Lopez, and Raheem DeVaughn. But after winning 2009's "Sunday Best" on BET, she was propelled into the national spotlight. On her debut CD, The Promise, she mixes contemporary R&B with old-school gospel and Motown influences, making the ten-track collection the best of both worlds. Y'Anna sings everything from faith-affirming anthems to booming ballads and powerful praise." -Blackchristmasnews
"The longggggggggggg awaited debut album from BETâEuro™s Season 2 winner of Sunday BestâEuro™Anna Crawley is finally here. I know some of you thought the day would never come. I had no doubt it would be released, but the looming question was, WHEN??!!
Week after week during Sunday Bestthere was NO question YâEuro™Anna could sing.But could this up and coming powerhouse give us the same fever on an entire project??
The debut single The Promise, which is the title track to the album, premiered during the finale of Sunday Best and later became Crawleys first single. I wasnt a big fan of the single when I first heard it on the show and it never really moved me after. There is nothing wrong with the song, it just wasnt what I wanted from YAnna. For the purpose of the show, it worked. I mean, it was the inspirational, choir backing, fluffy song, that all these singing competitions end with, so I understood the song choice.
And before I go any further with the review, I almost fell off my chair when I saw that Buster & Shavoni produced The Promise. We hadnt heard ANYTHING from them since The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack, so imagine my surprise when I learned they produced the bulk of the album?!?! But I said, GERALD, keep an open mind! To my surprise, they brought their A-game and gave YAnna some real hit contenders!
The Promise starts off with the urban banger I Believe and proceeds with 3 of the hottest songs on the entire project, Stronger, Lookin Toward Heaven, and the standout cut of the album, Youre Still God. Buster and Big Jim Wright (Ann Nesby, Mariah Carey) put their FOOTS, yes I said FOOTS in this track. Through the fire Im gonna trust that youre still God. LORD HAVE MERCY! I have to hear this live. I know shell annihilate this! Mouth to mouth resuscitation anyone?!?!
At this point youre halfway through the album and for the most part it doesnt miss a beat. Another favorite track of mine is the jazzy Well Done. YAnnas vocals float so effortlessly, all while maintaining a soulful edge, coupled with the background vocals and the intricate musical changes, makes this one to repeat!
The album closes out with the bouncy Right Now, the PAJAM produced Im Blessed and Worship Song. I was a little surprised that PAJAM only contributed one song for the album!
And no, I didnt leave out Grandmas Hands. Some may disagree with this, but I feel like this song could have been left off. I know this is the song in many peoples opinion that sealed the winning spot for her, but the album version of this song is too pretty for me. The grittiness and the raw soul was lost once all the instrumentation was added.
The Promise boasts to be a good album, simply because it is. The lyrical content is not super deep or prophetic, but its relatable and it feels good. Some may say thats a bad thing, but I look at it as a positive. Its encouraging, with a good message and great singing. You cant ask for much more than that.
My only real problem with this project is the complete album packaging. I think it could have been so much more and Ill leave it at that! So The Promise gets only 1 CRICKET! That means definitely support this project! I keep it in rotation and I think you will too!" -dagospeltruth
"Sunday Best's Season 2 winner, Y'anna Crawley, has released her debut album The Promise. After almost two years of anticipation, The Promise is sure to prove why Miss Crawley snatched the Sunday Best title.
The record starts out with a funky track entitled "I Believe" then followed by the very inspirational title track "The Promise". In this song Y'anna tells a bit of her story and then helps us all relate to the song with her intimate lyrics. "Stronger" is the third track on the album where Y'anna tells her testimony of getting pregnant at 17 years old and how it helped build her. "Lookin' Toward Heaven" is a soulful track that can minister to anyone in doubt and with "You're Still God" following, any burdened spirit listening, will be lifted. The Bill Withers classic "Grandma's Hands" made the album as the sixth track. You might remember the song from when Y'anna performed it on Sunday Best ". "Well Done" is a beautiful, soul stirring ballad to God on trying to improve and live a life that is pleasing in His sight. "Right Now" and "I'm Blessed" (tracks 8 and 9) are "feel good" jams that are sure to get you dancing. And the album closes with "Worship Song" which is just that. The very heartfelt lyrics tap into the hearts of all worshipers declaring an immeasurable love for God.
All in all, the album is beautiful; and you're going to want these 10 songs on your iPod, in your car, in your house or wherever else you might be." -ThegospelMusiclounge
Photographer: Bill Lee .