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Thirsty

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Album Review

Grand Rapids, MI, native Marvin Sapp, a former member of the gospel group the Commissioned, insists he is a preacher who sings rather than a singer who preaches, but regardless of his sense of self-identity in such matters, it is his strong and soulful vocals that make his albums work far more than the praise & worship themes and lyrics he favors. What he says, obviously, comes into play for his many fans on the contemporary gospel scene, but he's not conveying concepts that are exactly startling revelations in this field. No, it's that voice that carries the day: a strong, husky, impassioned, and — above all else — undeniably soulful vehicle that blasts through these busy arrangements like an alto sax. The songs themselves are fairly interchangeable, with a backup choir and full trap kit mixed high in most of them, giving each the feel of tremendous energy. Toss in Sapp's assertive vocals, and you've got some rockin' preaching going on, but in the end, it's really how Sapp says things more than what he says that is left in one's memory. He may be a preacher who sings, but it's the singing that truly resonates. Put another way, if you're a plumber who sings on the job, you're a singing plumber. That all changes, however, when you go out and record albums in which your singing is the central calling card. Then you're a singer, even if what you sing about is clogs and drains.

Biography

Born: 06 December 1967 in Grand Rapids, MI

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Recruited for the legendary gospel group Commissioned while still a relative unknown, Marvin Sapp recorded with the group until its dissolution in 1995, and then began his own solo career with a self-titled album the following year. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI (where he has based his JOY Ministries outreach), Sapp debuted with Commissioned in the early '90s after Keith Staten left for solo work. He recorded the Commissioned albums Number 7 and Matters of the Heart with members Fred Hammond,...
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Thirsty, Marvin Sapp
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