Bishop Paul S. Morton, Best Days Yet
Pastors who sing – pretty common in gospel music. Bishops who do it – still not unheard of. But Bishop Paul S. Morton is anything but your run-of-the-mill singing shepherd.
As the founder and leader of the nearly 20-year-old Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship denomination, consisting of over 1,200 churches and 1.5 million members worldwide, Bishop Morton could foreseeably have his hands busy in church. But with his newest musical endeavor, Best Days Yet, we’re reminded why Bishop Morton is one of gospel music’s greatest treasures.
The twelve-track album features production from the incomparable Donald Lawrence, Trenton Phillips, and Bishop Morton’s much-celebrated son, PJ Morton.
The album opens with the title track, “Best Days Yet,” a Donald Lawrence-penned tune that captures Bishop Morton’s impeccable leads over airtight background vocals, before transitioning to the upbeat “It’s Over,” on which Bishop Morton drives the vamp with complete mastery.
Bishop Morton enlists the help of lifelong friend and gospel legend Pastor Marvin Winans on the jazzy “Things Are Changing,” a sure album standout. “Something Happens (Jesus)” follows, making good on its lyrical promise – something happens as the choir passionately calls the name of Jesus. Written by Kurt Carr, it’s easily one of the most resonant songs on the project.
Another instant favorite will be the reworked Thomas Whitfield classic, “The Grass Withereth,” featuring the incomparable lead vocals of Karen Clark Sheard. “Glory,” features a passionate declaration of faith that, no matter our circumstances, God will get the glory out of them. The conviction with which Bishop Morton delivers the message is virtually contagious.
Up next is the tastefully-reworked “Living In His Favor (The Curse Is Broken),” penned by gospel mainstay Ted Winn (it appeared on Winn’s 2009 Balance album), followed by another album standout, “Go Through,” which features PJ Morton’s signature songwriting, background vocals and melodic progressions.
“Times Like These,” a slightly rock-tinged anthem, seems a bit forced in comparison to the album’s other songs, both in songwriting and its delivery, but the project recovers well with the throwback-vibed “Take My Hand.” Written by PJ Morton, it sounds like a tune straight off an Otis Redding album, demonstrating Bishop Morton’s ability to be present with any musical style.
The touching “The Promise” features Bishop Morton with his son, PJ, and daughter, Jasmine Morton-Ross. It’s not self-indulgent, though – it’s well-performed by all three of them, speaking of God’s promise to never leave us.
The album closes with “The Best Days Yet to Come,” which gospel aficionados may recall from gospel duo Ted & Sheri’s debut album. This rendition features the legendary Rudolph Stanfield on piano and organ, and is like a perfect musical benediction.
Best Days Yet features Bishop Paul S. Morton doing what he does best – delivering heart-tugging and encouraging musical messages with immutable passion and unshakeable conviction. It’s a must-have for any gospel music lover.
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