J Moss, V4... The Other Side
Undeniably one of gospel music’s most gifted male vocalists, J Moss is known for pushing the musical boundaries of the genre. With his new album, V4... The Other Side, he remains true to the sound that has made him an urban gospel staple.
Pairing his nearly robotic voice with high-energy production and urban programming, Moss and his award-winning production team, PAJAM, serve up a fourteen-track project that is sure to please his supporters.
The project opens with the hard-hitting “God’s Got It.” It’s a fitting opener, as it features Moss’s signature acrobatic lead vocals set to a playful and bouncy urban track. The next tune, “Imma Do It,” is even harder-hitting, as evident in his introduction of the song – “I wanna do a little something for those who thought we lost our edge.” Driven by a thumping bass and PAJAM-styled programming, the song still features a rather melodic lead-in to each chorus, anchored by a syncopated piano that assures listeners – it’s more than just a beat.
The album moves seamlessly into the urban ballad “Take Me,” and the R&B-tinged “Strong Enough,” without losing its momentum, before landing at the album’s introspective lead single, “Good & Bad.” J Moss flawlessly pours out the weight and emotion of the realization that God is consistent and faithful, regardless of where we’ve found ourselves.
J Moss enlists the help of his cousins, gospel legend Karen Clark Sheard and her daughter Kierra Sheard, on the urban anthem “Good Day.” With the child-led chanting chorus, it’s a feel-good way to start the day. Kierra Sheard adds a youthful flavor to the tune on the bridge before Karen Clark Sheard shines in a laidback lane on the vamp (well... as laidback as the vocal powerhouse can be).
Growing gospel favorite James Fortune is featured on “You Did.” The song breathes somehow, highlighting Fortune’s spoken words with Moss’s intricate background vocals for much of the time, both of which are more prominent than any of the tune’s instrumentation.
Other stand-outs include “Holy Is Your Word,” a band-hit driven a churchy praise track. Though highly reminiscent of V2’s “Praise On the Inside” and “Holy One” from the Just James project, it’s just the sort of traditional-tinged tune that fans have come to expect from Moss.
The upbeat and infectious “The Prayers,” backed by Hezekiah Walker & LFC and Dorinda Clark Cole, follows in the church-ready vein. Moss made excellent guest vocal choices on this clever tune that just begs for a good ol’ gospel influence.
To be sure, V4... The Other Side is a considerably more urban-leaning project than his most recent and acclaimed Just James album. It sounds more like a club party than a soul lounge, and is perhaps a bit less transparent than the honest and repentant musical offering previously delivered. To that end, V4 is more akin to the V2 album than any of his other works.
Still, V4 shows some progression. Aside from the title and concept showing growth in his own life (he has said that he intended to show people what the other side of victory looks like), J Moss continues to remain relevant with cross-genre beats and musical styles. And he still delivers his passionate, at times heart-wrenching vocals, in a way that only he can.
J Moss has long been a trendsetter in gospel music, and continues in that lane with V4... The Other Side.
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