Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This CD is a follow-up to A Piece of My Passion, which in under sixty days after the release went to the top 10 positions on the billboard charts and remained there for more than 52 weeks. To this day, the Gospel/Christian community hails A Piece of My Passion as one of the best worship projects of the decade! Award-winning producer Myron Williams, architect of the sound that thousands experienced with A Piece of My Passion, has produced and captured Juanita Bynum's More Passion. More Passion releases the intensity, the right now-praise, pure worship and priceless production that we've come to expect from Juanita Bynum.
"From poverty to prosperity, prophetess to songstress, her tale is the story of enormous transformations. Dr. Juanita Bynum certainly has reason to lift her voice in renewed praise as she reflects on all the reasons she has to be thankful.
Married, divorced, committed, broken, emotionally and financially, depleted all before her thirtieth birthday, Juanita certainly needed the transforming power of a miracle in her challenging existence. Perhaps it was desperation, or simply the sense that a change was essential to her survival that caused the Chicago native to heed the call that had been placed on her life from the time of her adolescence. In 1996, Juanita met Bishop TD Jakes who invited her to be a guest speaker at his singles conference in Dallas that year and the rest is a fascinating anecdote for a future motion picture.
Today, Prophetess Juanita Bynum can only look wistfully on the girl that was and rejoice in the woman who has emerged. As a New York Times bestselling author of several books including No More Sheets, Matters Of The Heart and My Spiritual Inheritance she has developed a ministerial voice which seeks to incorporate the familiar everyday living with integral spirituality. Founder and President of Juanita Bynum Ministries in Waycross, Georgia, a regular on TBN's worldwide flagship program, PRAISE and wife and partner to Bishop Thomas Weeks III, Juanita also wears the additional title of psalmist with the impetuous grace that defines her larger-than-life image.
Juanita sheds any doubt that she is anything less than a very capable songstress on her newest venture; A Piece of My Passion released back in November on her independent label, Flow Records. Taking on the praise and worship genre with the aid of Myron Williams and Robert W. "JoJo" Hill, Dr. Bynum remakes traditional favorites and sings a new song on this, her third recording to date.
Opening with the percussive fervor of Break Forth Praise Juanita bursts into ecclesiastic praise and sets the stage for the unrestrained praise that characterizes the remainder of the project in a hazy mezzo soprano voice that evokes images of the charismatic Vicki Winans and vivacious Vicki Yoh'e in song.
Originally penned by CCM artist Rebecca St-James, Above All Else is a simple canticle of the hearts yearning for a closer relationship with God as the verse pleas "above all else give me yourself". She also borrows the words of Hill Song in Any Crown, a song that is a humble acknowledgement of man's inadequacy before one as great as God, "any crown I've ever won... any praise I've ever gained, I give it all to you... You alone are worthy"
Taking well-known worship songs and molding them to her vocal interpretation, Juanita still retains their original intent, which is to transcend the listener into a place of true adoration, such as in You Are Great and Holy. The latter of these was first made popular by Lisa McClendon, but where the neo-soul artist lent a bluesy feel to the hymn, Bynum flavors it distinctly her own, serving it as a choral hymn culminating into the Holy, Holy Holy of the church pews.
The church extends beyond its walls as biblical recitations are made into song. The prose of Psalm 23 has been retrofitted and modernized for the benefit of poetic balladry but the message remains the same as the Prophetess recites the words of the twenty-third psalm with the assurance of the hundredth lost sheep. Taking on the words of Isaiah 40:31 the Prophetess enters into a place of quiet worship in Wait Medley,demonstrating that praise doesn't always necessitate loudness.
The organ's plaintive sighing keeps us in the tabernacle in Jesus What A Wonder, a simple choral piece that trails into a traditional medley [He's A Wonder In My Soul, Yes, My Soul Seeks to Please Him] that seems remarkably spontaneous in its authenticity, complete with the requisite speaking in tongue and shouts of acclamation.
The organ has not finished its travail as the traditional-sounding Changereminds us of the heavenly promise that trouble don't last always, cause a change is a-comin' with the help of Myron Williams, featured soloist on TD Jakes' The Storm Is Over.
Minister Stephen Hurd's Overflow has long been a favorite of mine, with its clashing melodies and symphonic undertones and I must say that the adaptation by Juanita definitely does justice to the original. Whether in your car or in your kitchen, wherever you may be when listening to this song, you will feel as though you too need an overflowing of the Spirit of God.
Songwriter extraordinaire and outstanding organist Melvin Crispell first birthed the infectious Wonderful Is Your Name for Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, just a few short years ago and it has been given new life as the concluding selection on Juanita's album. Its adaptability as a radio-friendly, Caribbean flavored up-tempo hand-clapping feast remains, and is a fitting end to this worship album which has embodied praise in all its various forms.
Juanita Bynum will surprise many on this album, who would have thought her oratory skills her only gift; however the same passion that flows from her as an anointed speaker and spiritual healer reveal itself in her capacity as a gifted vocalist. In a project that at times exhorts and encourages, praises and prays, A Piece Of My Passion reveals the heart of a godly woman who has learned how to enter into a worship experience, with fierce, reverent, unbridled and eloquent passion." -BlackGospel
Personnel: Faith Anderson, Marshari Williams, Denae Daugherty, Demarcus Williams, Carla Williams, Taylor Barrett, Titus Glenn, Tomeka Sanford, Eric Birdine, Debette Draper-Britton, Elliot Ellerson, Eboni Ellerson, Christeyun Morgan, Candice Johnson-Mills, Shavonne Culpepper (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Myron Williams.
Photographer: James Emilen.
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