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Album Review

Heartbroken after his mother died in 2005, the usually prolific Richard Smallwood spent the next four years without writing a song. Promises — and once you hear the album, that’s a layered choice of a title — is the conceptual result of Smallwood emerging from these dark times, with an uplifting outlook on both life and death. This album-long conversation with God begins with a dramatic, Hollywood-like intro, swerves into classic gospel-choir territory, and then travels across many musical genres. Highlight “Mender” nostalgically incorporates some New Jack Swing, while “Praying for Peace” chills out smooth jazz style with special guest vocalist Lalah Hathaway. Longtime fans of the man’s work with the choir should check “Trust Me,” which comes with a fascinating arrangement where voices seem to sway back and forth. In the end, Smallwood’s return is as poignant as expected, but that he was able to innovate and evolve with such a heavy heart is stunning.

Customer Reviews

Nothing New

Richard Smallwood is back in form after years of no new material, which is to say he's back to making good music. But there is no new ground covered here. Again, it's good, but it's not great and there's just nothing new here for listeners. If you like Richard Smallwood, you'll like this. But chances are you've heard it all before.

Nothing short of a masterpiece!!! Richard does it again!!

As is to be expected from Richard and Vision, "Promises" is nothing short of musical excellence!! I just can't put this CD down! There's so much great material on here. Churches all over will be ROCKING, very soon, to songs like "Mender" and "Facts Are, Truth Is" and waving their hands in worship to "Trust Me" and Sow In Tears." Way to go, Richard!!! Love you and Vision MUCH!!!

Great!

This album is great! Not one track on here needs to be skipped. It will bless you. Quit reading and go download it!

Biography

Born: November 30, 1948 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A tenured, talented, and respected inspirational pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer with over four decades in the gospel music business, Richard Smallwood was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 30, 1948. After graduating from Howard University (his classmates included Donny Hathaway, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad), where he earned degrees in vocal performance and piano, Smallwood taught music at the University of Maryland and eventually formed the Richard Smallwood Singers, putting out...
Full Bio
Promises, Richard Smallwood
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