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Is the Time
Length: 11 Tracks /46:27
We know that rock ‘n’ roll began gestating in the old-time gospel music and certainly it is refreshing to listen to modern soul that reflects its roots in what scholars have termed spiritual music.
The brother and sister team of Steve and Da’dra Crawford imbue passion, intensity and exuberance that are hard to find in this day and age of pre-fabricated pop fodder. Now Is the Time is a definitive statement of what contemporary music made by Christians can be about, eschewing the limitations of labels and possessing the power to touch and to impact lives and souls for the glory of God.
Listen to the endearing "Now That I’m Free", the muscular cover of Andrae Crouch’s "Jesus Is Lord," and the devotional sophisticated "The Great I Am" to appreciate the possibilities that true spiritual music presents.
Back in the mid '90s, Anointed was one of the groups that blazed the way for more widespread acceptance of urban and gospel music. At a time when many fans of contemporary Christian music could not list a single gospel artist (except for Kirk Franklin, who some would label as urban more than gospel) many recognized Anointed. Their song "For the Sake of the Call" did quite well on radio and the group was very successful.
Fast forward to 2005, when the group is now a duo. Unfortunately the group seems to have lost the spark that made them special, made them stand out. The vocals on this album are great. The music is good. The problem is that most of the songs (except "Now is the Time," "The Great I Am," and "Gonna Lift Your Name (Remix)") all are missing that spark that makes the listener stand up and take notice of an album. Instead these songs may become background music for some, songs that you listen to in the background while you are doing something else because the songs don't command your attention.
Anointed is an enjoyable group but many will find themselves pulling out their old Anointed CDs to remind themselves how great this group used to be.
Burton Wray May 8, 2005
Now is the Time is the latest release from the brother and sister team of Steve and Dadra Crawford. After breaking through in the '90's, this album is the "large label" release for the siblings, being released both by CCM label Integrity and mainstream powerhouse Sony.
The Sony backing brings in big name producers Warryn Campbell, Mark Heimermann, and Roger Ryan. The result, however, is an album that lacks intensity, and comes across as a run of the mill, cookie cutter R&B album. They even resort to covering Andrae Crouch's "Jesus is Lord", complete with guest appearance from Crouch, yet the lack lacks the power you would expect from a gospel legend.
"Gonna Lift Your Name" and "Now That I'm Free" are the best of this lot, with the latter showcasing an orchestral sound that builds upon itself until the final chorus. Overall, though, Now is the Time is missing something–I imagine it is destined to be one of those albums that simply comes across better live than on disc.
Brian A. Smith