New Creation Live

Title: New Creation Live

Artist: Rafeal Ross

Label:  R2 Music

Formats: MP3, CD

Release Date: January 10, 2010

With a vocal sound that is uniquely his, Rafeal Ross situates himself comfortably within the realm of contemporary gospel. From start to finish, New Creation Live rings of heartfelt praise and intimate worship. Thick with reprises which are reminiscent of Sunday morning praise and worship service, listeners can readily observe Ross’s passion for ministry through his music. By utilizing his background of classical technique in vocal performance at George Mason University, as well as an early dedication to music ministry, Ross delivers a product which is both aurally pleasing and spiritually inspiring. Ross tastefully shows off his range with high notes that ring of sincere praise.

In listening to the album, it is apparent that Ross values sonic equilibrium. The background vocals, supplied by singers from the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Mass Choir, are well balanced within and across each section (soprano, alto, tenor). The supporting vocalists definitely have their work cut out for them,  and rise to the challenge in every selection, utilizing precise diction without sacrificing dynamics. There is a pleasant compromise between the vocals and instrumentalists; neither is incredibly overbearing to the point of hindering the listener from enjoying either component.

While Ross uses some traditional lines found throughout gospel songs in order to relay his message, he does it in a way that is unexpected, limiting the predictability of his music. This is valuable, as it allows the listener to connect to his music and appreciate his musical interpretation of the various scriptures woven into his lyrics.

The project opens in a salutation of praise with “Praise Awaits.” New Creation Live provides music which inspires praise and invokes worship. In the way of praise, Ross exalts the “Lion of Judah,” by exclaiming that He is worthy to be praised.  The single for the album, “I’m Free,” is a declaration of the liberty found in living for Christ.

In the way of worship, the album’s namesake song, “New Creation,” further speaks to being restored to Christ. This song is a commentary upon the total transformation that occurs when one’s entire being is dedicated (or rededicated) to God. It captures the essence of encountering a life-augmenting relationship; in being “arrested by [His] love,” there is a change that began on the first day Jesus’ name is spoken, which yields the ultimate result of being made into a new creation! The dynamics found in “None Like You” are especially moving, and reflect the dynamic nature of the relationship with Christ that is available upon accepting salvation.

Praise team leaders and choir directors alike—adult or youth—will find several songs suitable for setting the environment for focused, high energy ministry events.

Follow this link to hear selections from New Creation Live.

Reviewed by Melody Barham