10 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a member of Fred Hammond’s acclaimed gospel troupe Radical for Christ, Joann Rosario learned how to combine traditional gospel sounds with contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul stylings, and her third release Joyous Salvation (2007) hews close to this winning formula. Rosario straddles a number of genres as an artist: she can muster the melismas of a soul diva, glide along with a pop groove, or kindle some Latin fire as she chooses. At times, she can launch into stirring testimony, as shown in “Restore to Me” and “Holy God.” More often, though, she adopts a more understated stance, riding upon billowy, atmospheric rhythms in “Traces,” “More Than Anything” and “Come on Everybody (Vamos Todos Juntos).” The singer’s gratitude to God is a reoccurring theme, lending intimacy and warmth to songs like “Glory to You” and “Beyond.” Worthy of special mention is “Beautiful Son,” a mother’s prayer to Christ draped in shimmering strings. Though perhaps a little too laid-back in some spots, Joyous Salvation works well as an elegant, heartfelt contemporary gospel expression.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a member of Fred Hammond’s acclaimed gospel troupe Radical for Christ, Joann Rosario learned how to combine traditional gospel sounds with contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul stylings, and her third release Joyous Salvation (2007) hews close to this winning formula. Rosario straddles a number of genres as an artist: she can muster the melismas of a soul diva, glide along with a pop groove, or kindle some Latin fire as she chooses. At times, she can launch into stirring testimony, as shown in “Restore to Me” and “Holy God.” More often, though, she adopts a more understated stance, riding upon billowy, atmospheric rhythms in “Traces,” “More Than Anything” and “Come on Everybody (Vamos Todos Juntos).” The singer’s gratitude to God is a reoccurring theme, lending intimacy and warmth to songs like “Glory to You” and “Beyond.” Worthy of special mention is “Beautiful Son,” a mother’s prayer to Christ draped in shimmering strings. Though perhaps a little too laid-back in some spots, Joyous Salvation works well as an elegant, heartfelt contemporary gospel expression.

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About Joann Rosario

Born to a Puerto Rican family in Chicago, JoAnn Rosario grew up both in the church (her father was a preacher) and with music, singing since she was a young girl, and as an adult she sang with the influential and prolific Fred Hammond as part of his group Radical for Christ. In 2002, under the guidance of Hammond (and as part of his fledgling label, in conjunction with Verity Records, a subset of Zomba), Rosario came out with her debut, More, More, More, which combined urban R&B sounds with contemporary gospel and even Latin music, but soon after the album's release, she began to notice trouble with her voice. The following year nodules were found on her vocal chords, rendering speech, let alone singing, nearly impossible. After taking time off to treat the nodules and recover, Rosario returned in 2005 with Now More Than Ever...Worship, and two years later with Joyous Salvation. ~ Marisa Brown

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