Brian Courtney Wilson, So Proud

By E.J. Gaines | contributing writer,
Posted: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 14:35

In just a few years, Brian Courtney Wilson has risen from being a virtual unknown in the gospel music community to one of the most solid newer artists in the business. His kind and genuine nature are surpassed only by his smooth and soulful voice, which has drawn many comparisons to the crooners of old, like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. But Wilson stands in a league of his own, as he uniquely blends a classic sound with God’s timeless and perfect message of redemption.

With his sophomore album, So Proud (in stores on February 7, 2012 on Music World Gospel), Wilson again digs into his rich musical roots, delivering a 12-track collection of songs sure to encourage, inspire, and make you snap a finger here and there.

Though similar in sound and style to his 2009 debut, Just Love, Wilson’s newest offering manages to show a marked musical progression – perhaps it's confidence – and demonstrates a healthy degree of artistic development.

To lay the sure foundation of So Proud, Wilson again teams up with award-winning songwriter and producer Stan Jones (remember the radio hit "All I Need" from Wilson's first project). With his hands in three-quarters of the album, either by way of writing or production, Jones again demonstrates that he can steer the musical ship toward success.

He’s not alone, though. This time around, we also see production heavyweight Aaron Lindsey (Marvin Sapp, Israel Houghton, Jonathan Nelson) producing the project’s first single, “So Proud.” It’s the sort of throwback soul tune that Brian Courtney Wilson’s voice was made for, which explains why it continues to climb the charts at radio.

In another smart collaborative effort, we see Wilson get co-writing assistance from ever-rising hitmaker PJ Morton on "One Day At a Time" and "Perfect." The former is a love song that offers the simple and Godly prescription for making natural love last. The latter, slightly reminiscent of the type of spot-on tune we might expect from Stevie Wonder, is also a love song of sorts; this one, however, describes the depth of God’s love for us. Both songs are marked by Morton's unmistakable soulful sound, which meshes well with Wilson's often Motown-esque tone and approach.

Other noteworthy cuts on this album include the album’s opener, “Right Back,” which highlights Wilson’s surprisingly broad vocal range set to punctuated band hits and ad libs, as well as the project’s second single, “He Still Cares,” which is a well-done, church-ready ballad of encouragement.

Look out, also, for “Storm In Mind,” an upbeat horn-accentuated declaration that we were “made with a storm in mind,” so we need not be fearful – God’s got us. “You Are My King” is a waltzing praise and worship tune that seems absolutely ripe for use in Sunday morning worship services, while "Unspeakable Joy" offers a traditional vibe with which Wilson shows he can hold his own, even when paired with his legendary labelmate, Vanessa Bell Armstrong.

A three-time GMA Dove Award nominee, Brian Courtney Wilson is likely to garner the continued attention of gospel and Christians audiences. But So Proud is so good, from top to bottom, that Wilson’s music could easily be embraced by mainstream audiences, too. After all, music this good isn’t always easy to come by.

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